It’s Not About the ‘Climate’ Stupid

Published on October 7, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

A series of interrelationships exist in the world of the Klimate Kult believers that needs to be understood to grasp what is going on and the impact it has on the future. These relationships aren’t about the climate.

Look at Nord Stream 2. Germany, a country American taxpayers have been paying to defend from Russia (and its socialist (i.e. “failed”) predecessor, the USSR) for 76 years decided to buy natural gas from Russia instead of America. Why?
Why not?
As Bastiat notes in The Law (pp 9-10), “When they can, [people] wish to live and prosper at the expense of others.”
Germans want stuff but want neither to make it nor make the energy necessary to make it, nor bear and raise and educate the children who would be required to make it (or create the energy) in a future they don’t believe in enough to populate, having among the lowest Total Fertility Rates on the planet: it’s just too much work.
But to pretend that Germans are making any of their decisions not to frack, not to nuke, but to support the fantasy of “climate change” is ignorant.
That any energy purchased from Russia will be dirtier under a regime bound by no environmental laws or regulations, than energy extracted in Germany or the U.S. under very strict regulations, belies any professed “concern” about the planet. Choosing Nord Stream 2 is choosing against the climate. Germans aren’t stupid; they know this.
Can Germany create any amount of energy they need for manufacturing, heating, transportation, etc., without adding to “greenhouse gases”? Sure. Build nuclear power plants; zero GHG. Can they frack their own natural gas? Sure.
But that would be work, require having children to keep doing it, and that’s harder than just buying it. So they buy it. They’ve made a make-buy decision and bought from their preferred supplier.
America can pretend that Germany ought to buy from us because we defend them – as though Germans owe us for American taxpayers voluntarily paying for their welfare state for 75 years by funding their defense – but it’s just pretense.
The first priority of any government is the defense of its borders and people; money is fungible – we’re paying for their welfare state. Or Americans can think Germans buy from Russians for political reasons. It doesn’t matter. Buying dirty energy is buying dirty energy – and that’s the decision Germans have made.
Who loses in this exchange? American workers. Germans should care about American workers, because…? And, of course, the planet – at least that’s what the Klimateers demand you believe.
Germans know American taxpayers will keep defending them and their barren future (why?), regardless of their Nordstream2 decision – so why pay more than they must?
It’s not as though the American Military-Industrial Complex will give up their best gig to continue to have those same taxpayers funding the defense of all of Europe’s welfare states, and buy the haven’t-won-a-war-in-decades-military new toys, get promoted, and travel, right? What’s the downside for Germany? None.
Therefore it’s not about the climate. It’s about Bastiat. And lazy voters.
Look at California. By refusing to drill their own oil or frack their own natural gas or build their own nuclear plants, they are instead counting on oil from other countries (their voters doing their best to ensure no energy is extracted domestically… in any State), resulting in, as with the Germans and Nord Stream 2, dirtier energy.
California, too, has below-replacement fertility (all Blue States do), illiterate immigrants sweeping the streets and nannying their (few) children, and a desire to buy from others rather than make things themselves.
California won’t even house its population let alone require it to work to buy stuff. It has the highest poverty rate in America and a third of the nation’s welfare recipients… buying stuff with other people’s money. Your money.
Americans would rather buy than make; it’s why our factories are all in China now, using dirtier energy for manufacturing, transporting workers, feeding workers, etc.
It’s why we import illegal aliens. We’d rather buy stuff from illegals – street sweeping, gardening, babysitting – than do the work ourselves.
If we left our jobs here (and foreigners there), stuff might cost more, but our own standard of living would rise, making stuff affordable – and providing jobs and energy for our own future.
The idea America can be a First World country and not pay First World wages is so crazy that even a fifth-grader would get it. Our elites get it, but destroying the Middle Class is their goal, not maintaining a prosperous nation.
Our entire welfare state is built on Bastiat – large portions of the working-age population would rather buy stuff with your tax dollars than buy them with the output of their own work.
Since these people also vote, our politicians compete for their votes by allowing them to work less and buy more.
By rejecting energy extraction and creation domestically, we dirty the world by buying energy from the Third World that we refuse to extract or make here.
And by exporting our jobs to China, we enable China to build large numbers of coal-fired power plants, consuming millions of tons of coal (54 percent of global consumption), creating zillions of tons of GHG (27 percent of the entire planet’s; more than twice the USA’s 11 percent)… all to make what we refuse to make here with cleaner – far cleaner – energy via extraction industries regulated far more heavily, and under a government that has reduced greenhouse gases faster than required by a Paris climate treaty that China isn’t following.
If you want a dirty world, export jobs to China so that everything is built with coal-based energy. If you want a clean world, onshore jobs and close the border and build nuclear power plants.
None of this is about the climate.
Sure, the useful idiots in the streets think it is, the low-info voters think it is. It’s about Make vs Buy, and our elites would rather have us buy our bread and circuses – regardless of the cost to the climate and our living standards – than to make our own stuff and demand the liberty to do with the fruits of our labor as we see fit.
Every decision made by the Klimate Kult establishment (and their low-info voters) creates a dirtier planet: Oil from Nigeria, Russia, Mexico, Iraq, Kuwait, no nukes, offshoring jobs to coal-based energy nations, encouraging illegal immigration and the welfare state voters who vote to support the establishment dirtying the planet … rather than encouraging work and higher wages – and the always-present greater environmental concerns of richer nations – by ending illegal immigration.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
Header image: Janata Weekly
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Climate Policy Meets Bitter Cold Reality In Europe

