My Interview on Brietbart Radio News

I was a guest this week on “Breitbart News Tonight” on Sirius XM Satellite Radio to talk about the raging wildfires near my home in California and throughout the West.

I explained how the fires are driven by weather, not climate change. As readers of WUWT know, they are not remotely the same thing. Please have a listen, and learn the truth about what is driving these fires, some of which were intentionally set.

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September 11, 2020 2:32 pm

Heartland a really good podcast site for this. Good explanation.

CD in Wisconsin
September 11, 2020 3:01 pm

Fires a part of nature’s way of regenerating forests.

“..In fact, fire is a natural part of the forest’s regeneration system. Most forest trees need to be exposed to fire every 50 to 100 years to invigorate new growth. As we found out in Yellowstone National Park nearly 20 years ago, suppressing forest fires too long can actually be detrimental to forests. Extreme efforts to prevent forest fires there led to a huge consumption of trees when fire finally broke out.

University of Minnesota-Duluth biology professor John Pastor was quoted this week in the Star Tribune saying: “When people canoe through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and see all these beautiful forests, every one of those forests started with a fire.”


I find it frustrating that mainstream media outlets fail to understand this…

“..These kinds of dystopian weather events, happening often at the same time, are exactly what scientists have been warning about for decades. While extreme weather is a part of the natural cycle, the recent uptick in the ferocity and frequency of these extremes, scientists say, is evidence of an acceleration of climate impacts, some of which were underestimated by climate computer models…”

The above CBS news piece quoted (guess who?) Michael Mann to bang the climate alarmist gong one more time in association with the western wildfires. CA governor Newsome is sounding the climate alarm over the fires as well having recently blasted Trump over the president’s failure to act on climate change.

The stupid, it burns..

Jeffrey Alberts
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 11, 2020 3:51 pm

“Fires a part of nature’s way of regenerating forests.”

Indeed. WA Gov Jay Inslee is constantly, and I do mean constantly, blaming the frequency and intensity of every single fire on climate change.

Yesterday he sort of acknowledged that forest management needs to happen as well. Ok Jay, you’ve been in charge of the state for 8 years, and Democrats have been in charge for decades. These fires are ENTIRELY your fault. Period. Not the fault of CO2.

Reply to  Jeffrey Alberts
September 11, 2020 5:15 pm

A former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Services had this to say recently about the fires and the impact of logging in the areas that are burning-

“Sorry to be such a downer, but all the talk of logging impacts on fire behavior (and there ARE impacts) is akin to arguing about how the clothing I wear affects my weight on the scale vs. weighing naked.”

After touring the King Fire Area years ago I was surprised that some of the burned areas were not allowed to be cleaned up for one reason or another.

On the bright side of things fuel loads south of Highway 50 in the Mother Load are being raked of late.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  kakatoa
September 11, 2020 6:08 pm

I’m sorry but I don’t respect Mr. Furnish’s opinion at all. I live in eastern KS, between vast areas of prairie grass to the west and large stands of trees in the east. Controlled burns of grass in the spring not only controls weeds (likely fuel) but also prevents widespread grass fires covering huge areas of uninhabited prairie. The power companies being able to clear cut surrounding forests along high voltage power lines *do* prevent forests fires from starting. If the fuel can’t reach lines there are no sparks and no fires.

Fire breaks *do* work. And I don’t care who says they don’t.

Reply to  Jeffrey Alberts
September 12, 2020 1:51 am

Nearby upland Dartmoor (England) has the richest prehistoric remains in Europe and much evidence of changing climate through the Holocene

Every year ‘swaling’ is carried out by the land owners/users in order to burn off surplus heather or gorse. Gorse is very high in oils and highly combustible and quickly covers the moorland, so needs to be controlled

Here are the very sensible rules

Keeping burning to certain times of the year, carried out by experienced people, letting the fire authorities know of your intentions, are all very sensible parts of this practice that is thousands of years old. It is difficult to believe that such states as California can not formulate similar plans so forest and its combustible undergrowth can be kept under control


M Seward
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 11, 2020 5:04 pm

“When people canoe through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) and see all these beautiful forests, every one of those forests started with a fire.”

