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Letters: Worsening wildfires sign of climate change

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  • higv Dietrich, ID
    July 15, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    Pretty sickening to exploit a tragedy for a political agenda that does not exist. Fires exist because of nature and in some cases human carelessness not over a climate we cannot change.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    July 15, 2013 7:09 a.m.

    The largest forest fire in recorded history of the US occurred in N. Idaho and Montana in 1910, long before SUVs Forest fires are natural and necessary for the health of any forest or rangeland. Even native Americans used to set the dead grass on the prairie on fire to improve the plant growth. Remember the Yellowstone fire in the 80's which burned over one third of the park? Even the US Forest Service has acknowledged that fire suppression management has increased the intensity of forest fires because it disrupts the natural burn and growth cycle of forests and adds to the fuel burden for fires. Calm down folks, fires are part of nature and have nothing to do with "climate change" since recent data has shown that the earth has not warmed for 16 years. Do some research!

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    I agree with Mountainman, we have suppressed wild fires in order to present a non-realistic view of nature for the urban tourist to visit. We want tourist dollars in the local economies so we suppress natural fires that clear out the overgrowth and which are part of the natural cycle of nature. We also suppress logging that would thin the forests and make catastrophic fires less possible by reducing fuel loads. There is some opinions that logging to thin forests will lessen damage by insect infestation.

    Logging will also make more clearings for herbivores to give birth away from predators and help maintain a balance of animal life.

    As to "experts" on almost any subject relying upon computer models for anything I am skeptical to the max. Your output is dependent upon input and input is usually subjective and can be skewed to fit the thesis desired.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 15, 2013 9:40 a.m.

    "Although often harmful and destructive to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. They return nutrients to the soil by burning dead or decaying matter. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from a forest ecosystem. And by burning through thick canopies and brushy undergrowth, wildfires allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, enabling a new generation of seedlings to grow." National Geographic.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    Hmmm! Recent forest fires as confirmation of global climate warming/change. If an increasing incidence of forest/range/grass/etc. fires are some measure of global conditions then I suppose the fact that I haven't needed to water my lawn for the last 2+ weeks is an indication that we need to be concerned about an impending global **flood**!

    Surely, what I see as a trend in my own neighborhood during the past few weeks is indicative of what the world will be experiencing now and years or decades in the future!

    Yes, folks, we **can** know, with unshakable certitude, that past performance IS a guarantee of future results....but only when it comes to computer models of incredibly complex and chaotic systems like global climate conditions.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    July 15, 2013 9:59 a.m.

    Nice try. Here in utah, we know two things. We didn't cause it, and we don't have to fix it. It's lazy, and probably stupid, but that's where we are.

  • LDS Tree-Hugger Farmington, UT
    July 15, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Glad to see the Anti-Science conservatives out promoting their:
    "Scorch and Burn" everything in sight environmental policies this morning...

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    July 15, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    glad to see the chicken little sky is falling global warming alarmists rallying in support of their arguments.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    @higv
    "Fires exist because of nature and in some cases human carelessness not over a climate we cannot change"

    Nobody said fires only exist because of climate change... it's saying climate change affects drought frequency and severity and that fires tend to be more severe in extreme droughts.

    @Mountanman
    "The largest forest fire in recorded history of the US occurred in N. Idaho and Montana in 1910"

    We didn't have the current technology and manpower to fight fires then like we do now. It's not a very good comparison.

    "since recent data has shown that the earth has not warmed for 16 years. "

    Climate norms are calculated over 30 year periods, you use 16 because that's what's useful for cherrypicking. Nevermind that the 2000s were .2F warmer than the 90s and the 90s were around .15F warmer than the 80s.

    @samhill
    "I suppose the fact that I haven't needed to water my lawn for the last 2+ weeks is an indication that we need to be concerned about an impending global **flood**!"

    You all seem to be doing a good job of arguing against things that nobody is claiming... just read part of the report...

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 15, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    Glenn Beck says the earth is actually cooling so that's what I believe.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 15, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    @atl134 – “Climate norms are calculated over 30 year periods, you use 16 because that's what's useful for cherrypicking.”

    You are assuming that truth is what he is interested in…

    Scientists have the “unfortunate” habit of epistemic humility – they speak of evidence and probability and because they don’t wish to have their reputation destroyed by some young upstart looking to stake their own reputation, they are always quick to point out what we (as of yet) don’t know.

    And that is where all the ideologues, with their presuppositions, step in with their cherry-picking or worse “proving” why the scientists are wrong.

    We see it with the “god-in-the-gaps” folks who argue against evolution, and we see it in spades with respect to climate science.