Published on October 5, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

European leaders at the United Nations last week applauded themselves as they doubled down on their pledges to slash CO2 emissions.

And Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. “will lead by example, keeping the environment on the global agenda and serving as a launchpad for a global green industrial revolution.”
Such vows of carbon chastity are, to say the least, ironic as Europe grapples with a severe energy shortage and surging prices wrought by its green industrial revolution.
In the past decade, the U.K. and Europe have shut down hundreds of coal plants, and Britain has only two remaining; West Burton and Kilroot in Northern Ireland. Spain shut down half of its coal plants last summer.
European countries have spent trillions of dollars subsidizing renewables, which last year for the first time exceeded fossil fuels as a share of electricity production.
But renewables don’t provide reliable power around the clock, and wind power this summer has waned across Europe and in the U.K., forcing them to turn to gas and coal for backup power.
Yet demand for these fossil fuels is also surging across Asia and South America, where drought has crimped hydropower. There, manufacturers are also consuming more energy to supply Western countries with goods.
Japan has become especially dependent on liquefied natural gas imports since it shut down most of its nuclear power plants after Fukushima in 2011.
Even China has been forced to ration electricity to energy-hungry aluminum smelters because of a coal power shortfall. This has sent global aluminum prices soaring.
Increased global demand has caused the price of coal to triple and the price of natural gas to increase fivefold over the past year. Europe’s cap-and-trade scheme has pushed prices even higher.
Under the program, manufacturers and power suppliers must buy carbon credits on an open trading market to offset their emissions.
The price of credits has spiked this year as demand for them from coal plants and other manufacturers has increased while government regulators have tightened supply.
Russia is exploiting Europe’s energy difficulties by reducing gas deliveries, perhaps to pressure Germany to complete certification of its Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine.
Russia’s Gazprom has booked only a third of the available transportation capacity through its Yamal pipeline for October and no additional deliveries via its Ukraine pipeline.
Europe has become ever more dependent on Russia—the world’s second-largest gas producer, after the U.S.—for energy because the U.K. and Germany have banned hydraulic fracturing, letting their rich gas shale resources go to waste. Meantime, the Netherlands is shutting down Europe’s biggest gas field.
In short, all of Europe’s green chickens are coming home to roost. Several U.K. retail electricity providers have collapsed in recent weeks because of the surging price of gas.
Energy experts warn that some German power suppliers are in danger of going insolvent. Germany’s electricity prices, which were already the highest in Europe because of heavy reliance on renewables, have more than doubled since February.
Skyrocketing power prices have caused U.K steelmakers to suspend production. A former energy adviser to the U.K. government warned last week that the country’s energy shortage this winter could prompt a ‘three-day week’ – a reference to the coal and rail worker strike in 1974 that caused the government to ration energy for commercial users.
The European Steel Association has warned that the Continent’s producers are becoming globally uncompetitive. Fertilizer producers, which use gas as a feedstock, are raising a fuss.
Norway’s Yara International plans to curb 40 percent of its fertilizer production capacity in Europe. U.S.-owned CF Industries earlier this month halted operations at its fertilizer plant in northeast England, threatening downstream businesses.
Beer and soda manufacturers use the carbon dioxide that is generated as a byproduct of fertilizer production for fizz. Carbon dioxide is also used to stun livestock before they are slaughtered, as well as for vacuum packs and dry ice to store frozen foods.
The U.K.’s Food and Drink Federation has warned that consumers might soon notice products missing from supermarket shelves from the carbon dioxide shortage.
The warning prompted the U.K. government last week to lend financial support to CF Industries. European metals producers are asking governments for aid.
There will be more bailouts as European energy demand heats up this winter. These energy woes will only get worse in the coming years as governments push harder to purge fossil fuels.
U.S. gas and coal producers have benefited from rising prices in Europe. Growing exports, however, are pushing up prices that Americans pay for energy because domestic production lags pre-pandemic levels.
Natural gas prices in the U.S. have doubled since the spring, and some coal power plants are scrounging for fuel.
Europe offers a portent of the havoc to come under the Biden administration’s policies that aim to shut down fossil-fuel production and power the U.S. grid exclusively with renewables.
Democrats won’t succeed in banishing fossil fuels. Instead, the U.S., like Europe, will need more gas and coal to back up renewables, and the U.S. will become dependent on adversaries like Russia for energy.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
Header image: Birmingham Mail
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Even With Climate Change, The World Isn’t Doomed

