Climate Change and Forest Fire Fact Check

The Charge: Timothy White, California State University Chancellor

“Nearly everyone agrees that climate change is the biggest environmental challenge facing California and the world. Communities across California are experiencing firsthand the effects of devastating wildfires, persistent droughts, agricultural anomalies and public health crises because of our changing climate.

The Facts: Climatologist Dr. John Christy ‘Our most serious heatwaves were in the 1930’s. We have not matched those at all”

What about the fires and heat waves?

According to the National Interagency Fire Center, fires were burning in fifteen states as of Tuesday, August 14.

Alaska reported seventeen fires, Arizona reported eleven, both Oregon and Colorado reported ten, and California reported nine.

Much of the news media’s discussion about these fires over the past few weeks has established a correlation between the many fires and anthropogenic climate change, a correlation that Dr. Christy rejects.
Christy argues that exacerbating fires out west, particularly in California, results from human mismanagement. Such states have enacted strict management practices that disallow low-level fires from burning, he said.

“If you don’t let the low-intensity fires burn, that fuel builds up year after year,” Christy said. “Now once a fire gets going and it gets going enough, it has so much fuel that we can’t put it out.”

“In that sense, you could say that fires today are more intense, but it’s because of human management practices, not because mother nature has done something,” Christy said.

Data from the Fire Center indicates that the number of wildfires have been decreasing since the 1970s overall, though acreage burned has increased significantly.

As for the heat, Christy said there’s nothing abnormal going on in the United States.

“Heat waves have always happened,” he said. “Our most serious heatwaves were in the 1930’s. We have not matched those at all.”

Christy continued, “It is only a perception that is being built by the media that these are dramatic worst-ever heat wave kind of things but when we look at the numbers, and all science is numbers, we find that there were periods that were hotter, hotter for longer periods in the past, so it’s very hard to say that this was influenced by human effects when you go back before there could have been human effects and there’s the same or worse kind of events.”

Though Christy didn’t deny that the last three years have been the hottest ever recorded globally, he doesn’t concede that the changes are attributable to anything other than climate’s usual and historical erraticism.

More on heat waves, including in Nevada City HERE.

Posted in California, Climate Change, Local | 1 Comment

It was WARMER in Roman and Medieval times

If it was warmer in the past, what makes the current warming unusual? Past warming was not blamed on human CO2 emissions, why should they be blamed for the current warming? Interested in hearing your thoughts?

sunshine hours

Update: The article and paper are from 2012.

Global cooling: It is the first time that researchers have been able to accurately measure trends in global temperature over the last two millennia

A study suggests the Britain of 2,000 years ago experienced a lengthy period of hotter summers than today.

German researchers used data from tree rings – a key indicator of past climate – to claim the world has been on a ‘long-term cooling trend’ for two millennia until the global warming of the twentieth century.

This cooling was punctuated by a couple of warm spells.

These are the Medieval Warm Period, which is well known, but also a period during the toga-wearing Roman times when temperatures were apparently 1 deg C warmer than now.

They say the very warm period during the years 21 to 50AD has been underestimated by climate scientists.

Lead author Professor Dr Jan Esper of Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz said: ‘We found that previous estimates of historical temperatures during the Roman era and the Middle Ages…

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There is nothing unusual about global warming (AKA climate change)

Robert Zimmerman at Ice Age Now
Look at how many periods of warmth our planet has enjoyed during the past 10,000 years alone.

Civilizations flourished during those warm periods and collapsed when they ended.

Did humans cause the Minoan warm period of about 3,300 years ago? No.

Did humans cause the Roman warm period of about 2,100 years ago? No.

Did humans cause the Medieval warm period of about 1,000 years ago? No.

What about all of those other warm periods? Should we blame Fred Flintstone, perhaps?

Now look at where we are today (at the far right side of the graph).

Temperatures trending down, down down

Temperatures have been trending downward for the past 3,300 years.

If that downward trend continues, we could be in a heap of trouble. While our leaders keep on taxing us to fight ‘global warming,’ we could be blindsided by an ice age.

As far as I’m concerned, all this talk about human-caused global warming is sheer nonsense, if not downright fraud. The record shows that periods of warmth – and periods of cold – hit our planet with almost consistent regularity.


What I take from this article is that we need to keep the larger picture in mind as we debate climate change which has been happening naturally for centuries, with little human influence.

