Climate alarmism was in overdrive last week as smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted over heavily populated areas of North America. The BBC reported the fires under the category ‘Climate Change’, while local Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault noted the “threat of increased fires due to climate change”. Lightly-smoked New York City Mayor Eric Adams said climate change has “accelerated these conditions”. But, alas, not all agree. Notably, the climate alarmist bible produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says weather is not the most important factor in fire. Most fires are started by humans. “Human activities have become the dominant driver,” it observes.
On any sensible reckoning, wildfires are a bit of a dud when it comes to alarming populations about climate change and driving them down the collectivist Net Zero route. According to the science writer and former economics professor Roger Pielke Jr., global wildfires have decreased in recent decades, while neither Canada nor Quebec have seen increases this century. Fire incidence across Canada is lower today than in centuries past, he notes.
The above graph plots the gradual decline of global emissions from wildfires over recent decades. As Dr. Pielke notes, this is something the media will not tell you about wildfires.
The fires last week were particularly bad around Quebec, but there is no sign, as the graph above shows, of a long term increase in fire activity. As Dr. Pielke observes, recent years have been unusually quiet. It might be suggested that matters would be helped further if people learnt to be more careful with matches. The graphs below show that the majority of fires in Quebec and the area that they burned over the past decade are caused by humans, with the balance attributed to lightning. Others have noted that the lack of fires in recent years has resulted in a build-up of deadwood on the forest floor, and that a reduction in controlled burning has not helped.