Facts Debunk NPR Claim that Global Warming Is Causing Dying Trees, Power Outages

Reposted from ClimateRealism

By James Taylor -September 21, 2021

At the top of Google News search results this morning for “climate change,” National Public Radio (NPR) claims global warming is causing a mass die-off of trees in California and throughout the country, with the trees falling on power lines and causing power outages. In reality, objective facts show forests are becoming healthier during recent years and decades, falsifying any assertion that global warming is causing dying trees and power outages.

The NPR article, “Climate Change Is Killing Trees And Causing Power Outages,” attempts to shift blame for California power outages away from utilities’ negligence and poor government forest management to blaming global warming, instead. Quoting utility company personnel, NPR asserts, “According to more than a dozen of the country’s largest utilities, branches and trees falling on power lines are a leading source of power outages. Some utilities say that because of factors related to climate change, trees are dying faster than they can reach them on their normal trimming cycles.”

“We have never seen the sort of mass mortality that we’re seeing now,” said Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) advisor Igor Lacan in the NPR article.

Claimed NPR, “Extreme storms, droughts, disease and insects are stressing and killing trees, and these trees pose a growing threat of wildfires and to grid reliability, many large utilities say.”

If NPR’s claims are true, we should be able to see the declining tree numbers and “mass mortality” of forests in forestry data. Objective scientific data, however, show exactly the opposite is occurring.

Globally and throughout the United States, tree canopy gains far outweigh tree canopy losses. Since 1982, tree canopy cover in the United States has increased by more than 100,000 square miles. That is an area larger than Colorado. Globally, tree canopy has increased by more than 650,000 square miles.

Notably, the increase in tree canopy is occurring not just because forests are expanding their range. Tree growth within each forest acre is also outpacing tree mortality.

NPR focuses much of its tree mortality claims on California, yet the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports there are presently three times as many trees per forest acre in California as there were  150 years ago. The tree growth is so significantly outpacing tree mortality that U.S. Forest Service ecologists are urging forest managers to thin the forests by chopping down trees. This is not consistent with NPR’s claim that forests are in a “mass mortality” die-off caused by global warming.

Power outages have the potential to create tremendous disruption and danger to our daily lives. Recognizing this, climate activists like NPR attempt to further their alarmist climate agenda by blaming power outages on global warming. In reality, objective science shows forests are becoming healthier in a warmer world with more atmospheric carbon dioxide, which reduces the factors that NPR claims are responsible for recent power outages.James TaylorJames Taylor is the President of the Heartland Institute. Taylor is also director of Heartland’s Arthur B. Robinson Center for Climate and Environmental Policy. Taylor is the former managing editor (2001-2014) of Environment & Climate News, a national monthly publication devoted to sound science and free-market environmentalism.

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September 29, 2021 2:03 pm

NPR knows who their rich daddy is. Follow the funding trail.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 29, 2021 2:11 pm

NPR literally gets paid extra if they can work “climate change” into an article.

Rory Forbes
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
September 29, 2021 3:05 pm

“Climate change” is now an authorized part of “climate change” speech and can be inject almost anywhere into a “climate change” conversation, to add interest, emphasis and “climate change”. “Covid-19” will soon become a similar means to augment your writing 😎

Joao Martins
Reply to  Rob_Dawg
September 30, 2021 2:59 am

“Climate change bait”, as in “click bait”?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 29, 2021 6:17 pm

NPR was always National Propaganda Radio, but NOW it serves a different master.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  n.n
September 30, 2021 4:36 am

I don’t want my tax dollars going to NPR. Perhaps this can be changed around January 2023.

September 29, 2021 2:16 pm

It was sooooo easy to debunk the idiotic NPR’s claims, yet there will be many warmist/alarmists who are convinced it is really happening.

I face this behavior in various places I post in where such people make irrational fallacies as their way to address the climate reality placed before them by IGNORING the data to pass on the media based propaganda of a doomed world…… unless we let the corrupt politicians play their planetary savior card, it is an endless supply as nation after nation try to be the hero while not realizing they are themselves the problem swimming in the lies they they create.

In several forums, I posted Eschenbauch’s Where is the “Climate Emergency?” the fallacies and personal attacks was all they could respond with, EXAMPLE

This is a link to a blogger whose main if not only purpose is to debunk anthropomorphic climate change. Not quite a reliable source for fact based science. I know this because I did not stop at the link, I went quite a bit farther. Sometimes the danger of relying on one unchecked,, un fact checked link leaves you open to unwisely relying on some ones deranged notion as defensible facts. Sorry you fell for this one.


This was my reply:

Thank you for not addressing an article you didn’t read in detail, must be that common fear that warmist/alarmists suffer from…..

If you think the article is bad, you are encouraged to go beyond your source fallacy bias and make a cogent argument…..

No one is stopping you from doing it.

