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Jakarta Post

Climate policy will not fix the fire problem

  • Bjorn Lomborg


Copenhagen   /   Sat, September 19 2020   /  01:00 am
Summer burn: Firefighters walk in a line while defending the Mount Wilson observatory during the Bobcat Fire in Los Angeles, California, United States on Sept. 17.(Reuters/Ringo Chiu)

Pictures of the big fires and orange skies on the US West Coast have been published worldwide as unmistakable evidence of climate change. The Los Angeles Times wrote on its full front page: “California’s climate apocalypse.” People from California Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic US presidential candidate Joe Biden to most of the media tell us that the cause is climate change, and anyone who thinks differently is in denial. Climate change is real, man-made and something we need to deal with smartly. But the claim that the fires are caused by climate change is dramatically misleading and steers us toward the worst way to help. One way to realize this is that California wildfires used to be much bigger. This past decade, California has seen 0.7 percent of its area on average burned. Before 1800, California typically saw between 4 to 12 percent of its land area b...