Fort McMurray is devastated by wildfires, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated and have lost their homes and possessions but that didn’t stop people from blaming climate change for the catastrophe.
The eco-crazies were out in full force on social media, rejoicing as the town went up in flames -- even Elizabeth May stopped just short of blaming Alberta for bringing the catastrophe on. And who could forget the tweet from former NDP candidate Tom Moffat, who called the fires “karmic” and used the hash tag “Feel the Bern” to mock the town.
I know this is going to come as a shock but wildfires like the Miramichi fire that happened in New Brunswick and the Peshtigo fire in 1871 have occurred throughout history.
Scientists that specialize in climate say global average temperatures have risen only one degree and that if human activity is the culprit in rising temperatures, it would have only been significant starting from 1960. A degree in temperature increase is not “catastrophic” and the argument that climate change causes wildfires is flawed simply based on the fact that there have been more catastrophic events throughout time.
So, what did cause the fires?
It all started with El Nino, the appearance of unusually warm water off of Peru and Ecuador that causes complex changes in climate. It meant winter ended a month earlier in Alberta, causing higher than average temperatures. This in turn caused dry conditions that have provided ample fuel in the form of tinder dry forest fires.
A report released in 2012 also found that our forests are aging and much drier than 50 years ago. For Fort McMurray, it was one of those times where the elements for a wildfire were present – dry fuel, low humidity and high winds.
El Nino and aging forests aren’t a result of climate change, or human activity, so when are the politicians and eco-freaks going to stop misleading people and just have some compassion for the people of Fort McMurray?