Ha ha ha, that was the first warmist/alarmist comment in the thread, it goes on and on like this the mental laziness the lack of interest in reading the fact based information, it seems almost PAINFUL for them to see it.

He didn’t make a single counterpoint to the content of the post Willis made, not one!

I learned over the years that many warmist/alarmists will never wake up because they are so brainwashed and taught to obey the Modeling pseudoscience ideology they are being saturated with.

The only partial cure is a terrible run of a cooling world in the next few decades.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sunsettommy
Ty Hallsted
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 29, 2021 3:32 pm

I forget who said it but it is very true – “You can’t reason someone out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

Gunga Din
Reply to  Ty Hallsted
September 29, 2021 4:30 pm

Along the same lines, “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Ty Hallsted
September 30, 2021 12:35 am

A big stick to beat him with is the only solution.

John in Oz
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 29, 2021 3:33 pm

This attitude of not accepting facts and going with ‘feelings’ or catastrophic and unlikely scenarios is apparent with John Stossel’s suing of Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JohnStossel/videos/1074673836404034/

At 4:10 the fact checker disagrees with the IPCC because they do not take into account sea level rise over the next 1,000 years rather than accept that we can adapt to the current steady, low increase.

At 5:10 they discuss hurricanes which leads to accepting that they are not getting stronger nor more frequent but that (in an email) “The problem is the omission of contextual information rather than specific ‘facts’ being wrong.”

The fact checkers are ignoring facts and banning people for stating them. Why they do not ban anything from the IPCC that states the same facts is a mystery.

Reply to  John in Oz
September 29, 2021 5:49 pm

Fact checkers in the mainstream media including social media are the Enforcers of politically correct speech.

Or rather, they are today’s equivalent to the Storm Troopers whose job during the run up to the Nazi state was to beat up everyone who opposed the Nazis. Or worse.

Reply to  Duane
September 29, 2021 6:20 pm

From Nazis braying Jew privilege to neo-Nazis braying White privilege… motivated by redistributive and retributive change of capital and control.

Christopher Hanley
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 29, 2021 3:44 pm

… The only partial cure is a terrible run of a cooling world in the next few decades …

And/or the awful results of the supposed cures for the non-existent climate emergency.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sunsettommy
September 30, 2021 4:43 am

“Ha ha ha, that was the first warmist/alarmist comment in the thread, it goes on and on like this the mental laziness the lack of interest in reading the fact based information, it seems almost PAINFUL for them to see it.
He didn’t make a single counterpoint to the content of the post Willis made, not one!”

I think it is painful for them and the reason it is painful is because they have no counter-argument, and they know it, and that shakes their view of reality, and this is painful. You think you have it all down pat, and then realize you can’t really prove what you claim and the world you live in may not be the real world.

It’s painful to have one’s Bubble burst. Most people will go to great lengths to keep this from happening by maintaining the fiction. This involves performing mental gymnastics on themselves. Fooling themselves, in other words.

Elle W
September 29, 2021 2:20 pm

Maybe NPR could discuss the arrest of an academic in environmental sciences for starting some of those fires? And why that woman is not being charged with domestic terrorism (using deliberate destruction to advance a political agenda). Oh right, doesn’t fit the self-righteous little narrative NPR is pushing that California power outages are the result of global warming.

Thomas Gasloli
September 29, 2021 2:29 pm

If it is on NPR, it is a lie. I wish the Repubs, when they control Congress, would end tax deductibility & all federal funds for CPB/PBS/NPR/APR/PRI. They are just daily propaganda broadcasts for the Dems.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
September 29, 2021 4:43 pm

The excuse for Government funding such things goes back to when there where only three TV networks in the US; ABC, NBC and CBS.
Those days are long gone.
(The now Disney owned Muppet franchise is worth quite a bit. How much of that is Tax-payer dollars from Sesame Street?)

Peta of Newark
September 29, 2021 2:32 pm

Hardly any wonder that the trees are growing better, esp over that sort of timescale.

Because you’ve been feeding them – what are you like?

OK. What wiv, wot we bin feedin…((Beware explodin’ heads on this next bit)

  • You’ve been feeding them ‘pollution’
  • You bin feedin Nitrogen and Sulphur Oxides from flues, chimneys and tail-pipes
  • You bin ‘conditioning’ the dirt with soot, again tail-pipes and chimneys (sometimes called Biochar)
  • You bin dousing them with dust from farmland, loaded as it is with Phosphorus, Potassium, some Iron and other trace elements
  • You’ve put up an Ozone & UV Shield over them with leaked petrol, kerosene and methane – so they don’t need put up their own (VOC) shield and can thus spend more energy/resource into growth

Add more of your own but ‘the above’ is well plenty for the observed effects

Take the hint, feed them some more.
)It don’t have to be exactly what I described above – go here and learn
Look for the word ‘fertile’)

Feed them enough so that they can close the canopy
(It would be really helpful at this juncture if you Stopped Burning Holes in it)

When the canopy closes, the hot dry winds blow right over the top, moisture is retained in the living trees but especially then in the deepening layer of litter on the forest floor
The trees will transpire water as and when they deem necessary – making clouds and thus rain.
There is Good Reason why Rainforests are so-called

(Do beware, u iz gonna run out of CO2 – best lay in plans to make some extra)

And lo – The Climate Will Change.
The climate of everywhere and everyone
nice – so what you waitin for?

