California Has Always Had Fires, Environmentalism Makes Them Worse

By Paul Homewood


[Editor’s Note – This post appeared earlier without any body! Sorry for the confusion!

Also the previous post failed to download some NOAA graphs, so I have resorted to screenshots]


Michael Schellenberger rubbishes wildfire claims:




I woke up an hour later than normal yesterday morning because smoke from northern California’s forest fires had blotted out the sun. My bedroom windows glowed orange. It looked like a scene out of the 1983 made-for-TV movie, “The Day After,” about nuclear war.

I wasn’t the only one creeped out by the apocalyptic hue. “’A Nuclear Winter’ Over Bay Area, as Wildfires Blot Out the Sun,” read a New York Times NYT +0.1% headline. “Without the smoke, it would be a clear day,” noted a scientist. “This is all generated from the fires.”

The same mechanism that caused the orange sky is what could destroy agriculture in the wake of a thermonuclear war: particulate matter from burned wood blocking parts of the light spectrum from reaching the ground.

And yet the air quality wasn’t nearly as bad as it looked. “The good thing about it is most of the (smoke) is staying aloft,” the air quality meteorologist for the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), said. “The sun is able to scatter those smoke particles that produce this apocalyptic orange color that we’re seeing.”

And while the 2 million acres that have burned in California so far in 2020 is 10 times more area than burned in 2019, it’s still 2 million acres less than the lowest estimate for acres burned within modern state borders annually before Europeans settled in America.

“California was a very smoky place historically,” says Malcolm North of the US Forest Survey.“Even though we’re seeing area burned that is off-the-charts, it’s still probably less than what used to be burned before Europeans arrived.”

Many reporters note that more area has burned this year in California than at any other point in “the modern period,” but that period began in 1950. For the last half of the 20th Century, the annual area burned in California was just 250,000 acres a year, whereas the best-available science suggests 4.4 and 12 million acres burned in California annually before the arrival of Europeans.

Read the full story here.


Back to the present though, and it is worth noting that although fires in California and some other western states are at recent record highs, nationally wildfire acreage is actually slightly less than the 10-year average:



The biggest fire in California is in the Mendocino National Forest, to the north of San Francisco, and is reckoned to be the largest in Californian history.

There is a long running rural USHCN station at Angwin Pacific Union College, which is situated just next to the forest. Temperatures there last month were not especially high, either daily means or maximums:



Meanwhile the summer as a whole has been the second coldest on record:



The Mendocino lies in Division 1 – North Coast Drainage, where rainfall last month was above average. Rainfall for the summer as a whole, and spring/summer combined, was below average, but in line with many other years on record. (It is of course the odd exceptionally wet year which pushes averages up).




There is nothing in any of this data to suggest that climate change has anything at all to do with the Mendocino fires.


September 12, 2020 at 11:54AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s