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Remembering Ray Shine

I was sorry to read that Ray Shine had died over the weekend. As a fellow Friends of Nevada County Military board member,  we often had opportunities to chat.  I was aware that Ray had some vital health issues, but he was reluctant to discuss them.
Ellen met Ray before I did when she served on the Grand Jury in 1985-86. I met Ray for the first time when I installed a modem for him at his home in the late 1990s so he could use the internet. He was an early Nevada County Community Network User.

Ray would post comments on my blogs from time to time. I was tracking down the history of the Grass Valley weather stations after the Empire Mine closed. Ray posted a comment that for several years in the 1960s the weather station was in the backyard of his family home in Grass Valley, and he often recorded the temperatures, humidity, and precipitation for the Weather Service.

Our longest relationship was through the FNCM Packing Parties, monthly events to send our local troops boxes of treats, personal health items, local news and high school sports CDs. Ray was the President of FNCM, keeping them organized and motivated. As a community leader, he will be missed.

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Meghalayan 200 Year Drought

The newly named current geologic age that started 4,200 years ago.

Welcome to the Meghalayan, our geologic here and now. It’s one of three newly designated ages divvying up the Holocene Epoch, a geologic time period kicked off 11,700 years ago by the end of the Ice Age.

First came a warming period, now dubbed the Greenlandian Age. Then, about 8,300 years ago, the Northgrippian Age began with a big chill that gripped Earth for about 4,000 years. Finally, the Meghalayan started 4,200 years ago with a devastating, 200-year worldwide megadrought.

“It marked a quite serious collapse of human agricultural civilizations,” says Phil Gibbard of the International Union of Geological Sciences, which ratified the new ages June 14 and released an updated geologic time scale July 13. The megadrought triggered human crises and migrations ranging from China to the Middle East to India, where the new age’s namesake is located. A stalagmite from a cave in the northeast Indian state of Meghalaya acts as the official time stamp marker for the start of the age. The drought is also recorded in other geologic sediments and at archaeological sites around the world.

The Meghalayan is the first formal geologic time interval in Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history that began at the same time as a global, climate-driven cultural event.

About 4,200 years ago Lake Tahoe was 120 lower than it is today. More a large pond rather than a lake. We could experience another 200 year drought, that would have a huge impact agricultures severely impacting our ability to feed billions of people.

Posted in Analysis, Climate, History, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Inside America’s Most Digital Counties of 2018 – Nevada County

Rural Economy Technology

Congratulations to Nevada County for being selected as one of America’s digital Counties

This year’s winners are being recognized for their commitment to collaboration, automation and creating a culture of innovation.
Nevada County CA Digital County

The full infographic is HERE.


In Nevada County, headcount is down 26 percent from pre-recession levels, and CIO Steve Monaghan is learning to do more with less.

That means doing the big jobs first: Cybersecurity is critical and he’s attacked that. It also means leveraging IT assets. Investments in cloud have helped him to make the most of sparse resources. Mostly, though, Monaghan’s task as an IT leader has been to impart a sense of ownership to all involved in supporting the county’s technology needs.

“We spend a lot of time building culture around taking an entrepreneurial approach,” he said. “We’ve done workshops, we have done a whole service-management…

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If Planet is Warming Why are CA Max Temperatures Declining (Update 08-20-18)?

The global temperature is not soaring, so the anthropogenic global warming scaremongers have been focusing on Max Temperatures at different locations around the planet. Los Angles was recently in the news and debunked HERE and Scotland HERE.

I decided to take a look at Max Temperatures in Nevada County using the historical data from the Nevada City Weather Station.  With the data downloaded and cleaned up, I wrote a simple Python program to do plot the data and do some trend analysis.  This is what I found:

Nevada City

Nevada City Max Temp 1893-2017

Overall there was no trend when examining the total record:

Nevada City Max Temp Trend 1893-2017

However, if I sliced the data from 1931 to 2017 there is a clear negative trend

Nevada City Max Temp trend 1933-2017

Using the same program I downloaded some climate data from some other sites with long temperature histories both end of the Central Valley,  Orland and Bakersfield. The plots are below:





Bakersfield Max temp 1914-2017

Bakerfield Max temp Trend

In the local press and local TV weather reports, we keep hearing about the record-breaking maximum temperatures, but we never hear that over time those maximums are in fact declining. It is always interesting to lift the curtain and see what is going on in the back room. It would appear that within the local weather coverage area from Bakersfield to Orland, the maximum temperatures are in decline.  I wonder why we have not been informed of this overall trend?    Could we be on the cusp of the next grand minimum? 



If the planet is warming, why are United Stated maximum temperatures declining?

Posted in California, Climate Change, Local, Weather | 1 Comment