How beautifully put.

As an Australian we have exactly the same phenomenon excapt we all but only have evergreens, dominated by eucalypts, and a similar statement could be made.

What really stuns me is that this is hardly rocket science to understand. On this continent our Aboriginal people, living for 50-60,000 years on a fairly constant paleolithic lifestype figured it out so long back we just don’t know so there is no need to be fluent in quantum physics to understand it. American native peoples also understood how the forests worked and did similar cool, controlled, ‘patch’ burns or equivalent.

So what are we left with as the driver of these later day disasters? The pure, unadulterated arrogance of self important know it alls, fire regime deniers no less. And their solution? Carpet water bombing! Hanoi Jane is right on board with that I bet.

We have been taken over by a cadre of over educated imbeciles, an variant on the Peter Principle, people who are educated beyond their capacity to properly understand what they have been taught and degenerate into ideology and intolerance.

Reply to  M Seward
September 12, 2020 1:28 pm

Fuel loads need to be reduced significantly or large fires will continue to do greater damage. However, controlled burns are not the only possible solution. Considering how much money is spent on fighting those fires, if a similar, or possibly considerably lesser amount, were to be spent on using the biomass, there might be multiple wins: much less property damage and danger to human life plus some beneficial material gain such as much more and less expensive lumber and biomass produced electricity.

Richard Patton
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
September 11, 2020 9:43 pm

“Ths stupid, it burns.” Are you saying the stupid is the source of wildfires /sarc

September 11, 2020 3:30 pm

Fire experts blame century of fire suppression

Fear mongering Democrats blame Trump and climate

I have explained the dynamics of wildfires in many posts. The climate explanation is total BS


Jeffrey Alberts
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 3:52 pm

Cliff Mass, even though he thinks CO2 will eventually be a problem, has also debunked the CC=Fires meme. But, the left doesn’t care, they’re a dog with a bone.

Reply to  Jeffrey Alberts
September 11, 2020 4:26 pm

Cliff has been spot on regards fires. We have had many good discussions. Still he is in the Seattle where all the “summer of love” idiots ignorantly trash his good science.

Walt D.
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 3:59 pm

Jim: So you think that if the temperature is 450.99F and Global warming adds another 0.01F, that paper will not catch fire? (Sarc)

Janice Moore
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 4:09 pm

Hey, Jim! 🙂

GREAT to “see” you. I have been praying for you every day since you told us about your near miss. I thanked God that He spared you. Your superb writing about DATA-driven science is a lighthouse shining brilliantly, warning thinking people away from the rocks of CO2 junk science (and also, away from lukewarm swamps like the bulk of WUWT these days).

So glad you are still here on the earth. WE NEED YOU!

Take care.

With admiration and continuing prayers,


Reply to  Janice Moore
September 11, 2020 4:54 pm

Thanks Janice! Your kind words are much appreciated

Janice Moore
Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 8:19 pm


Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 7:33 pm

We need to rake the forests like president Trump says. Like they do in Finland just before every summer.

Reply to  Jim Steele
September 11, 2020 7:53 pm

Progressives proclaim that we should always listen to the experts. Except when the experts say something a progressive disagrees with.

Reply to  MarkW
September 12, 2020 5:27 am

Par for the course, isn’t it, Mark? A liberal is someone who thinks you should be allowed to do anything you like — so long as it’s something he approves of!

September 11, 2020 3:41 pm

The arson component should be emphasized. antifa/blm is also operating in the countryside on their trips between cities.

Randall Grubb
Reply to  RonPE
September 11, 2020 4:46 pm

Yes, there have been a few arrests in Oregon and Washington for arson that have anarchist ties. However this is not always the case. Growing up in Oregon and living for years in Washington, I’ve seen this time and time again.

In the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s right on through now, people with no work start fires in the hopes that the Forest Service, the real BLM, and state fire fighting agencies will call for temp fire fighters. The pay is great, the chow plentiful. These pukes see it as a way to make some quick money, so a-lighting they go.

Richard Patton
Reply to  Randall Grubb
September 11, 2020 9:48 pm

And not only that but these fires started where the whiney wimps who do the rioting would never go. 15-20 miles deep into the forest.