Published on September 30, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

Humanity has overcome far greater problems before and can do so again. Young people across the world are terrified of climate change, according to a forthcoming Lancet study.

More than 45 percent of people 16 to 25 in the 10 countries surveyed are so worried that it affects their daily life and functioning.
Almost half of young Americans believe “humanity is doomed,” and two-thirds think “the future is frightening.” But while climate change is a ‘problem’, panic is unwarranted.
The data shows that humanity has overcome much larger threats over the past century.
In 1900, if humanity had gotten rid of air pollution—mostly indoor pollution caused by smoky fuels like wood and dung—the benefit would have been equivalent to global gross domestic product rising 23 percent.

To a young audience, that might look like an insufficient measure of well-being, but higher GDP means better health, lower mortality, greater access to education, and in general a better standard of living.
By 2050, the problem of air pollution will be mostly solved. And that’s only one of the many issues humanity has shorn down over the last 100 years, according to data 21 top economists and I gathered.
The challenge climate change poses, both to the environment and society, looks rather small compared to those humanity has already met.
Noble Prize-winning climate economist William Nordhaus has shown that a 6.3-degree Fahrenheit (3.5C) rise in world temperatures by 2100—which is possible according to the most extreme RCP8.5 calculation, and which assumes the so-called ‘greenhouse effect’ is real, would cost only 2.8 percent of global GDP a year.
The United Nations’ latest estimate puts it even lower at 2.6 percent of GDP for a 6.6-degree Fahrenheit increase.
Moreover, the U.N. expects the average person to be 450 percent as rich in 2100 as today, absent the cost of climate change.
Following current temperature projections, global warming would knock that down to only 434 percent as rich. That’s a problem, but it isn’t the end of the world.
Caring about the environment and human well-being doesn’t mean we should terrify young people about climate change.
Instead, we should encourage them to pursue innovation. That’s what saved humanity from much greater dangers in the past and what will help us now.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
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Banning Plastic Straws Won’t Help The Oceans. Here’s Why

Published on September 29, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

The disposable plastic straw is a magnificent piece of engineering: Simple, cheap, durable, and unfailingly effective. Then, overnight, we abandoned it for wretched paper tubes that wither at the first sign of wetness.

