Skip to comments.Extreme Wildfires Caused By Extreme Stupidity, not Global Warming (There you have it!!!)
Posted on 12/08/2018 6:01:15 AM PST by Kaslin
Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Tom Harris.
In the push for strong action at this year's United Nations climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, a common refrain is that rising carbon dioxide levels (CO2) will supposedly result in global warming that will increase the incidence of disastrous wildfires.
“The longer we wait, the more our communities will suffer under bigger wildfires...,” wrote Lou Leonard of the World Wildlife Fund on December 4.
This is totally wrong, but then World Wildlife Fund got their recent claims of animal populations wrong as well.
Rising temperatures and increasing CO2 both act to increase soil moisture and so reduce the potential of fires. When temperatures rise, evaporation increases, causing more precipitation which increases soil moisture and so lessens fire risk. As CO2 rises, stomata, the pores in plant’s leaves, are open for shorter lengths of time. Plants therefore lose less water to the air and so more of it stays in the soil, again reducing fire potential.
Due to these factors, as well as the fact that we now put out fires that would have burned for weeks in centuries past, there has been a significant reduction in forest fires over the past 100 years. In fact, analysis of sediment cores off the Pacific coast of Canada reveals that the incidence of wildfires has reduced since Europeans settled in North America.
Regardless, a closer look at the issue reveals that fire has benefits as well as risk.
Fire has allowed humans to live in areas where the climate would normally preclude our survival. It allowed us to cook and soften food that was ordinarily indigestible. In many areas, people set fires under controlled conditions to drive game into traps. A classic example was the grassfires used to drive bison over cliffs to provide food such as at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta.
Fire is also an essential part of the natural cycle. It clears off dead debris as plants go through their lifecycle. There is a special area of botany called Fire Ecology that studies the role and importance of fire in ecosystems. In most ecologies, especially forests, many plants require fire to soften or open the seeds to start life, although the seed shell must survive the fire first.
One example of such a seed occurs in the vegetation of what is called a Mediterranean climate. California is an example of this type. It is a unique climate zone because 70 percent of the precipitation occurs in the winter. All other climate types have either 70 percent in summer or even distribution throughout the year.
A Mediterranean climate results in a unique vegetation called Maquis in Europe and Chaparral in California. The annual climate cycle that makes this an area that requires fire to be healthy has a hot, dry, summer that shrivels the plant but the seeds survive. At the end of the summer, lightning occurs as rain clouds begin to form and that triggers fires that burn off the plants but leave many of the seeds intact. Mudslides follow as the rainy season progresses. Fortunately, the seeds germinate quickly and stabilize the soil.
The natural cycle of forest fires creates what are called crown fires. They move through quickly, burning off dead debris but leaving most of the plants still alive. When governments decided to stop forest fires, they upset the natural dynamics completely. The bureaucracies, now populated by graduates of the biased environmental education system, willingly allowed the environmental extremists demands to end the former sensible practice of cleaning the undergrowth. Activists complained that such forest tending was not natural, when it was, in fact,a reasonable facsimile of nature.
So, the debris built up, leaving the forest a tinder box all ready to ignite. Making matters worse, when a fire takes hold, it now often creates what is referred to as a base fire. These fires are very difficult to extinguishthe heat allows such fires to burn into the ground and, days after a fire is supposedly out, it will flare up again.
We must recognize the value of fire in nature. Extreme environmentalists and the new young bureaucrats with their ideological tunnel vision get it all wrong. And, the light at the of the tunnel is another deadly forest fire, not caused by global warming or CO2rise, but by gross stupidity.
What about this?
I believe the Douglas Firr seeds, found in those spectacular pine cones, need the heat of fire to initiate germination.
The environmentalists have done more damage to Nature than anything else mankind can cook up! I remember as a kid in Wisconsin in the 50s and 60s in my flanel shirt, being laughed at for my conservation efforts by the denizens of the Ecology Group of Oh-so Nuanced liberals.
Great job in California, you arrogant jack wagons!
These fires started the day the IRS gave the Sierra Club their non-profit status.
Every single person who donated even as little as $1 over the years is guilty of these fires.
Fir seeds — pine cones?
I think the seeds are in the pine cones.
The fir seeds can lie dormant in their cones in the forest floors for years. But extreme heat, like a fire will cause the seeds to pop out. You can put a Douglas fir cone on your grill, fire it up and watch this happen. This proves fire is essential to a forest and always has been. You dont need to be a scientist to recognize common facts and sense. This was a well-written article.
Yes, the seeds ARE in the cones.
Fir seeds need cold to root, this is called stratification.
The seeds are located in the pine cones. When the pine cones get toasted in a fire, the increased heat starts the germination process of the seeds located in them.
Get any pine cone and pound it on the table...you should see the seeds drop free.
From "fir cones". If a douglas fir cone is on a north face mountain with lots of shade and water, it will sprout. We live on timber property, harvested 30 acres 2 years ago, did not trust being near federal and state managed land, all their timber is going up in smoke.
I see baby douglas fir and incense cedars trees sprouting on their own in the cut, in addition to 8500 baby douglas fir trees planted over the last 2 years. Some are already 4 and 5 feet tall!
Douglas fir trees are a production crop, just like Iowa's corn. Except Oregon's Douglas fir trees are a 40 year crop, used to build America.
I have 100+ conifer trees that I have planted over the last 22+ years I have owned this property, I know where the seeds are located.
The seeds are stored/grown in the cones.
Fir trees have cones, not pine cones.
And thank you for picking the flyshit out of the pepper, this morning.
Oh, come on, guys. Douglas-fir cones have seeds that are released in the fall when the cone opens and releases them. The cone remains on the tree for quite awhile after that. With true firs (white, grand, etc.), the cone degenerate while on the tree and releases the seeds. Lodgepole pine cones (some) are serotinous, meaning it takes heat to open the cone and release the seeds. Other pines release most of their seeds while still on the tree.
Also, contrary to what the article says, when a crown fire goes through, nearly all the trees are killed and the forest floor remains intact. This gives a high potential for a re-burn in the remaining woody debris.
If wildfires are the results of global warming, why isn’t it happening in Northern New England, Wisconsin or Michigan? Why only in California?
These are all good points. But I would add that, at least here in Northern California, an excess of fuel in the form of dead trees killed by bark beetles is a big part of the problem. If loggers had been allowed to remove these trees commercially the excess of fuel would have been far less. But Democratic Party subservience to the Sierra Club doomed the city of Paradise just up the road from me.
I have only been instructional in this thread.
You are not.
FWIW I live next to a National Forest — just up the hill for me.
I just leaned back in my office chair and saw 100,000+ fir trees.
(sucks to be you)
The regional climate change cycle is called drought. We've just ended the wettest hundred year period in the past 2000 years, and the regional precipitation is returning to at best the long-term normal of 2/3 that amount. Paleo-climatalogists have warned for years that it looks more like we've started a real regional drought period of 1/3 the precipitation what we've had in the past hundred years, and that this drought might last for several centuries.
See the book and article cited below for more information on the Southwestern regional climate change cycle:
The West without Water: What Past Floods, Droughts, and Other Climatic Clues Tell Us about Tomorrow, Ingram, B. Lynn, and Malamud-Roam, Frances, 2013, University of California Press
Drying of the West, (February 2008), National Geographic, Kunzig, Robert
See my post No. 18. Only the California fires have made news. The whole Southwest is drying up in a regional drought.
Yep, you are definitely a legend...in your own mind.
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