Zinke Announces Plan to Fight Wildfires With More Logging
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke stated in a Fox Business interview that the fires are so intense because the forests have "been held hostage by environmental groups" to prevent proper management via logging, and that climate change is "irrelevant."
But when asked later by Weijia Jang of CBS, Zinke said "of course" climate change is part of the science explaining the wildfires. Then, at a cabinet meeting Thursday afternoon, President Trump asked Zinke to repeat his assertion that "it's not a global warming thing."
"Zinke, like Trump, continues to deny the obvious," Kirin Kennedy, associate legislative director for lands and wildlife for the Sierra Club, said in an email, Bloomberg reported. "It is climate change that is exacerbating wildfire season in the West."
As reported by The Sacramento Bee:
The plan, which emphasizes state and local collaboration, was short on details, however. It does not address politically sensitive issues like climate change, which Democrats and scientists argue is at the root of the problem, or the role of environmental reviews for logging projects, which conservatives want to sidestep. And it did not address the possibility of additional funding, suggesting the burden to pay for the new efforts could fall to the states.
#Trump Admin. Takes Advantage of #California Fires to Funnel More Water From Endangered Fish to Agriculture, Critic… https://t.co/E1KFDstqkm— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1533851714.0
For a deeper dive:
By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Earth had its second-warmest year on record in 2020, just 0.02 degrees Celsius (0.04°F) behind the record set in 2016, and 0.98 degrees Celsius (1.76°F) above the 20th-century average, NOAA reported January 14.
Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for 2020, the second-warmest year the globe has seen since record-keeping began in 1880, according to NOAA. Record-high annual temperatures over land and ocean surfaces were measured across parts of Europe, Asia, southern North America, South America, and across parts of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans. No land or ocean areas were record cold for the year. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information
Figure 2. Total ocean heat content (OHC) in the top 2000 meters from 1958-2020. Cheng et al., Upper Ocean Temperatures Hit Record High in 2020, Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Figure 3. Departure of sea surface temperature from average in the benchmark Niño 3.4 region of the eastern tropical Pacific (5°N-5°S, 170°W-120°W). Sea surface temperature were approximately one degree Celsius below average over the past month, characteristic of moderate La Niña conditions. Tropical Tidbits
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