Such an abhorrent substitution might be justified if it served a greater good, but it doesn’t: We created a world filled with useless paper straws for reasons that are flimsier than the straws themselves.
Don’t believe me? Watch the Everything Should Be Better video or read the transcript below.
As you may have noticed in recent years, governments and the private sector have apparently conspired to ensure you can no longer comfortably drink a Slurpee.
The strong, reliable plastic straw now belongs to the ages, and we modern people must content ourselves with straws that immediately turn into pulp upon coming into contact with liquid.
But here’s the real tragedy: All these paper straws aren’t doing squat for the environment. They came for your milkshake, and they didn’t even do it for a good reason.
Paper straws became ubiquitous starting in 2018 when a video went viral showing a sea turtle off the coast of Costa Rica having a plastic straw painfully removed from its nose.
Almost immediately, major corporations such as A&W and Starbucks announced an end to plastic straws, while cities like Vancouver openly talked about straw bans.
By the end of 2021, Canada is mulling a blanket national ban on plastic straws and other single-use plastics.
Ocean plastic is indeed a major environmental problem. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is now three times the size of France, and according to the World Economic Forum, if current trends continue by 2050 we’re going to have more kilograms of plastic in the oceans than kilograms of fish.
But if you take a quick look at where all this plastic is coming from, you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that banning straws at North American restaurants was pretty much the least effective way to address this problem.
So where is the ocean plastic coming from? Two places. One: Ghost gear. This is fishing gear that has fallen off of commercial boats and then wanders the ocean needlessly killing wildlife until it disintegrates. Up to 46 percent of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is ghost gear.

Second: Poor waste management in the developing world.
See, if I use a plastic straw at a fast food joint, when I’m done with it that plastic straw goes in a garbage bin, which is then picked up by civil servants who take it to different civil servants who bury it in the ground and cover it with clay.
Notice the lack of any ocean in that equation.
And that’s basically the program throughout Europe and North America: Unless you’re a putz who’s literally chucking your slushie in the sea, your straw’s final resting place is well-removed from any unfortunate sea turtles.
But if you live in a community without proper waste infrastructure, your plastic straw might get chucked in a river or dumped on the beach to be dealt with by the tides. That’s how you get beaches that look like this:

It’s why, according to a 2017 study, 95 percent of the world’s ocean plastic comes from just 10 rivers: Eight in Asia and two in Africa.
The group Ocean Conservancy has similarly estimated that most ocean plastic comes from just five countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The straw that got stuck in that sea turtle’s nose? It almost certainly came from an Asian community with bad waste management.
But here’s the good news: We actually know how to fix both ghost gear and poor waste practices in the developing world.
With ghost gear, you set up buyback programs with fishers to disincentivize them from simply chucking broken gear overboard. As for poor waste management, countries like Canada are actually really, really good at safely managing garbage.
And the bang for the buck is huge: Kick a few million dollars towards a dump project in Indonesia, and you’re instantly diverting thousands of tonnes of plastic from the ocean.
So with all that in mind, the next time you feel a pang of guilt at the plight of the oceans, ask yourself why the single most visible action against ocean plastic to date was to force millions of people to use crappy technology that does virtually nothing to solve the initial problem.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
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UNEP Claims World’s Most Urgent Problem Is Meat. Not Even Close

Published on August 16, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

For many, an all-American cookout featuring hotdogs and hamburgers evokes visions of summertime and family bonding. For environmentalists, the same cookout evokes visions of doomsday.