Steve Case
September 11, 2020 3:46 pm

Here’s a an easy to read and relatively short 1200 word on California red wood fires:

The Enigmatic Fire Regime of Coast Redwood Forests and Why it Matters

The abstract:

Of perhaps all forests in North America, the fire regime of coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don) Endl.) is most enigmatic. Widely considered a temperate rainforest, a large number of fire history studies depict a forest dominated by frequent surface fire regimes. Coast redwood also has a long list of traits that allow it to persist and dominate under such a chronic fire regime: thick bark, flammable litter, ability to resprout, and rapid pruning. Determining how redwood fire regimes functioned is a major question for restoration and conservation efforts. The origins of frequent fires in redwood fire history studies is often assigned to Native American land uses, with little attention to lightning or the region’s fire-prone adjacent ecosystems. Results from the few fires studied in the region suggest that we have much to learn from science and management perspectives about how fire behaves, its effects, and the elements of its enigmatic fire regime

Jeffrey Alberts
Reply to  Steve Case
September 11, 2020 4:03 pm

My great grandfather built a cabin in the Redwoods outside of Aptos, CA. I visited there often when I was a kid. There was one tree very near the cabin (within 25′ as I recall) that was struck by lightning down near the base. So it was partially hollowed out and charred, even decades later, but the tree was still alive.

Steve Case
Reply to  Jeffrey Alberts
September 11, 2020 6:38 pm

Jeffrey Alberts September 11, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Nice anecdote. Thanks for posting.

Last December I visited Big Basin Park just out side San Jose with my grown children & grandkids. I pointed out very similar hollowed out still alive coast redwoods and told them fire came through here years ago. Big Basin burned a few weeks ago and the visitor center & other buildings all gone. But the big trees are OK.

Joel O'Bryan
September 11, 2020 4:46 pm

A Russian-made Kamov Ka-32 helicopter as the podcast background image. Nice.

(not to be confused with a K-Max helicopter from Kaman Aerospace. One of which crashed and the pilot was killed in August fighting an Oregon fire.)

September 11, 2020 5:08 pm

While Anthony is 110% absolutely correct that this is weather and not climate, it is true the dilemma we find ourselves in is mostly manmade, insofar as fires and rolling blackouts goes. Forests are a firescape evolved ecology over millions of years that actually rely on fire, and we have certainly made sure that fuel loads have increased by insane polices that allow these fuel loads to accumulate, as has fire suppression the last 75+ years with Smokey the Bear et al policies. I live in the forest and actually manage a few thousand acres of forest and don’t want my place or forest burning down either. So you manage that by harvesting and making use of that timber for the highest and best use of those timber resources and get a new crop growing that has minimal fuel load, and a young healthy vibrant forest that is not as prone to start burning and/or can put it out more quickly, since we can’t be allowing our communities to be burning down. Or you have smaller cooler fires in the cool season to burn off accumulated fuel loads. Not much of this has happened in California or the Pacific North West the last 50 years, at least.

Or in the case of old growth, like the Redwoods or the Douglas Fir of the Pacific North West, you can selectively manage it, opening up the canopy so that they are spaced out more and get a new crop of under storey trees growing that can now get sunlight, and you have a more uneven aged forest that is more insulated and resistant to fire, including access to fight a fire. In a pure Pine stand, you have to clear cut it, because it is an even aged stand and will usually be old and dying and creating the insects that will put an end to the life of those tens of millions of trees rather quickly. And when that burns it is so hot, especially if much of it is laying on the ground, the fire destroys the soil which just takes longer to establish a forest again. That just creates a fire storm and there is nothing to be done, not even several mile wide fire breaks. It will just burn until winter or rainy season.

The roaming blackouts are 100% mismanagement of the grid with an overallocation of renewables that obviously can’t dispatch useful energy when required, so that is 100% human caused negligence by political and bureaucratic forces that just ram reckless policies through and damn the consequences. California is the poster boy for that recipe gone wrong, and if other jurisdictions follow down that path, they are are guaranteed the same result.

