Comments about ‘Letters: Worsening wildfires sign of climate change’

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Published: Monday, July 15 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Dietrich, ID

Pretty sickening to exploit a tragedy for a political agenda that does not exist. Fires exist because of nature and in some cases human carelessness not over a climate we cannot change.

Hayden, ID

The largest forest fire in recorded history of the US occurred in N. Idaho and Montana in 1910, long before SUVs Forest fires are natural and necessary for the health of any forest or rangeland. Even native Americans used to set the dead grass on the prairie on fire to improve the plant growth. Remember the Yellowstone fire in the 80's which burned over one third of the park? Even the US Forest Service has acknowledged that fire suppression management has increased the intensity of forest fires because it disrupts the natural burn and growth cycle of forests and adds to the fuel burden for fires. Calm down folks, fires are part of nature and have nothing to do with "climate change" since recent data has shown that the earth has not warmed for 16 years. Do some research!

Salt Lake City, UT

I agree with Mountainman, we have suppressed wild fires in order to present a non-realistic view of nature for the urban tourist to visit. We want tourist dollars in the local economies so we suppress natural fires that clear out the overgrowth and which are part of the natural cycle of nature. We also suppress logging that would thin the forests and make catastrophic fires less possible by reducing fuel loads. There is some opinions that logging to thin forests will lessen damage by insect infestation.

Logging will also make more clearings for herbivores to give birth away from predators and help maintain a balance of animal life.

As to "experts" on almost any subject relying upon computer models for anything I am skeptical to the max. Your output is dependent upon input and input is usually subjective and can be skewed to fit the thesis desired.

Centerville, UT

"Although often harmful and destructive to humans, naturally occurring wildfires play an integral role in nature. They return nutrients to the soil by burning dead or decaying matter. They also act as a disinfectant, removing disease-ridden plants and harmful insects from a forest ecosystem. And by burning through thick canopies and brushy undergrowth, wildfires allow sunlight to reach the forest floor, enabling a new generation of seedlings to grow." National Geographic.

Salt Lake City, UT

Hmmm! Recent forest fires as confirmation of global climate warming/change. If an increasing incidence of forest/range/grass/etc. fires are some measure of global conditions then I suppose the fact that I haven't needed to water my lawn for the last 2+ weeks is an indication that we need to be concerned about an impending global **flood**!

Surely, what I see as a trend in my own neighborhood during the past few weeks is indicative of what the world will be experiencing now and years or decades in the future!

Yes, folks, we **can** know, with unshakable certitude, that past performance IS a guarantee of future results....but only when it comes to computer models of incredibly complex and chaotic systems like global climate conditions.

American Fork, UT

Nice try. Here in utah, we know two things. We didn't cause it, and we don't have to fix it. It's lazy, and probably stupid, but that's where we are.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

Glad to see the Anti-Science conservatives out promoting their:
"Scorch and Burn" everything in sight environmental policies this morning...

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

glad to see the chicken little sky is falling global warming alarmists rallying in support of their arguments.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Fires exist because of nature and in some cases human carelessness not over a climate we cannot change"

Nobody said fires only exist because of climate change... it's saying climate change affects drought frequency and severity and that fires tend to be more severe in extreme droughts.

"The largest forest fire in recorded history of the US occurred in N. Idaho and Montana in 1910"

We didn't have the current technology and manpower to fight fires then like we do now. It's not a very good comparison.

"since recent data has shown that the earth has not warmed for 16 years. "

Climate norms are calculated over 30 year periods, you use 16 because that's what's useful for cherrypicking. Nevermind that the 2000s were .2F warmer than the 90s and the 90s were around .15F warmer than the 80s.

"I suppose the fact that I haven't needed to water my lawn for the last 2+ weeks is an indication that we need to be concerned about an impending global **flood**!"

You all seem to be doing a good job of arguing against things that nobody is claiming... just read part of the report...

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Glenn Beck says the earth is actually cooling so that's what I believe.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

@atl134 – “Climate norms are calculated over 30 year periods, you use 16 because that's what's useful for cherrypicking.”

You are assuming that truth is what he is interested in…

Scientists have the “unfortunate” habit of epistemic humility – they speak of evidence and probability and because they don’t wish to have their reputation destroyed by some young upstart looking to stake their own reputation, they are always quick to point out what we (as of yet) don’t know.

And that is where all the ideologues, with their presuppositions, step in with their cherry-picking or worse “proving” why the scientists are wrong.

We see it with the “god-in-the-gaps” folks who argue against evolution, and we see it in spades with respect to climate science.