The United Nations Environment Program has called meat “the world’s most urgent problem.” Activists propose meat taxes or other policies that discourage eating any kind of meat. To environmentalists, behind every big, juicy steak or sausage lies irreversible damage to the planet.
Now corporations selling synthetic meat analogs are trying to get in on the game, marketing their food as supposedly better for ‘fighting climate change’. And there’s a lot of money at stake on the notion. Sustainability-related claims about food are on the rise.
But there’s some good news for those who love real meats and the environment: an individual’s diet has almost no impact on the climate.
According to data from the Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture as a whole is only responsible for 10 percent of the “greenhouse gas” emissions in the United States. All livestock is responsible for just five percent of U.S. emissions.
The United States is responsible for 15 percent of the world’s “greenhouse gas” emissions, making American livestock’s hoofprint less than 1 percent of global emissions.
That by itself is small potatoes. But what about if we all went vegan tomorrow, as PETA demands?
A study from Arizona State University found that everyone going vegan would reduce total U.S. emissions by 2.6 percent. (After all, beans and cabbage still require resources to produce and transport.) Global emissions would be reduced by a small fraction of a percent.
And that’s with all 330 million Americans going vegan. Extrapolating further, if anyone American went vegan, U.S. emissions would go down by 0.0000008 percent.
In scientific terms, that’s a nothing burger.
Simply put, halting meat consumption in the United States completely would not make the slightest difference to the climate.
Nor should you feel that eating that ultra-processed veggie burger is actually making a difference for the environment. (Nor are the chemicals used to make it a healthy addition to your body.)
The main complaint environmentalists have on eating meat is animals emit methane gas. Methane gas is 20 times more ‘potent’ than CO2 as a “greenhouse gas”. On the surface, that is concerning. But that figure doesn’t tell the whole story.
Methane stays in the atmosphere for up to 12 years. Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, stays in the atmosphere for up to 200 years. Of all the “greenhouse gases” emitted in the United States, 10 percent is methane, and 80 percent is carbon dioxide.
Animals are also not the only source of methane. Food waste is a major emitter of methane. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that between 30 and 40 percent of all food produced is wasted in the U.S.
The World Wildlife Fund estimates that between 6 and 8 percent of all human-caused “greenhouse gas” emissions can be traced to food waste.
Ensuring that everything on the plate is eaten would be a more effective emissions-reduction strategy than wringing your hands over what’s on the menu.
Environmentalists often say time is running out to stop humanity from inflicting irreversible damage on the planet. If they truly believed this, targeting meat is a head-scratching strategy.
Electricity generation is responsible for a quarter of all emissions, but most environmentalists oppose expanding carbon-neutral nuclear energy.
There is also a lot of money to be made by telling people they can save the planet by avoiding meat. Impossible Foods, a meat alternative company that features a climate change awareness campaign on the homepage of its website alongside the phrase “it’s never been more delicious to save the planet,” is seeking a $10 billion valuation for its stock offering.
A diet based exclusively on Impossible Foods wouldn’t even come close to saving the planet—but it would make Impossible Foods and its wealthy institutional investors a ton of money.
Americans should do what they can to be good stewards of the tiny space they take on this planet. However, they should not be made to feel guilty for serving their families nutritious meals that feature real meat. Their plates or their palates don’t make a difference.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
PSI editor’s note: PSI does not believe there is any such thing as ‘greenhouse gases’, and while methane may be 20 times as ‘potent’ as carbon dioxide, there is a hundred times less of it in the atmosphere. CO2 is 0.04 percent, methane is 0.00017 percent.
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IPCC Report Confirms That Climate Policies Have Failed

Published on August 12, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

Thirty years after the IPCC’s first report and despite yearly UN climate conferences it is now beyond doubt that renewable energy policies have failed to halt or slow the relentless rise in global CO2 emissions.

In the wake of the publication today of the IPCC’s 6 Assessment Report (AR6), the UK government, like many around the world, will face growing calls to “do more” to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
In truth, many governments, and the UK is a clear example, are already trying extremely hard to reduce emissions. They are spending very heavily on emissions reduction technologies, mostly on renewable energy.
Income support subsidies to renewables in the UK alone cost consumers over £10 billion a year, a total that is still rising.
However, these policies have only destroyed industry in the West and exported production and their CO2 emissions to areas still using low-cost fossil fuels, such as China.
The conclusion is obvious. Climate policies are failing not because of a lack of political will, but because the technologies selected are extortionately expensive and ineffective, and are already stimulating public resistance.
The gilets jaunes protests in France were an early sign and the recent anti-carbon tax referendum in Switzerland was the latest manifestation. The fierce public push-back against Boris Johnson’s attempt to ban gas boilers in the UK is another.
As the current political turmoil in Downing Street shows, there will be more to come, not least because industry salesmen and government analysts, such as the Committee on Climate Change have repeatedly misled politicians about the true cost of their favored emissions reductions technologies, hugely expensive wind farms and solar panels.
Sometimes these costs have been deliberately hidden. Last week, the Committee on Climate Change was ordered by the Information Tribunal to release its previously concealed cost estimates for the target of Net-Zero emissions by 2050.
But in spite of attempts to hide the costs, the truth is becoming more widely known, and the Prime Minister is currently in political difficulties over his climate plans because of increasing concern amongst Conservative backbenchers that they are on the verge of widespread public revolt.
Mr. Johnson has a choice. He has to decide whether he wishes to sacrifice substantive action on climate change, as well his own political future, in order to support the failing renewables industry.
Assuming that he wishes to leave a positive political legacy he must show real leadership by abandoning ineffective and unreliable renewables and following sound engineering and economic advice on cheaper paths to emissions reduction.
This alternative pathway is obvious. The natural gas and nuclear route have long been known to experts as the most practical means of reducing emissions, a view summarised in a recent GWPF paper, The Workable Alternative to Net-Zero.
Dr. Benny Peiser, GWPF director, said:
“Decades of childish and misconceived green policies have done nothing to reduce global CO2 emissions and have only succeeded in stirring up intense public resistance. We are constantly told to do ‘more’, but more of the same will be disastrous. Renewables are futile, ineffective, and have no future. Gas and nuclear have to be fast-tracked if there is any chance of publicly acceptable, long-term climate policies.”
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
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UN Climate Report Conflates Science With Politics. Again