I watched the Bloomberg business channel today, as I was buying and selling some socks, and the one thing was more apparent than ever before, was that how many economic and business guru talking heads were repeating the mantra that CO2 emissions are the root cause of all this misery the planet is facing. Nothing could be further from the truth, but when this new priestly class starts becoming convinced that we can change the weather (for the better) by lowering the atmospheric CO2 levels, you know the war is almost lost. They had dozens of these people on today, explaining renewable stocks are up 33% in 6 months, and fossil fuel stocks are down by the same, and that the writing is on the wall, that unless we make this sacrifice to lower CO2 emissions, we are in for apocalyptic doom. Similar to the ancients appeasing the weather gods. Of course, it is Bloomberg Business news, so they would only have those folks on talking this way. But people are starting to believe in it, especially people in positions of great power and influence. Mark Carney, the recent head of the Bank of England, is now set to join forces with Big Green and bring even more unreliable energy to the grid, while he and his cronies will get very rich. It is of course, corrupt, and they are in it for the money, up front, while they sell it to their large hedge fund that will milk it for all the subsidies and then use it as a tax write off.

IMHO, we have to get out in front of this and propose solutions, like hardening the grid and our generators, especially exploring new safe modern nuclear reactors. Put them next to military bases in safe locations and guard them 24/7. Enact modern forest polices that see us utilize our forestry resources, and have people and communities make their living from it and have a vested interest in it. Utilize all that forestry scrap waste, and gasify it, and make it twice as efficient as wood pellets and burn it in CCGT plants instead of old antiquated low efficiency steam boilers. We can have our cake and eat it too, if we work on solutions. In the West, where we still have some form of democracy from North America to Europe to Oceana, politics is the art of compromise. We are not going to win this war with facts, but with compromise and intelligent design, the kind that provides engineered solutions, and not faith. We need to get out in front of this and provide leadership if we are to have any consequence in changing things for the long term betterment of civilization. If we don’t, then I think all is lost and the Left will succeed to power, sooner or later, and then it is real doom and gloom for everyone as we have seem everywhere socialism and Marxism is implemented.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Earthling2
September 11, 2020 6:13 pm


Reply to  Earthling2
September 11, 2020 7:40 pm

*Exactly* just look at those redwoods that have been standing there for a thousand years without threat of fire. It’s because back then California had a Republican governor in charge the forests were managed properly and the fuel load dealt with. Now the liberals are in charge its all gone to hell in a handbag.

Reply to  Steve45
September 11, 2020 9:06 pm

I didn’t know California had a Republican Governor the last 1000 years before the Democrat curse started. Once in a great while, fire will go up the trunk of a Sequoia, burn the crown, and thus kill the tree. Both kinds of Redwood are thus exceedingly resistant to fire and its effects. Of course, hot fires will kill the young Redwoods, but once the trees have reached maturity they are not easily killed. So it is still important to manage fuel loads over long time frames, or all the young Redwoods will get wiped out in a hot ground fire when those smaller crowns get burnt. When I lived in Northern California in the 70’s, there was a thriving hippie industry making a good living just off blow down and rotten, for shake and shingle, fencing and a lot of other artisan wood products, from basic dead scrap timber. You wouldn’t even know they had been in the forest cleaning it up, so to speak. That is probably long gone now with all the regulations.

Reply to  Earthling2
September 11, 2020 10:01 pm

There is a good positive correlation, over time, between the cost spent on suppression fires and the severity of fires as measured by property loss and fire extent.

Australian researchers carried out a study using 100 years of fire data on the consequence of fire suppression in one year on the fire behaviour the next year. The result, when plotted on a chart with intervention this year on one axis and intervention next year on the other axis, is like the meanderings of a drunken sailor lurching further and further out of control. Simple put, the more money spent on suppression this year, the more money will need to b spend on suppression the next year; not necessarily year-by-year but as a trend.

Authorities get hooked on suppression. That is where the big bucks are. Letting a forest burn does not seem a reasonable option. But not letting it burn simply delays the inevitable for a far worse event.

This knowledge has been known for more than 40 years in Australia by scientists but it is still not widely practiced. It has been reportedly known by the original inhabitants for millennia.

