American Elephants

Some Are True Believers, Some Are Skeptics, Nobody Is “A Denier.” by The Elephant's Child


Here’s a new video from the White House, (sorry, I can’t embed it.) President Obama’s Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren explains—in less than three minutes — how climate change is making America’s wildfires more dangerous and why we must act now.

President Obama is deeply in awe of Dr. Holdren. He said breathlessly the other day that when he had a question about anything about science, he could just call up Dr. Holdren and he would explain it. “And he’s a real Physicist,” Obama said.

From the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho: “Outside of the West Coast, there is very little forest fire activity in the U.S. this year. Burn acreage is much less than half of normal.”screenhunter_1655-aug-04-06-59

(click to enlarge)

Forest fires are caused by lightening strikes, or occasionally by careless campers. They are not caused by global warming.

Why the Media Notices: by The Elephant's Child

Beaver Creek Fire
Eleven states are currently reporting large wildland fires: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah Washington and Wyoming — the West. There are 43 large fires. Hundred of homes have been evacuated as a large unpredictable blaze covering more than 100 acres approaches the resort communities of Hailey, Ketchum and Sun Valley in central Idaho.

Media attention is entirely consumed with the Beaver Creek Fire, for many celebrities have vacation homes there like Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Insurers have sent in their own representatives — expensive homes.

The other eleven fires burning in Idaho go mostly unmentioned. I grew up with many friends in the forest service, smokejumpers and hotshot crews, so I do pay attention to fire season. One mostly has to hunt for news about big fires unless they are very near a heavily populated area, so I was interested in the attention given to this one. The radio news said they had set up “a triage area for moose?” Really?
(photo by Kimi Kreusli)

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