June 8, 2023

Choking on Canada’s ‘Climate Change’ Smoke

Our northern neighbor’s wildfires are wreaking havoc on American air quality, and the Left is leaping to the usual conclusions.

Listen closely, and you can practically hear him say it: You never want a serious Canadian wildfire crisis to go to waste.

No, Rahm Emanuel isn’t whispering into Joe Biden’s ear these days, but those on the Left know well what Barack Obama’s former chief of staff said in the days just after the 2008 election, and they certainly know “an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before” when they see one.

Take Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, for example, who told her 13 million Twitter followers yesterday: “Between NYC in wildfire smoke and this [heat wave] in [Puerto Rico], it bears repeating how unprepared we are for the climate crisis. We must adapt our food systems, energy grids, infrastructure, healthcare, etc ASAP to prepare for what’s to come and catch up to what is already here.”

And in case anyone failed to pick up the “opportunity” she’s driving at, AOC affixed the “GreenNewDeal” hashtag to the end of her message.

At this point, the smoke from at least 233 active Canadian wildfires and 9.4 million charred acres is wreaking havoc on the American air being breathed by 100 million of our fellow citizens. Most of the fires are in western Canada, but some are in Quebec, above New York, and the wind patterns yesterday made New York City’s air the worst of any major city in the world — which is quite a feat, as anyone who’s spent any time in a major Chinese city will tell you.

But that’s not all. According to air quality specialist IQAir, following closely behind the Big Apple are other northeastern cities such as Boston, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh, but the smoke isn’t stopping there. Columbus, Baltimore, Norfolk, Raleigh, Asheville, and even Myrtle Beach are also seeing and feeling the effects. These include air travel delays and cancellations, as well as cancellation of outdoor and even some indoor activities in the affected cities.

But the question remains: Are all these wildfires due to “climate change,” as AOC and her ilk would have us believe?

And the answer already appears to be: No. As the Toronto Sun reports: “Quebec police are investigating the possibility that the smoke creating poor air quality in southern Ontario and making downtown skylines disappear may have been the result of arson. ‘There is an investigation because the cause is suspect,’ said Surtee de Quebec media officer Hugues Beaulieu.”

Most reports blame dry conditions and lightning strikes. In any case, even under the most progressive definition imaginable, arson isn’t climate change.

Sadly, we’ve been down this shamefully politicized road before. In fact, it feels like Groundhog Day. As our Thomas Gallatin wrote back in 2020: “According to Democrats and the mainstream media, the primary culprit for the massive wildfires currently consuming vast swaths of the Pacific Northwest is climate change. However, according to the scientific data accumulated over years of observation, the real reason has little to do with the changing climate and more to do with changes to forestry-management practices instigated by politicians unduly influenced by flawed environmentalist ideology.”

Gallatin went on to identify the real culprit: forest mismanagement, both here in the U.S. and in the vast Canadian wilderness:

Analysis of the historical records show that wildfires regularly burned millions of acres annually in the U.S. up until the late 1950s. Beginning in the 1930s, the U.S. Forest Service, along with state agencies, began efforts to better control and limit the amount of acreage burned annually. Ironically, these efforts to suppress and prevent fires has contributed to the massive fires America is seeing today. The reason is simple: By not being control-burned, these forests have accumulated vast amounts of fuel (overgrowth) and have become literal tinderboxes primed for igniting, whether by lightning or, in many cases, arson.

So, if you’re in one of these smoke-plagued regions, set aside the politics and do four things: Stay inside, to the extent possible; use an air filter if you have one; wear a mask — because smoke particulate is a lot more filterable than a coronavirus; and monitor the air quality in your area.

Oh, and don’t listen to Sandy Cortez and her leftist ilk. They’re just trying to do things they couldn’t do without a convenient crisis.

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