Published on August 12, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

“Code red for humanity.” That’s the headline accompanying the latest report from the intergovernmental panel on climate change.

The IPCC, an arm of the UN, is assuring us that climate change catastrophe is just around the corner, and that if we don’t all abandon our beef burgers and put on our peace sandals straight away, the Earth will be engulfed in a ball of fire by the end of next week.
On the face of it, this is a very worrying thing for a UN body to say and we should all pay a great deal of attention to it.
In reality, no one does. It will dominate the news cycle for a day or two and then we will all move onto something else.
Why is that? Is it because nobody cares about the planet and we’re all fine with seeing humanity melted into a burning pool of effluent?
Of course not. It’s because we have heard it all before.
Reports like this one have lost all credibility with the public – and especially with young people like me.
We have been told so many times that the end of the world is imminent and that we only have 12 years, 10 years, five years to turn the tide on climate change that it now sounds like a broken record.
The problem is this kind of dramatism isn’t founded in science. Bodies like the IPCC consistently conflate things we are very sure of, like the fact that humans are warming the planet, with other things where the science is muddied and there is plenty of uncertainty, like the idea that there will be a two-meter rise in sea level by 2034.
The result is that it is hard to take these reports seriously, but this kind of alarmism isn’t neutral. We can’t all laugh it off and move on.
It is actively harmful because it undermines genuine efforts to combat climate change and it plays into destructive narratives which reduce the poor’s quality of life and fuel inequality.
The people pushing the alarmism know full well that it will hit the poor harder than anyone else.
It’s all very well shaming people for eating meat, but vegan products like tofu and almond milk are still expensive and inaccessible and we’re a very long way away from lab-grown meat being an affordable meat replacement.
In a select committee appearance on climate change, Sir David Attenborough said boldly that the prices of flights should go up to deter air travel.
But won’t that hit poorer families hardest, while wealthy people like Attenborough himself can continue jetting around the world to their heart’s content?
“I’m afraid that is the case,” replied Sir David.
Feeling that you are doing your bit to save the planet is a luxury not everyone can afford, and headline-chasing climate alarmism shouting about how ‘the end is nigh’ only entrenches and exacerbates inequalities, not to mention ruining climate policy discourse.
It’s time for the UN to step back and allow for a more level-headed approach to climate change.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
Header image: American Enterprise Institute
PSI editor’s note: PSI does not accept humans are warming the planet. We believe that to be a lie.
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National Fire Center Removes ‘Inconvenient’ U.S. Wildfire Data

Published on May 14, 2021Written by Climate Change Dispatch

Image: CNN
After making the entire U.S. wildfire dataset back to 1926 public for decades, now, in a blatant act of cherry-picking, the National Interagency Fire Center has removed a large portion of it, and only shows data from 1983. You can see it here.

Fortunately, the Internet never forgets, and the entire dataset is preserved on the Internet Wayback Machine.
Data prior to 1983 shows that U.S. wildfires were far worse 100 years ago, both in frequency and total acreage burned, than they are now, 100 years of modest warming later.
By disappearing all data prior to 1983, which just happens to be the lowest point in the dataset for the number of fires, NIFC data now show a positive slope of worsening wildfire aligning with increased global temperature.
This truncated data set is perfect for claiming “climate change is making wildfire worse,” but flawed because it lacks the context of the full data set.
See figure 1 below for a before and after comparison of what the NIFC data looks like when you plot it.