Bill Parsons
Reply to  Earthling2
September 12, 2020 8:15 pm

Whose responsibility is it to clear away trees from beneath PGE’s high power lines? Are the eco-nuts becoming any more amenable to fire breaks there? Also, is there any agreement on how wide these clear-cuts should they be?

Reply to  Bill Parsons
September 12, 2020 10:19 pm

It’s PG&E who is responsible for for its vegetation management within its right of way for the transmission line or distribution line. That’s one issue, and the other one is that they let their electrical equipment deteriorate on their power lines that led to these sparks starting fires. And to be fair, you will have vegetation under a power line no matter what you do, unless you spray it with Roundup every year. And that won’t happen. All this was basically state mandated to spend on renewables instead of maintenance, which makes Gavin Newsom an ignorant liar.

Fire breaks work on normal fires where you can actually fight it. In a firestorm conflagration, a fire break several miles wide won’t even work such as a mile wide lake, because the ember wash is blowing ahead of the main fire front by several miles, sometimes more. It just takes one spark to get a new fire going. Some of the forest fires I worked on, you would hear air tankers and helicopter pilots talking on the radio about the fire tornadoes ripping out 3 foot diameter Fir trees and part of that huge mushroom cloud at 10,000 feet. These updrafts clouds from the fire are known as a flammagenitus, pyrocumulus cloud or fire cloud, and is a dense cumuliform cloud associated with fire or volcanic eruptions that may also produce dry lightning (lightning without rain) which just causes more fires. When you are faced with this situation, all you can do is get out of the way.

September 11, 2020 5:15 pm

“I explained how the fires are driven by weather, not climate change.”


September 11, 2020 5:26 pm

Once again, all three governors on the western Pacific continental US have wasted no time in blaming climate change for the fires raging in their states. Why, it was almost as if it were planned ahead of time.

Reply to  Doonman
September 11, 2020 8:23 pm

Doonman – blaming ‘climate change’ obviously beats taking any responsibility themselves.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
September 12, 2020 11:31 am

When has a progressive ever taken responsibility for the problems that progressives cause?

Walt D.
September 11, 2020 5:56 pm

If they believe this is caused by “Climate Change” it means that they have no intention of tackling the root cause.
So we will be condemned to re-live this.
If anyone remembers the film “The Wicker Man”, an island of the west coast of Scotland is experiencing crop failure. Their solution – human sacrifice.
They probably waited for a few years until they had a good harvest and then claimed the human sacrifice worked.

September 11, 2020 6:16 pm

Be sure and watch Tucker Carlson on Fox tonight if you get a chance…he has a good opening monologue and interview on climate change and the California and Pacific North West fires…or watch the 15 minute clip straight from the Fox website.

September 11, 2020 7:30 pm

Yep weather’s totally independent of climate.

Reply to  Steve45
September 11, 2020 8:09 pm

I assume that is a smart ass liberal comment. Liberals tend to mistake sarcasm for actual thought.

A desert has a dry climate but it is quite possible to have a heavy rain in a desert.
Toronto’s climate is colder than Miami’s climate but it is possible that, for a day or two at a time, Miami will be colder than Toronto.

It is not uncommon to have weather events that are uncharacteristic for a given climate.

Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2020 9:53 pm

I agree with you Bob. Those record breaking fires in California (and the ones in Australia last year) are all a coincidence and have nothing to do with the increased frequency of heat waves. Liberals don’t understand that weather has nothing to do with climate.

Reply to  Steve45
September 12, 2020 11:33 am

There has not been an increase in heat waves. Are there any other lies you want us to demolish for you?

September 11, 2020 7:32 pm

As far as I can tell, Anthony absolutely nailed it. That was a joy to listen to.

California exodus is a real thing. Interestingly, high income people are moving to San Francisco. So what’s happening is that the middle class is being hollowed out and what’s left is the rich and the poor, just like a third world country. Anthony talked about the blackouts being similar to a third world country. Yep, California is becoming a third world country in many ways.

