This thread collects and addresses popular wildfire myths that are currently circulating the internet like ... wildfire. Please free to add to this thread @LeroyWesterling @johnfocook @PeterGleick and other experts.
Myth #1: the wildfires stop at the border.
Truth: By definition, maps based on US federal data don't show fires outside US borders; but it doesn't mean they don't exist. Here's a US map (left) and 🇨🇦 map (right). We do a bit better with recognizing we're part of a continent 😁
Myth #2: as there's less wildfires in Canada than the US *at the moment* that somehow proves climate change isn't real
Truth: Other times there will be more: that's weather, a single day, week or year. Climate is the long-term trend over decades. Watch:
Myth #3: wildfire can be EITHER arson or climate change but not both.
Truth: most wildfires in the lower 48 states are human-ignited but they are burning *much greater area* due to hotter, drier conditions + vegetation as a result of climate change.
Myth #4: the only reason wildfires are burning more area is because of poor forest management (and "raking" would fix that)
Truth: Forest management absolutely plays a role; but "raking" doesn't work and climate change is making it a lot worse. Read:
Myth #5: those alarmists claim climate change is responsible for things that have always happened naturally
Truth: climate change is - according to the US military - a threat multiplier. It takes naturally-occurring events and makes them WORSE. Watch:
Finally, for a thorough review of the myths about how climate isn't changing, or it is but it's the sun or volcanoes or natural cycles, see:
And for a global perspective on wildfire--since, as our 2009 PLoS paper showed, climate change may actually decrease fire in some ecosystems and that's not necessarily a good thing either (journals.plos.org/plosone/articl… )--read @carbonbrief's excellent explainer: carbonbrief.org/explainer-how-…
Here's an addition on the arson myth - according to CalFire, 7% of California's large fires were known to be deliberate. The rest were primarily accidental human ignitions + some lightning and some unknown. sfchronicle.com/bayarea/articl…
Myth #6: the wildfires and/or the smoke and/or climate change is being caused by a secret military experiment
Truth: The only geoengineering happening right now is at miniscule scales and is well-documented. There are no secret expts.

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More from @KHayhoe

12 Sep
Hey so @YaleClimateComm has released a new set of my very fav maps that break down US opinion by congressional district + county. Here are two things people's opinions changed a LOT on in just one year, and two where they did NOT. Any guesses on which they are? Here we go ...
1. Is global warming happening? Numbers have jumped from 67% (left) to 72% (right) and opinions have solidified across the middle and eastern US where many were formerly doubtful.
2. Will global warming harm people in the US? People who say "yes" are now 61% versus 57% in 2019, and scales are now weighted in the direction of yes (orange colours) across most of the US including the previously doubtful centre of the country. Alright {sigh} centER.
Read 6 tweets
17 Jul
I understand the need for click-bait titles but when the @nytimes asks, 'are we over-reacting to climate change' the answer is NO we are not. Global carbon emissions continue to rise and atmospheric CO2 is higher than any time in human civilization (15 million yrs to be precise).
If you are tempted to counter with, "but the pandemic ...!" please read this thread before you respond:
And if you want to know how truly unprecedented this experiment is that we're conducting with our only home, the home we share with 8 billion other humans and countless more living things, read: iopscience.iop.org/article/10.108…
Read 5 tweets
28 May
@bookletting @katemyoder @grist Oh lord where do I start! Alright {cracks knuckles} let's begin with @johnfocook. I recommend everything he's posted here the last two months on this topic, including his Cranky Uncle book!
@bookletting @katemyoder @grist @johnfocook Next, the Debunking Handbook he co-authored with @STWorg skepticalscience.com/Debunking-Hand… and then some of Steve's many articles on the topic, starting with his most-cited, "Misinformation and its correction: Continued influence and successful debiasing" scholar.google.com/citations?user…
@bookletting @katemyoder @grist @johnfocook @STWorg Steve is also well-known for showing that climate change conspiracy theories go hand in hand with other conspiracy theories. In other words, it's a symptom not a cause: faculty.missouri.edu/segerti/capsto… and researchgate.net/publication/23…
Read 7 tweets
15 May
@PatriciaBubner @kristinapistone @guertin @rauscherMRI @svanglofille @PeterIlletschko @schilthuizen @La_U_Re_N I believe working within existing social, economic, and cultural sectors is most effective - similar to the "circles of influence" approach pioneered by @ecoAmerica. Rather than trying to make everyone a green liberal tree-hugger, instead show them that who they already are...
@PatriciaBubner @kristinapistone @guertin @rauscherMRI @svanglofille @PeterIlletschko @schilthuizen @La_U_Re_N @ecoAmerica ...is the perfect person to care. If I had the share of Jeff Bezo's $$ allocated to outreach, I'd parcel it out to dozens, maybe even hundreds of specific groups: for hunters, moms, fiscal conservatives, military supporters, evangelicals, social justice advocates, educators ...
@PatriciaBubner @kristinapistone @guertin @rauscherMRI @svanglofille @PeterIlletschko @schilthuizen @La_U_Re_N @ecoAmerica ... each of whom could reach their own circles of influence that already exist, with which they've already established trust, credibility, and a solid basis of shared values. The $$ would be to have climate convos to gather supporters + actors for clean energy + climate action 🌈
Read 5 tweets
3 May
The fact that a global pandemic will only cut carbon emissions by single digits illustrates how “people focus way, way too much on personal footprints, and whether they fly or not, without really dealing w the structural [sources]" as @ClimateOfGavin says grist.org/climate/the-wo…
Don't forget that while "the concept + name of the carbon footprint derive from the ecological footprint concept, which was developed by William E. Rees and Mathis Wackernagel" ...BUT "the carbon part was popularized by a large campaign of BP in 2005." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_fo…
And here's what the CEO of Shell had to say about individual responsibility last year thetimes.co.uk/article/shell-…
Read 5 tweets
30 Apr
Join me online in May for events with @danfagin at NYU May 5, @pintofscienceCA May 12, @SimonsFdn May 15 and @EdCentreCC May 21. All are totally different and all are online so you can join them from anywhere in the world! Plus, many of my Apr events were recorded. Details here:
Read 9 tweets

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