by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As Appearing in the California Globe
Truncated data set is perfect for claiming ‘climate change is making wildfire worse’
With state officials already warning that this year could be the worst wildfire season California has ever seen, Gov. Gavin Newsom is blaming “climate change” and “extreme weather” due to climate change, rather than prioritizing clearing away underbrush, thinning out forests, and allowing prescribed burns.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer.
In December 2017, Meterologist Anthony Watts published an article: “Is climate change REALLY the culprit causing California’s wildfires? Watts proved that the federal government’s own data showed wildfires had declined significantly since the early 1900s, undermining claims made by the media that climate change was making wildfires more frequent and severe.
Flash forward to 2021: Watts, a California Globe contributor, notified the Globe that the National Interagency Fire Center, the keeper of U.S. wildfire data for decades, tracking both the number of wildfires and acreage burned all the way back to 1926, has now “disappeared” a portion of it, and only show data from 1983. You can see it here.
The entire dataset was available to the public for decades, Watts says.
Why would the NIFC do this?