Reply to  commieBob
September 11, 2020 9:56 pm

Anthony’s been right about *everything* since he started this website all those years ago. He was certainly right about how the earth was going to cool:

Reply to  Steve45
September 12, 2020 12:31 am

Nope. Anthony didn’t write that content.

Don sent me his AGU paper for publication and discussion here on WUWT, and I’m happy to oblige – Anthony

The authorship is clear.

Anthony did, however, comment on something Lief Svalgaard said:

REPLY: Personally I think looking for climate change as a result of direct energy variance from the sun, in whatever form, is misleading. What I suspect is the reality is a transistor like effect, where a small signal variance is amplified.
Lookup Field Effect Transistor or FET to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Svensmark has the right idea, but that may not be the mechanism. It may be a combination of effects. One things is for certain, we don’t fully understand all of the issues between the earth and sun linkage, anyone who claims to fully understand it is overstating their skill. – Anthony

I don’t see an endorsement of Easterbrook’s ideas. What I do see is the humility to admit he doesn’t understand everything. Why would you claim that Anthony has a Godlike omniscience?

Reply to  commieBob
September 12, 2020 1:08 pm

Exactly Bob- Anthony doesn’t write the material he just posts it. Like this one:

Reply to  Steve45
September 13, 2020 7:15 am

I’m missing your point. That’s the problem with innuendo and sarcasm. They aren’t a replacement for thinking and they aren’t a replacement for real communication. What Anthony said was:

Professor Zharkova’s work may have significantly improved our ability to forecast solar activity. If we do enter a new Maunder Minimum, then we are bound to discover new things about our sun and its influences on our climate.

The statement is factually accurate. Given that the sun provides almost all the energy in the climate system, you’re living in cloud cuckoo land if you don’t think it has at least some influence on the climate. Past that, our knowledge, as Anthony points out, is rather scant.

Reply to  Steve45
September 12, 2020 11:34 am

Steve45, are you ever going to make a claim that is actually true?

Steven Mosher
September 11, 2020 11:58 pm

“I explained how the fires are driven by weather, not climate change. ”

So if the climate changes and California has wetter and colder weather do you expect

1. More fires? Fewer fires? or the same number
2. Bigger fires, smaller fires or the same area burned.

So if the climate changes and Canada is once again covered in ice do you expect

1. More fires? Fewer fires? or the same number
2. Bigger fires, smaller fires or the same area burned.

So if the climate changes and the Sahara desert is once again green in ice do you expect

1. More fires? Fewer fires? or the same number
2. Bigger fires, smaller fires or the same area burned.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 12, 2020 2:02 am

”So if the climate changes and California has wetter and colder weather do you expect”
Fire severity is governed by wind, fuel and dryness. Not heat.
PNG is much hotter than Victoria AU but Vic AU is the most fire prone area in the world and PNG is too wet.
The Sahara is hotter than Vic AU but there is no fuel so no fire.
The arctic is cold but when it’s dry, it burns.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 12, 2020 11:36 am

First demonstrate that the climate in California is changing. What’s going on now is well within the range of normal. Just because something is different from last year, or even last decade, is not evidence that something unusual is happening or that CO2 is the cause of the change.

September 12, 2020 2:05 am

Breitbart is written with ei not with ie

Bill Rocks
September 12, 2020 8:58 am


Excellent. Thanks for what you do.

September 12, 2020 6:01 pm

How to fix the problem. Unfortunately the problem is at the ballot box. Voters 18 years old can vote and their brain may not yet be fully developed. As for the rest of the population, the school system failed them by not teaching them the scientific process and critical thinking. They think with their heart instead of their head and are willingly brainwashed by the first smooth talker that comes along. To fix this problem the people will have to be willing to learn and that’s not likely. The school system needs to be fixed but with the progressives in control, that’s not likely. I fear that California could be a French Revolution fighting against what they don’t like but not knowing how to fix it. Maybe they need to go back to the stone age and evolve again.

For now, consider a dual fuel generator and every thing you need to isolate yourself or get out of California while you can. Things are going to get far worst before they get better.

Tom Abbott
September 14, 2020 12:59 pm

I think Trump is out in California right now. He’s giving the California governor tips on how to clean up California forests so they don’t burn like crazy all the time.

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