Science not there: global warming not fueling Alberta’s wildfire

Fort McMurray wildfire, DarrenRD, WikimediaFort McMurray wildfire, DarrenRD, WikimediaNo “credible scientist” or media outlet should try to link the wildfires in Alberta to global warming, says a growing chorus of voices this week challenging alarmist rhetoric. One individual who said climate change was behind the Fort McMurray wildfires was Marko Princevac, a University of California/Riverside fire expert, who said: “Based on what we know and in which direction the climate is going, yes, we can expect more frequent super fires.” But Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May, and a few climate scientists, are pushing back.

Mike Flannigan, a professor of wildland fire at the University of Alberta, said: “The warmer it is, the more fires we get.” He clarified his statements by saying that “it’s impossible for scientists to say global warming caused this specific fire.” But the horse was out of the barn and the media, ever eager to spread a good story to further the Obama administration’s agenda, promptly complied.

Flannigan made these dire prediction in a 2012 report seized by the media this week. In the report, Flannigan says this may become the norm if global warming continues unabated. More recently, Flannigan warned of a possible future where we might see the frequency of wildfires increase because of global warming, but the larger problem is that “science cannot make that claim yet.”

Climate scientist Jonathan Overpeck told the AP: “The Alberta wildfires are an excellent example of what we’re seeing more and more of: warming means snow melts earlier, soils and vegetation dries out earlier, and the fire season starts earlier. It’s a train wreck.”

Canada’s Green Party leader Elizabeth May has become so concerned by all the misleading attributions to global warming that she released a statement. May criticized these scientists, calling them them irresponsible for simply blaming wildfires on climate change. She said that the government should be focused more on the damage the wildfires have caused.

In her statement, May wrote: “Some reports have suggested that the wildfires are directly caused by climate change. No credible climate scientist would make this claim, and neither do I make this claim.”

She also urged a greater focus on the impact of increased severe weather and what “we can do collectively to respond to these events.” May told the left-leaning Huffington Post/Canada that she “recognizes that legitimate forest fire experts know better than to make such claims.”

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