    Current evidence (not proof) strongly suggests man made climate change, but the deniers don’t care about evidence (except for those sparse cherry picked pieces that support their ideology).

    If it wasn’t for the fact that science “delivers the goods” and eventually its conclusions simply compel agreement (assuming one is not brain damaged), we would still be living under the theocratic yoke of the Dark Ages.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 15, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    To "LDS Tree-Hugger" you are ignoring the fact that many environmentalists have loved the forests to death. They don't allow prescribed burns, and have encouraged policies that have allowed the forests to become old-growth forests that are very prone to become large fires quickly.

    According to the Pacific Northwest Research Station's report "NEW FINDINGS ABOUT OLD-GROWTH FORESTS" they found that the old growth forests were created because of fires burining out some trees. The also found that many of the protected forests with the old growth are more prone to fires now than they previously were.

    They also produced a report for the US Forest Service titled "OLD GROWTH REVISITED: INTEGRATING SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES" There they found that "Fire suppression and other activities over the years have resulted in increasing the risk to some of the old forests we want to retain" Again, forest policies have made them more prone to bad fires.

    In other words, we have loved our old growth forests to death. Now they burn too easily.

  • FreedomFighter41 Orem, UT
    July 15, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    I can see the party of "watch the paint dry" and "kick the can down the road" is at it again in this thread! See, my father was never rich like Bro Romney growing up, but he taught us so many valuable life lessons. One of them being that we should not complain about things if we weren't willing to work to change them. This same strategy applies so well to the current GOP.

    In the last election the GOP complained about the Electoral College. Funny, because n 2000 the GOP candidate was elected by the Supreme Court and Electoral College. They didn't want to change things back then, they, "watched the paint dry."

    Pre 9/11? Did they beef up security? Nope. "Watched the paint dry."

    For 8 years, the GOP could have done something about illegal immigration, health care, and the deficit. What did they do? "Kicked the can down the road." Somebody else would solve those problems, don't ya know?

    Now, these same folks are weighing in on climate change. Given their track record? Hahaha! why would we ever trust them?

    Lets stop kicking the can down the road. Our children and grandchildren are at stake.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    July 15, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    Mman:

    Perhaps you should do some research. Why do you suppose the conservatives pick the strange number 16? It's because 16 years ago there was an anomalous spike in temperatures. If you pick 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, you'll find a distinct average increase. Weather patterns go in cycles, so you have plateaus in the increase, but each new plateau is higher than the previous one. Yes, the earth's temperature is increasing. In fact, much of the warming is being trapped in the oceans in recent years. But this will be released, and when it is, air temperatures will climb even faster.

    So please stop using Faux News statistics tricks to misrepresent facts. Do some research!

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 15, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    To "Kent C. DeForrest" the number 16 is just a coincidence. It is, however, based on things that the NOAA and leading climatologists have said.

    From the NOAA, "Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate."

    According to the UK Met office, there has been no warming since 1997.

    According to Phil Jones, in a 2010 interview was asked "Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?" He responded "Yes"

    If there has been no significant warming since his interview, that means we have nearly 18 years without significant warming.

    Now, according to the NOAA, if we have 15 years OR more without warming, the models are wrong and must be evaluated.

    So, do you trust the NOAA, or do you trust the Alarmists?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    July 15, 2013 3:04 p.m.

    "2F warmer than the 90s and the 90s were around .15F warmer than the 80s." atl134 you need to change your numbers they far exceed global warming advocate chart numbers that show the global temperature increase since 1890 to current is 1 degree Celsius. That equates to
    1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in one hundred and twenty three years.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 15, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    You have to go back to the 1950s to find a decade that was not warmer than the previous decade. The 2000s were hotter than the 90s. Warming continues.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 3:28 p.m.

    @RedshirtMIT
    "So, do you trust the NOAA, or do you trust the Alarmists?"

    NOAA. But tell me... what does NOAA say about the long term trend in temperatures and future projections of them? NOAA is the entity that says temperatures in the 2000s were .2F higher than they were in the 1990s. If you trust them so much then why do you ignore the vast majority of what they say?

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 15, 2013 4:25 p.m.

    To "atl134" does it really matter what the temperatures were, if statistically the .2F change is not statistically significant?

    You still haven't answered the question. The NOAA said that 15 years or more where there is no warming means that the model is WRONG. We have between 16 and 18 years of no significant warming (depending on who you ask).

    So, do you trust the NOAA and their statement that the models predicting warming are wrong, or do you trust the alarmists that say AGW is true?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    July 15, 2013 9:03 p.m.

