Posted by Curt on 15 September, 2020 at 10:10 am. 2 comments already!


by WSJ:

Sometimes we wonder if Joe Biden writes anything in his public remarks other than the words “here’s the deal.” An example is the Democratic nominee’s big speech Monday on the West Coast wildfires in which he never mentioned the need for better forest management.

The younger Joe Biden would never have allowed that kind of political malpractice. But his handlers let him deliver a lengthy speech that blamed the fires, Hurricanes Laura and Sally, flooding on the coasts, a windstorm in the Midwest, and the hot summer, among other events, on “the fury of climate change everywhere—all this year and right now.” It’s as if he saw the apocalyptic climate-change melodrama of some years back, “The Day After Tomorrow,” and decided to become Dennis Quaid.

If that seems glib, how else to describe a speech that claims to revere science but is utterly detached from it? On the wildfires, Mr. Biden’s failure to mention the need to clear dry and diseased fallen trees defies what has gradually been recognized as a necessity even on the environmental left.

Decades ago the forestry consensus changed from active management to letting nature take its course. Controlled burns that once cleared rotting underbrush stopped. Logging that thinned forests declined amid green political opposition. One unintended result, especially in dry summers or extended drought, were millions of acres of brush that become fuel for raging fires. Add the spread of housing into more distant suburbs, and the risks to people and property have grown.

As even the climate-change true believers at the New York Times put it the other day: “Millions of Americans are moving into wildfire-prone areas outside of cities, and communities often resist restrictions on development. A century of federal policy to aggressively extinguish all wildfires rather than letting some burn at low levels, an approach now seen as misguided, has left forests with plenty of fuel for especially destructive blazes.” Does Mr. Biden’s campaign read the liberal papers?

Even Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom agrees on the need for better forestry. After the wildfires last year, his state agreed with the federal government to reduce the fire risks on a million acres a year of dry forest tinder for five years. Meeting with President Trump on Monday in California, Mr. Newsom disagreed on climate policy but said, “There’s no question” that “we have not done justice on our forest management. . . . I want to thank you for supporting that effort.”

As for climate and hurricanes, sigh, let’s repeat that there is little evidence that storm frequency and the modest global warming of the last century are linked. As scientist Roger Pielke Jr. has noted, hurricanes hitting the U.S. have not increased in frequency or intensity since 1900.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said “it is premature to conclude that human activities—and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming—have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.” The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says it too lacks evidence to show that warming is making storms and flooding worse.

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