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

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.

“It’s a new normal,” he said. “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.

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.”


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.…

Belief in climate change not linked to wildfire mitigation actions


People who believe that climate change is increasing the risk of devastating wildfires in Colorado are no more likely to take mitigation actions to protect their property, a new study led by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder and the U.S. Forest Service has found.

The study, which was recently published in the journal Environmental Hazards, examined the role that climate change beliefs play in a homeowner’s choice to undertake risk mitigation activities such as installing a fire-resistant roof to reduce the ignitability of their home or thinning surrounding vegetation that could act as a potential fuel source.

Respondents in the study were placed on a continuum from ‘believer’ to ‘skeptic’ based on their attitudes about the degree to which climate change affects wildfire risk in Colorado. Although over half of the study respondents agreed that climate change has increased wildfire risk in the state, those respondents were not necessarily more likely to take action on their private property to mitigate potential damage from future blazes.

The researchers did, however, find a correlation between climate change denial and risk mitigation actions.

“A small but distinct portion of respondents who reject climate science as a ‘hoax’ are also the ones who reported doing significantly more risk mitigation activities than other respondents,” said Hannah Brenkert-Smith, a research associate in the Institute of Behavioral Sciences at CU-Boulder and lead author of the study.

The findings suggest that attitudes and actions related to climate change and risk mitigation are more nuanced than they are often portrayed in the media, and that focusing on locally relevant hazards may be a more useful tool for educating and galvanizing residents in fire-prone areas of Colorado.…

Scientist: Wildfires Were Much Worse In The Past

Wildfires Were Much Worse In The Past

By Paul Homewood There was a bit of interesting testimony at the Senate Sub-Committee on Green Jobs and the New Economy in June. Professor David South, one of the top US experts on forestry, trashes claims that AGW is making wildfires worse. Testimony of David B. South Retired Emeritus Professor, Auburn University Subcommittee on Green Jobs and the New Economy 3 June 2014 Human Activity, more so than Climate Change, Affects the Number and Size of Wildfires I am David B. South, Emeritus Professor of Forestry, Auburn University. In 1999 I was awarded the Society of American Foresters’ Barrington Moore Award for research in the area of biological science and the following year I was selected as Auburn University’s “Distinguished Graduate Lecturer.” In 1993 I received a Fulbright award to conduct tree seedling research at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa and in 2002 I was a Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. My international travels have allowed me the opportunity to plant trees on six continents. It is a privilege for me to provide some data and views on factors that affect forests and wildfires. Foresters know there are many examples of where human activity affects both the total number and size of wildfires. Policy makers who halt active forest management and kill “green” harvesting jobs in favor of a “hands-off” approach contribute to the buildup of fuels in the forest. This eventually increases the risk of catastrophic wildfires. To attribute this human-caused increase in fire risk to carbon dioxide emissions is simply unscientific. However, in today’s world of climate alarmism, where accuracy doesn’t matter, I am not at all surprised to see many journalists spreading the idea that carbon emissions cause large wildfires. There is a well-known poem called the “Serenity prayer.” It states “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Now that I am 63, I realize I can’t change the behavior of the media and I can’t change the weather. Early in my career I gave up trying to get the media to correct mistakes about forest management and to avoid exaggerations. I now concentrate on trying to get my colleagues to do a better job of sticking to facts; I leave guesses about …