Biden, Newsom Continue Democrat Tradition of Blaming Climate Change for Wildfires

Joe Biden (Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty)
Brendan Smialowski / AFP / Getty

President Joe Biden joined Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Monday to discuss damage from recent wildfires in Northern California, and continued a time-honored tradition of blaming climate change for the fires, without scientific evidence.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported: “‘These fires are blinking code red for our nation. They’re gaining frequency and ferocity and we know what we have to do,’ Biden said during brief remarks inside a hangar at Sacramento’s Mather Field.”

The term “code red” refers to the recent report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which used the phrase “code red” to describe a danger to the planet. But as former Obama administration climate scientist Steven Koonin noted last month in a Wall Street Journal op-ed: “As usual, the media and politicians are exaggerating and distorting the evidence in the report. They lament an allegedly broken climate and proclaim, yet again, that we are facing the “last, best chance” to save the planet from a hellish future. In fact, things aren’t—and won’t be—anywhere near as dire.”

Koonin added: “The drought and wildfires in the Western U.S. are part of a trend going back a few decades, but forest management and expanding human presence in the forests are perhaps more important than climate change in causing these events.”

In his recent book, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters, Koonin considered the scientific data and concluded that “whatever influence a changing climate might have had on wildfires globally in recent decades, human factors unrelated to climate were dominant.” While climate change was “surely” playing a role by creating more fuel for fires, “factors other than climate must also play an important, if not dominant, role.” Many fires are caused by human activity; notably, Newsom has been criticized for poor forest management as he faces a recall election Tuesday.

Blaming climate change for forest fires has been a Democratic Party tradition since the Obama administration, when both the president and then-Gov. Jerry Brown cited climate change whenever wildfires burned across the state (or elsewhere). Scientists referred to it as “noble-cause corruption” — confusing the science for the sake of a “noble” objective.

Democrats’ claims are frequently amplified by establishment media, which share the party’s climate change agenda.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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