Current evidence (not proof) strongly suggests man made climate change, but the deniers don’t care about evidence (except for those sparse cherry picked pieces that support their ideology).

If it wasn’t for the fact that science “delivers the goods” and eventually its conclusions simply compel agreement (assuming one is not brain damaged), we would still be living under the theocratic yoke of the Dark Ages.

Cambridge, MA

To "LDS Tree-Hugger" you are ignoring the fact that many environmentalists have loved the forests to death. They don't allow prescribed burns, and have encouraged policies that have allowed the forests to become old-growth forests that are very prone to become large fires quickly.

According to the Pacific Northwest Research Station's report "NEW FINDINGS ABOUT OLD-GROWTH FORESTS" they found that the old growth forests were created because of fires burining out some trees. The also found that many of the protected forests with the old growth are more prone to fires now than they previously were.

They also produced a report for the US Forest Service titled "OLD GROWTH REVISITED: INTEGRATING SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES" There they found that "Fire suppression and other activities over the years have resulted in increasing the risk to some of the old forests we want to retain" Again, forest policies have made them more prone to bad fires.

In other words, we have loved our old growth forests to death. Now they burn too easily.

Orem, UT

I can see the party of "watch the paint dry" and "kick the can down the road" is at it again in this thread! See, my father was never rich like Bro Romney growing up, but he taught us so many valuable life lessons. One of them being that we should not complain about things if we weren't willing to work to change them. This same strategy applies so well to the current GOP.

In the last election the GOP complained about the Electoral College. Funny, because n 2000 the GOP candidate was elected by the Supreme Court and Electoral College. They didn't want to change things back then, they, "watched the paint dry."

Pre 9/11? Did they beef up security? Nope. "Watched the paint dry."

For 8 years, the GOP could have done something about illegal immigration, health care, and the deficit. What did they do? "Kicked the can down the road." Somebody else would solve those problems, don't ya know?

Now, these same folks are weighing in on climate change. Given their track record? Hahaha! why would we ever trust them?

Lets stop kicking the can down the road. Our children and grandchildren are at stake.

Kent C. DeForrest
Provo, UT


Perhaps you should do some research. Why do you suppose the conservatives pick the strange number 16? It's because 16 years ago there was an anomalous spike in temperatures. If you pick 10, 12, 15, 20, 25, or 30 years, you'll find a distinct average increase. Weather patterns go in cycles, so you have plateaus in the increase, but each new plateau is higher than the previous one. Yes, the earth's temperature is increasing. In fact, much of the warming is being trapped in the oceans in recent years. But this will be released, and when it is, air temperatures will climb even faster.

So please stop using Faux News statistics tricks to misrepresent facts. Do some research!

Cambridge, MA

To "Kent C. DeForrest" the number 16 is just a coincidence. It is, however, based on things that the NOAA and leading climatologists have said.

From the NOAA, "Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate."

According to the UK Met office, there has been no warming since 1997.

According to Phil Jones, in a 2010 interview was asked "Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?" He responded "Yes"

If there has been no significant warming since his interview, that means we have nearly 18 years without significant warming.

Now, according to the NOAA, if we have 15 years OR more without warming, the models are wrong and must be evaluated.

So, do you trust the NOAA, or do you trust the Alarmists?

Centerville, UT

"2F warmer than the 90s and the 90s were around .15F warmer than the 80s." atl134 you need to change your numbers they far exceed global warming advocate chart numbers that show the global temperature increase since 1890 to current is 1 degree Celsius. That equates to
1.8 degrees Fahrenheit in one hundred and twenty three years.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

You have to go back to the 1950s to find a decade that was not warmer than the previous decade. The 2000s were hotter than the 90s. Warming continues.

Salt Lake City, UT

"So, do you trust the NOAA, or do you trust the Alarmists?"

NOAA. But tell me... what does NOAA say about the long term trend in temperatures and future projections of them? NOAA is the entity that says temperatures in the 2000s were .2F higher than they were in the 1990s. If you trust them so much then why do you ignore the vast majority of what they say?

Cambridge, MA

To "atl134" does it really matter what the temperatures were, if statistically the .2F change is not statistically significant?

You still haven't answered the question. The NOAA said that 15 years or more where there is no warming means that the model is WRONG. We have between 16 and 18 years of no significant warming (depending on who you ask).

So, do you trust the NOAA and their statement that the models predicting warming are wrong, or do you trust the alarmists that say AGW is true?

Salt Lake City, UT

The Alaska permafrost is thawing. The Northern Polar ice cap is disappearing. Soon Hudson Bay will have a year round port. Seawalls are being built to protect coastal Eskimo communities. This implies some sort of warming trend, does it not?

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