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MEDIA HYPE: Global Warming Did Not Make 2015 The Worst Year Ever For Wildfires

Ethan Mercer | 1/26/2016

Liberal news outlets claim that 2015 was a record year for U.S. wildfires, saying that the root cause is higher temperatures due to global warming. Though global warming proponents may claim that climate change is a leading cause of forest fires today, that is not a claim that can be scientifically made at this time. The U.S. Forest Service reported that 10.1 million acres were burned in 2015, and though substantial, this is not a record number. Between 1930 and 1931 almost five times as much land was burned, approximately 50 million acres.

To complicate matters, the years on record that show the most acreage burned occurred in years where C02 levels were actually around a quarter of what they are today. The correlation between carbon dioxide emissions and wildfires actually only appears when data are “cherry picked” after the 1960’s.

It is human activity that is the leading cause of forest fires, not the makeup of the atmosphere. In fact, less logging on public lands could actually lead to much more devastating fires. Since the fuel load is not reduced, there is much more to burn. With so many factors in what causes forest fires, it seems presumptive to point at global warming as the single cause. The science is still unclear on the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and the frequency and magnitude of forest fires, and to attribute C02 levels as a leading cause is “simply unscientific.”

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