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Thomas Gallatin / September 15, 2020

Biden’s Wildfire Gaslighting

Forest mismanagement, not climate change, is most responsible for massive wildfires.

President Donald Trump is a “climate arsonist,” Joe Biden ridiculously asserted Monday in a speech about the deadly wildfires raging across much of the Pacific Northwest. Biden, of course, blames Trump’s lack of action on climate change. In what can best be described as apocalyptically unhinged remarks totally devoid of genuine scientific truth, Biden insisted that if Trump has “four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised if we have more of America ablaze? If you give a climate denier four more years in the White House, why would anyone be surprised when more of America is underwater?” In what fantasy land is Biden living? He is blatantly and bizarrely politicizing environmental disasters as if Trump were some mythical Greek god capable of capriciously controlling the elements.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, Trump was in California Monday viewing some of the fire damage when he was asked by a reporter what role he believes climate change had in causing the fires. “Well, I think this is more of a management situation,” Trump responded. “If you look at other countries, if you go to other countries in Europe, Austria, Finland … they’re forest nations. They’re in forests and they don’t have problems like this.” This answer had the Leftmedia crying foul, with CNN, for example, declaring, “Trump baselessly questions climate science during California wildfire briefing.” (Clearly, the folks at CNN are living in the same fantasy land and may be reading the same teleprompter as Biden.)

Yet Trump isn’t the one denying scientific reality, as the Left’s fake “fact-checkers” falsely claim. Trump’s assertion that forest mismanagement is the primary problem producing these massive wildfires is not “scapegoating,” as Biden spuriously asserts; it is sound opinion supported by forestry and ecology experts.

Bob Zybach, a forester with 20 years of experience and a PhD in environmental science, has long argued that it all started with Bill Clinton’s forest management change. “If you don’t start managing these forests, then they are going to start burning up. Thirty years later, they are still ignoring it,” Zybach argued. “They’ve gone and left hundreds of thousands of acres of burnt timber, a fire bomb waiting to happen, standing in place because the black back woodpecker prefers that habitat.” Zybach further observed, “It’s great for lawyers, but it’s bad for people who breathe air or work in the woods. The prescribed burns are an ancient form of management for keeping the fuels down so these events don’t happen.”

Career fire ecologist Tim Ingalsbee advises that the way to solve the problem is “to get good fire on the ground and whittle down some of that fuel load.” Ingalsbee laments, “It’s just … horrible to see this happening when the science is so clear and has been clear for years. … Every year I warn people: Disaster is coming. We’ve got to change. And no one listens. And then it happens.”

Finally, ecofascists do have a roundabout point that the vast majority of these wildfires are caused by people. The National Park Service reports, “Nearly 85 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Human-caused fires result from campfires left unattended, the burning of debris, equipment use and malfunctions, negligently discarded cigarettes, and intentional acts of arson.” But this fact shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with Smokey Bear, who has long admonished, “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Indeed, maybe people should quit lighting fires in the Pacific Northwest — and in American cities — and set about to fix the problem.

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