In-Depth: Wildfires Exacerbated by Poor Forest Management, Professors Say – Matthew Horwood 6/10/23


While there have been suggestions that wildfires are becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change, environmental and economic professors interviewed by The Epoch Times say the number of fires has been decreasing for decades, and that the cause of the fires in many cases can be attributed to poor forest management.

“The prime minister said that climate change is causing more and more forest fires, and the record shows the opposite,” said Ross McKitrick, an environmental economics professor at the University of Guelph.

“The Canadian Wildland Fire Information System shows that the number of forest fires has actually been going down in Canada since the 1990s.”

As several wildfires in northern Quebec led to thick smoke plumes that blanketed cities across Ontario and the Eastern United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed that Canada is experiencing “more and more of these fires because of climate change.”

“These fires are affecting everyday routines, lives and livelihoods, and our air quality. We’ll keep working—here at home and with partners around the world—to tackle climate change and address its impacts,” he said on Twitter on June 7.

U.S. President Joe Biden made a similar comment on Canada’s wildfires, tweeting that such events “are intensifying because of the climate crisis.”

But McKitrick notes that even the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change isn’t blaming wildfires on climate change.

“When people look for an easy explanation, trying to blame it on climate change for instance, the obstacle to that is if it was a global climate change story, we’d see an increase globally in area burned from wildfires, and that isn’t there in the record,” he said.

“The major data collection agencies and scientists who studied them have not claimed there’s an increase in global area burned—if anything, it’s trending down slightly—and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change doesn’t make that claim, doesn’t say that that’s a detectable effect of climate change.”…

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