    The Alaska permafrost is thawing. The Northern Polar ice cap is disappearing. Soon Hudson Bay will have a year round port. Seawalls are being built to protect coastal Eskimo communities. This implies some sort of warming trend, does it not?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 16, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    @RedshirtMIT
    "does it really matter what the temperatures were, if statistically the .2F change is not statistically significant?"

    Actually .2F/decade is statistically significant as is the .12-.15F/decade during the satellite era (late 70s onward) we see in all major datasets (NOAA, NASA, CRU, RSS, and UAH). The part that wasn't a statistically significant increase in warming was the part from 1997-2011 which has something like a .01F/decade.

    There is no statistically significant warming at this moment, but the period you cite starts with the strongest El Nino in half a century and ends with 4 La Ninas in the last 5 years (along with a deeper than usual solar minimum), frankly it's telling that we have a flat line the past 15 years when really the natural cycles involved in those 15 years suggest it should be cooling, not staying flat.

    It's not a matter of agreeing with NOAA or "alarmists" because NOAA still says the same thing which is that anthropogenic climate change is occurring.

  • RedShirtMIT Cambridge, MA
    July 16, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    To "atl134" the change, accoring to the experts, is not significant.

    Do you know something that the experts don't know? They have stated quite clearly that between 1997 and 2010 that the change in temperature is not statistically significant.

    The NOAA may say that AGW is occuring, but they have also said that the models are wrong.

    So, what are we to do with the predicitons and their assumptions of what is causing the warming.

    Think of it this way. If the NOAA built airplanes, and their computer model was shown to be totally wrong, would you fly on that airplane?

    Basically, if the computer model is wrong what does that say about the assumptions going into the computer model?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 16, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    @RedShirtMIT – “They have stated quite clearly that between 1997 and 2010 that the change in temperature is not statistically significant.”

    How many times does this cherry-picked 15 year time span need to be debunked before you and your “ilk” get it?

    Please reread atl134’s previous comment (i.e., we should have seen cooling, but didn’t)

    Or do you have an ulterior motive for continuing to post this red herring?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 16, 2013 4:02 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" you are saying that Phil Jones cherry picked the data? You realize that he is one of the leading climatologists. If he cherry picked the data during his 2010 interview, what other data has he cherry picked and manipulated for his own purposes.

    Either way, your ilk are having a harder time defending the so-called experts.

    Lets review what you and "atl134" have brought up in this thread.

    First, the climate models are wrong, according to the NOAA, UK Met office, and Phil Jones. None of which are exactly conservative.

    Second, Phil Jones has cherry picked the data. Phil Jones is a leading expert and often quoted source of information for AGW alarmists. Do you know something that Dr Phil Jones doesn't?

    So, if the models are wrong and the leading climatologists are cherry picking data, why should we trust anything that they are reporting or trusting their theories?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 16, 2013 5:16 p.m.

    Citing Phil Jones as the foremost authority on climate change is like citing Ayn Rand as a foremost philosopher (I’ll leave it to others to look him up).

    FYI - I’ve hear Shout works well on removing cherry stains.

  • 5000 Year Leap Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 17, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Tyler D,
    Ayn Rand was a "she", not a "he". Ayn Rand is a woman.

    YOU may want to look Him (sic) or Her up and and know a little about what your talking about.

    But I agree she was not a great philosopher. But who said she was? She was a Russian-American novelist with philosophical views, but I don't know anybody here who called her a great philosopher.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    July 17, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    @5000 Year Leap – “Ayn Rand was a "she", not a "he". Ayn Rand is a woman… know a little about what your talking about.”

    Yes, I know that…

    The parentheses portion of the comment was meant to refer to Phil Jones and not Ayn Rand, but thanks for pointing out my poor sentence structure.

    And it was an analogy, not a response to anything said about Ayn Rand directly – an analogy meant to highlight the fact that both of them are/were egomaniacal bullies prone to making unsubstantiated assertions and are/were generally regarded as incompetent in their respective fields (and Ms. Rand boldly claimed herself to be a philosopher and her cult followers hold her up as the most brilliant since Aristotle).

    So other than serving as the grammar police (by the way, “you’re” is you are), was there another point you wanted to make?

    Reached comment limit…

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 17, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    To "Tyler D" so, then you are saying that Phil Jones has no credibility, eventhough he is the man responsibile for maintaining the temperature record that the IPCC report was based on? He also was the main writer for one of the chapters in the IPCC?

    Either Phil Jones is a very credible climatologist that has the attention of world governments, or else the world governments have used him for their own agenda. Either way, it just shows that the current climate theories are wrong. If he is credible, then the NOAA statement about the climate models is wrong. If he is not credible, then the IPCC is wrong because much of it is based on his temperature records.