Greg Wrightstone of Inconvenient Facts showed how the same thing was done on page 7 of the 4th National Climate Assessment in 2016, shown below.

The US Department of Agriculture chart below shows how much worse wildfires were prior to 1983.

Tony Heller also showed how much less area has burned since 1926.

The full NIFC data set shows wildfires were far worse in the past.
In June 2011, when this data was first made publicly available by the NIFC, the agency said,
“Figures prior to 1983 may be revised as NICC verifies historical data.”
In December 2017, I published an article titled: “Is climate change REALLY the culprit causing California’s wildfires?, pointing out the federal government’s own data showed wildfires had declined significantly since the early 1900s, which undermined claims being made by the media that climate change was making wildfires more frequent and severe.
Curiously, between January 14 and March 7 of 2018, shortly after this article appeared, NFIC added a new caveat on its data page stating:
The National Interagency Coordination Center at NIFC compiles annual wildland fire statistics for federal and state agencies. This information is provided through Situation Reports, which have been in use for several decades.
Prior to 1983, sources of these figures are not known, or cannot be confirmed, and were not derived from the current situation reporting process. As a result, the figures prior to 1983 should not be compared to later data.
With the Biden administration now in control of NIFC, the agency now says,
“Prior to 1983, the federal wildland fire agencies did not track official wildfire data using current reporting processes. As a result, there is no official data prior to 1983 posted on this site.”
This attempt to rewrite the official United States fire history for political reasons is both wrong and unscientific.
NFIC never previously expressed concern its historical data might be invalid, or shouldn’t be used.
NFIC’s data has been relied upon by peer-reviewed research papers and news outlets in the United States for decades.
Without this data, there is no scale of the severity of the wildfires or method to compare the number of wildfires in the past with the numbers today.
Wildfire data is fairly simple to record and compile: count of the number of fires and the number of acres burned.
NFIC’s revision of wildfire history is essentially labeling every firefighter, every fire captain, every forester, and every smoke jumper who has fought wildfires for decades as being untrustworthy in their assessment and measurement of this critical, yet very simple fire data.
The reason for NFIC erasing wildfire data before 1983 is not transparent at all. NFIC cites no study, provides no scientifically sound methodological reason to not trust the historic data that previously the agency publicized and referenced.
Indeed, NFIC provides no rationale at all for removing the historic data justifying any claim that it was flawed or incorrect.
If the fact that scientists or bureaucrats have changed the way they track and calculate data over time legitimately justifies throwing out or dismissing every bit of evidence gathered before contemporary processes were followed, there would be no justification for citing past data on temperatures, floods, droughts, hurricanes or demographics, and economic data.
The way all of these and other “official” records have been recorded has changed dramatically over time.
Even the way basic temperature is recorded is constantly evolving, from changes in where temperatures are recorded to how they have been recorded: from a few land-based measuring stations and ocean-going ship measurements to weather balloons, satellites, and geostationary ocean buoys.
If simply changing the way a class of data is recorded justifies jettisoning all historic datasets, then no one can say with certainty that temperatures have changed over time and a human fingerprint of warming has been detected.
Plotting the entire NIFC dataset (before it was partially disappeared) demonstrates that wildfire and weather patterns have been inextricably linked for decades.
Note figure 2 below, combining the number of fires and number of acres burned. See the annotations that I have added.

Figure 2: Plot of the entire NIFC wildfire dataset, with acreage burned in amber, and the total number of fires in a given year in blue. Annotations show major weather events in the United States.
The NIFC decision to declare data prior to 1983 “unreliable” and removing it is not just hiding important fire history but cherry-picking a data-starting point that is the lowest in the entire record to ensure that an upwards trend exists from that point.
The definition of cherry-picking is:
Cherry-picking, suppressing evidence, or the fallacy of incomplete evidence is the act of pointing to individual cases or data that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related and similar cases or data that may contradict that position.
It seems NIFC has caved to political pressure to disappear inconvenient wildfire data.
This action is unscientific, dishonest, and possibly fraudulent.
NIFC is no longer trustworthy as a source of reliable information on wildfires.
See more here: climatechangedispatch.com
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