…Forest Fires and Atmospheric CO2…
The Campfire fire in California is tragic and its effects on people can’t be minimized.
It’s wrong, however, to use it as a poster child for global warming and climate change.
Referring to climate change caused by CO2, Governor Brown said:
“This is an example of what we can expect. The fires are burning in California. They’ll be burning in France, burning all around the world” without a significant reduction in carbon emissions.
“The world is not on the road to heaven. It’s on the road to hell.”
However, Governor Brown is wrong when referring to climate change caused by CO2.
The number of forest fires in the United States has not been increasing due to climate change caused by an increase in atmospheric CO2.
This chart from data supplied by the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) provides a graph showing the acres destroyed by forest fires in the United States over the past 92 years through 2017.
It should be noted that the data from the NIFC prior to 1983 may be less accurate as it is derived from less defined sources. However, the trend is supported by individual reports of fires that occurred before 1926. Some of the largest and deadliest occurred then.
Earlier, before those covered by the attached NIFC chart, there were terrible forest fires:
- 1871 Oct. 8-14, Peshtigo, Wis: over 1,500 lives lost and 3.8 million acres burned in nation’s worst forest fire.
- 1894 Sept. 1, Minn.: forest fires ravaged over 160,000 acres and destroyed 6 towns; 600 killed, including 413 in town of Hinckley.
- 1902 Sept., Wash. and Oregon: Yacolt fire destroyed 1 million acres and left 38 dead.
- 1910 Aug. 10, Idaho and Montana: fires burned 3 million acres of woods and killed 85 people.
- 1918 Oct. 13-15, Minn. and Wisconsin: forest fire struck towns in both states; 1,000 died, including 400 in town of Cloquet, Minn. About $1 million in losses.
All of these fires caused considerable damage and had tragic consequences in terms of people killed.
And all of them were before significant increases in atmospheric CO2.
Larger fires occurred when CO2 concentrations were relatively low. Coincidently, the larger fires occurred while CO2 levels happened to be shown in red.
It’s important to address the conditions that lead to extensive forest fires, but climate change supposedly caused by CO2 is not one of them.
Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is not causing an increase in disasters, including forest fires.
Governor Brown and other AGW adherents are fear mongering when they make any such claim.
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