Flemming: The spectacular decrease in forest fires

By David Flemming

Last month, VT Digger reported that “the West Coast fires that have ravaged parts of California, Oregon and Washington this summer have been linked definitively to climate change.”

Such statements about natural disasters suggest that everything has gotten worse since the good ol’ days. If the above statement were true, one would expect that we would see a dramatic spike in acres burned from year to year. But this is patently false.

While it is difficult to find a single source of data for the past 100 years, we do have the US Department of Agriculture data contained in Census documentation from 1926 to 1970 and the National Interagency Fire Center’s data from 1983 through last year.

In the past decade, we’ve have had 3 years where acres burned has peaked just above 10,000,000. In the first 10 years of data collection from 1926-1936, the US exceeded 40,000,000 acres burned eight times. So here’s a question: if the fires this summer were “linked definitely to climate change,” what about the fires 90 years ago?

If one definitively believes the climate is indeed changing, the stark contrast between the 1930s and the 2010s should offer us hope that humans can learn how to lessen the impact of climate change by thinking creatively (with such tools like better forest management practices) rather than coercively (increased taxation of life essentials).

David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of FEMA

7 thoughts on “Flemming: The spectacular decrease in forest fires

  1. Here’s today’s example of Climate hypocrisy straight from Joe Biden……..He flies to Rome in a giant jet plan for a Climate conference and then tours the City of Rome like Julius Caesar himself in a caravan of 85 limos and SUV’s………Does Mr. Biden have any sense of irony or is it hypocrisy?

    And in the mean time, China doesn’t show in Rome…….Too busy mining coal.

  2. David F

    Great graph.

    It looks like the US Fire Center is not yet woke.
    Soon, it will alter the data, present a new graph, to be as woke, as the rest of the RE SCARE-MONGERING ZULUS IN GOVERNMENT AND IN THE SUBSIDIZED, UNBIASED ACADEMIA

    • EXCERPT from


      Xi And Putin Leave Climate Alarmists At COP26 In The Lurch

      By Vijay Jayaraj

      The wheels of the Net Zero bandwagon always were wobbly but now appear to be falling off altogether with leaders of China and Russia saying their countries won’t be represented at the COP26 at Glasgow this week. For Western climate alarmists, the absence of the two countries could be a lethal blow to the global anti-fossil fuel agenda.

      Considered by the media as the most important climate meeting, the annual U.N. COP26 (26th such Conference of Parties) is a gala for politicians, diplomats and celebrities to land in private jets to tell the rest of us to embrace expensive and unreliable “green energy.”

      The cornerstone of the COP conference has been the Paris climate agreement, a global pact requiring all countries to reduce emissions and replace coal, oil and natural gas with wind and solar. However, the conference had been plagued by various issues during its short history.

      The two biggest problems are (1) the unwillingness of developed countries to donate the promised “climate funds” to developing countries (a ridiculous promise in the first place) and (2) the inability of even the most developed member states like Germany to meet their emission-reduction deadlines.

      Also, there has been inconsistent adherence by member states. Under Trump’s administration, the U.S. pulled out of the Paris agreement; now, India has vowed to fight any further coercion to impose emission reductions on its domestic energy sector.

      In the past year, the Net Zero program has gained more momentum and the upcoming conference is expected to see a lot of discussion surrounding it. But the confidence of member states still appears weak.

      President Xi knows that China cannot afford to allow a repeat of 2021, a year during which more than half of the country faced unprecedented power blackouts due to coal shortages. The state bureaucracy is working around the clock to increase production and importation of fossil fuels. Coal miners have been asked to increase output, and Australian coal stranded at ports for political reasons has been put to use. Reports indicate the country is, “in advanced talks with U.S. exporters to secure long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies.”

      • Big cities, and their Obama/Biden-world-mix of denizens, are responsible for most of global warming, due their HUGE “micro climates”, such as from Portland, Maine to well south of Washington DC, and from north of SF to south of San Diego.

        Nature has been totally destroyed in those urban SPRAWLS

        All the newfangled RE systems should be located in the big urban SPRAWLS, i.e., “Electricity generation close to the user”.

        What is not to love?

        With no fossils, we will all be wearing jute-based clothing, and leather hand-sewn moccasins.

        Here is my latest example of prepping for the “End of our World”, as we will fondly remember it.

        EXCERPT from:


        Energy systems analysts of Denmark, Ireland, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, etc., have known for decades, that if you have a significant percentage of wind and solar on your grid, you better have available:

        An adequate capacity, MW, of other power plants to counteract any variations of wind and solar, 24/7/365, year after year.
        An adequate capacity of energy storage, such as1) pumped hydro storage, 2) hydro plants with reservoir storage, and grid-scale
        battery systems.

        RE folks often advocate:

        1) Electricity must be 100% renewable by 2050
        2) Getting rid of the remaining nuclear plants as soon as their licenses expire, or sooner
        3) Getting rid of natural gas, coal, oil, propane to reduce CO2 to fight climate change
        4) Biomass power plants (burning mostly trees), because the combustion CO2 of biomass is “renewable”.

        World Fossil Fuels Supply is 84 Percent of World Primary Energy

        Coal, 27%; Natural Gas, 24%; Oil, 33%, a total of 84%, plus Nuclear, 4%; Hydro, 6%; Renewables, 5%, after more than 20 years of subsidies.
        Some of the primary energy, about 10%, is used for exploration, extraction, processing and transport to produce primary energy to users. That 10% of primary energy is often called “upstream energy”.

        For example, to produce ethanol from corn requires a very significant quantity of primary energy to produce a gallon of ethanol for blending with gasoline; the combustion CO2 of ethanol is not counted, as is the CO2 of burning biomass, because they are “renewable”, per international agreement.

  3. Warm Monger: The fires are taking a break ’cause the gorbal warming gods know joe will take them behind the barn and trash them like he did corn pop….but if we
    don’t spend a bazillion dollars for greenweenism it will be back with a vengeance ….joe can’t hold them off for ever

  4. There is no benefit in arguing with members of a dogmatic cult. There is only one truth: Theirs. “We accept truth over facts” – Biden at 2019 Iowa state fair. Anyway, they refuse to debate the issue on the grounds that a debate would dilute their critical message and confuse people. Their religion demands heretics be demonized, persecuted and shunned. And fired from their jobs.

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