(Right Country) – The Democrat leadership in California didn’t even wait until after this summer’s round of devastating wildfires had been contained to politically capitalize on the damage.
Governor Gavin Newsom (D) insisted that it was the face of climate change, and he enjoyed some well-photographed support from Democrat Vice-Presidential candidate and California Senator Kamala Harris, too.
There’s only one problem.
A huge, glaring, painfully obvious problem.
Climate change does not account for the state’s own terrible policies which directly contributed to the extent of the damage.
Real Clear Energy explains that “Even if a one-degree-warmer world led to warmer West Coast forests, the high intensity of the recent wildfires can’t be attributed to air temperatures being 109 degrees instead of 108. The much bigger problem is fuel loading—the amount of dead wood and other organic matter on forest floors, compounded by a higher density of small trees.”
They note that, two years ago, the non-partisan group Legislative Analyst’s Office of the California Legislature warned:
A combination of factors have resulted in poor conditions across these forests and watersheds, including excessive vegetation density and an overabundance of small trees and brush. Such conditions have contributed to more prevalent and severe wildfires and unprecedented tree mortality in recent years, and experts are concerned these trends will continue if steps are not taken to significantly improve the health of the state’s forests.
It would take several very big steps to reduce the forest fuel load in the Golden State, including forest-thinning and prescribed burns, which have been sorely needed in the state for years.
It’s unlikely that forest fires will ever completely end in California, and this would be unnatural and unrealistic to expect. The state has always had seasonal wildfires, but as population and development increases, coupled with bad policies, it’s turning into a tinderbox.
California’s leadership, apparently, is more interested in using this epic environmental policy failure to virtue signal about climate change instead of actually addressing the needs of the state’s residents.
Real Clear Energy explains further:
Carbon-neutral electricity mandates will not reduce the frequency or intensity of wildfires—but they will raise prices and increase the likelihood of blackouts. No number of photo-ops or press conferences can change this reality.
Carbon dioxide is well mixed in the atmosphere—and thus, reducing (or increasing) CO2 emissions brings no local effects. The global impact of a California carbon-neutral power mandate is negligible. A total elimination of CO2 from all power sources in the U.S. would moderate world temperature by less than 0.2 degrees Celsius, and even that impact would not occur before the year 2100.
Blaming wildfires on climate has some data problems, too. NASA satellites observed a 25 percent reduction in burned area worldwide between 2013 and 2019. Assessment of a longer U.S. record fails to support the global-warming-equals-more-fires story. Numbers for the past century from the National Interagency Fire Center show huge variability, uncorrelated with world temperature or CO2. Going back even farther, it is estimated that California’s prehistoric wildfires burned an average of 5.5 million to 19 million acres each year—considerably more than the “record” 2.2 million acres burned this year. Even if climate change worsens wildfires, its impact is dwarfed by other factors.
They conclude that, while this year’s fires are irrefutably devastating, it’s erroneous to blame them on Trump for opposing their pet climate policies.
As the outlet notes, this “is like suing a physician for malpractice should they not prescribe windmills for a sinus infection.”
In informal logic, that’s called a red herring.
In politics, it’s called distraction.
The facts speak for themselves, Dems. We know California’s wildfires are not Trump’s fault.