Link between climate change and Californian wildfires is unsupported, fire experts say 

Posted: October 19, 2015 by oldbrew in alarmism, climate, flames, ideology, Politics, propaganda

Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]

Smoke from a California wildfire [image credit: BBC]

Recent California governors like Schwarzenegger have portrayed themselves as leading the ‘green charge’ – whatever that is at the time – but this one seems to have lost the plot a bit. Details from the LA Times.

The ash of the Rocky fire was still hot when Gov. Jerry Brown strode to a bank of television cameras beside a blackened ridge and, flanked by firefighters, delivered a battle cry against climate change.

The wilderness fire was “a real wake-up call” to reduce the carbon pollution “that is in many respects driving all of this,” he said. “The fires are changing…. The way this fire performed, it’s not the way it usually has been. Going in lots of directions, moving fast, even without hot winds.””It’s a new normal,” he said in August. “California is burning.”

Brown had political reasons for his declaration. He had just challenged Republican presidential candidates to state their agendas on global warming. He was embroiled in a fight with the oil industry over legislation to slash gasoline use in California. And he is seeking to make a mark on international negotiations on climate change that culminate in Paris in December.

But scientists who study climate change and fire behavior say their work does not show a link between this year’s wildfires and global warming, or support Brown’s assertion that fires are now unpredictable and unprecedented. There is not enough evidence, they say.

University of Colorado climate change specialist Roger Pielke said Brown is engaging in “noble-cause corruption.” Pielke said it is easier to make a political case for change using immediate and local threats, rather than those on a global scale, especially given the subtleties of climate change research, which features probabilities subject to wide margins of error and contradiction by other findings.”That is the nature of politics,” Pielke said, “but sometimes the science really has to matter.”

Other experts say there is, in fact, a more immediate threat: a landscape altered by a century of fire suppression, timber cutting and development. Public attention should be focused on understanding fire risk, controlling development and making existing homes safer with fire-rated roofs and ember-resistant vents, said Richard Halsey, who founded the Chaparral Institute in San Diego. Otherwise, he said, “the houses will keep burning down and people will keep dying.”

“I don’t believe the climate change discussion is helpful,” Halsey said.

Source: Gov. Brown’s link between climate change and wildfires is unsupported, fire experts say – LA Times

  1. oldbrew says:

    It’s a bit surprising to find this in the LA Times which AFAIK is still firmly in the climate alarmist camp like the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

    ‘LA Times bans letters from climate skeptics’

    ‘“I don’t believe the climate change discussion is helpful,” Halsey said.’

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    This fire year was not at all unusual. We have not had one like it for several decades, but that does not make it exceptional.

    In about 1971 I was a Calf. Fire Fighter on The Clearlake Fire. It was huge and in about the same place as this recent fire near Clearlake… We had lots of tankers and fire supresson after that for about 30 years, plus the droughts of the 70s ended (it is about 30 years of wetter since then, now with cooler weather we get dryer air and drought again). The Calf. govt put in place green rules forbidding dumps of retardent near any watercourse and drastically reduced tanker bomber fleet.

    So now supression (aka fire fighting) is under staffed, rule bound, less effective, and lacking equipment. Easier to blame climate change than admit stupid policies and bad budget decisions.

    But to my eye and memory, it is almost identical to the year I was involved… when it was so bad they recruited anyone who could carry a shovel off the street… that is how I ended up on the fireline with zero experience. .. They are not up to that level of despiration this year… Just saying…. maybe if they did hire more folks and shovels and tankers and used retardent more like the used to… they would control the fires faster… like we did back then.