Jordan Candler / October 19, 2015

Scientists Throw Cold Water on Gov. Brown’s Climate Rhetoric

“Noble-cause corruption.”

California Governor Jerry Brown is among the most vocal leaders at the state level urging immediate action to curb “climate change,” otherwise known as global warming. The latest evidence of anthropogenic impropriety can ostensibly be seen in the massive wildfires ravaging the Golden State amid a historic drought. Not so fast, says the Los Angeles Times in a weekend article titled “Gov. Brown’s link between climate change and wildfires is unsupported, fire experts say.” In recent remarks on the massive fire that scorched Lake County, the governor claimed fossil fuel use “is in many respects driving all of this,” and he characterized excessive wildfires as “a new normal.” But the Times offers numerous rebuttals from folks like Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado, who describes Brown’s assertions as “noble-cause corruption,” and Richard Hasley of the Chaparral Institute, who similarly added, “I don’t believe the climate change discussion is helpful.” That skepticism is shared across a vast swath of research institutions. Numerous scientists, including those representing Columbia University, the U.S. Forest Service, UC Irvine, UC Merced and the National Park Service, could not definitively blame man-made warming for the anomalous wildfires. That’s probably because of the overwhelming evidence found in natural fluctuations in ocean temperatures, which history shows have major implications in precipitation patterns. Kudos to the Times for doing its research. We wish Gov. Brown would do the same before going on erroneous tirades.

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