Last edited 1 year ago by Peta of Newark
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 29, 2021 5:35 pm

Except, Peta, the amount of soot in the atmosphere is actually lower in many places than it was when there was less tree mass 150 years ago. Why? Most people heated their homes and ran their factories with burning coal and had no particulate scrubbers on their chimneys. London and the surrounding areas used to have frequent dense smog and black snow but GB passed the 1968 clean air act. There’s that. Oh, and the rainforests around the world are where they are because of damp, moisture laden air being carried on the prevailing wind patterns off the ocean, not because trees transpire which is a stupid, circular argument. Plus, trees are still emitting volatile organic compounds – you made that BS up about how they don’t need to anymore. Have you ever smelled a pine forest? That smell is VOCs. In fact, VOC concentrations are driven by forest type, drought (dryer means more VOCs), and tree density. Where I live, you can see the forest haze on any calm day. The haze is VOCs. You probably can see it too.

You’re beclowning yourself with your nutcase claim that climate change is caused by nutrient poor soil. The climate has always changed, even at stable CO2 concentrations. Move on.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Peta of Newark
September 30, 2021 12:39 am

Surely this is an attempt at humour, no o e could right that load of dross and think anyone would take it seriously

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Guy-Johnson
September 30, 2021 4:54 am

Peta is a free spirit.

John Garrett
September 29, 2021 2:50 pm

NPR spreads misinformation and inaccuracies about climate every single day.

It boggles the mind that a broadcast operation that receives significant funding from the U.S. government (i.e., the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) is engaged in a concerted, intentional and deliberate effort to mislead and misinform its audience.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Garrett
Robert of Texas
September 29, 2021 2:53 pm

NPR is powered by hot-air. Their best source is their own reporting. It all free after all.

September 29, 2021 2:56 pm

How come NPR forgets what’s really killing US trees?

Ever heard of UK’s Drax Power Station?

September 29, 2021 3:30 pm

With new wood pellet mills opening even now in the U.S.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  ResourceGuy
September 30, 2021 5:10 am

It just keeps getting crazier.

Tom Halla
September 29, 2021 3:32 pm

It does seem that all English language government broadcasting operation are aligned with the most left of the political parties in their country. The UK, Australia, Canada, and the US. I don’t know enough about South Africa or New Zealand to include them, but it would be no surprise if they run left too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Halla
Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 29, 2021 4:22 pm

Once upon a time NPR was great to listen to because they could be relied on to showcase all kinds of stories that never appeared on commercial broadcasting networks. Now they are part of the MSM and have lost all integrity.

John Garrett
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 29, 2021 4:30 pm

You are absolutely correct. It was once a reliable news source and I was a regular listener for many, many years.

Unfortunately, it has been hijacked by activists and propagandists. It’s a shame.

I no longer listen (on the rare occasions when I do, it’s all I can do to keep myself from throwing my radio out the window or smashing it with a hammer).

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  John Garrett
September 30, 2021 12:53 am

Considering that tax money supports a lot of their expenses along with Pledge Week, it is shameful that they drank the Kool-Aid and went full CAGW. I wonder how their listener base is these days….

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 29, 2021 5:54 pm

I do still listen to NPR, since in my area (Kansas) they have very good weather alerts. But I often wake up wanting to throw something at the radio because they are so wrong about so much.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  starzmom
September 30, 2021 12:57 am

In my area their local news was pretty good too. But there is no point in listening to a radio station that raises one’s blood pressure with every CAGW story.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 30, 2021 5:13 am

“there is no point in listening to a radio station that raises one’s blood pressure with every CAGW story.”

My sentiment exactly. We need to avoid stressful things like stupidity being passed off as facts.

Reply to  Pamela Matlack-Klein
September 30, 2021 6:52 pm

I listen to a local talk show host for the stories our local news either won’t cover or just skim over. He’s also able to get officials to change their decisions and policies by rallying the public. It’s quite an education to listen to someone who can and will dig deep into local stories o we what you hear on the local news.

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Darrin
October 1, 2021 1:50 am

Talk radio in the US is a lot of fun. Isn’t it strange that liberal hosts have never been successful at this format?

Mike Lowe
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 29, 2021 5:44 pm

That is correct about New Zealand too. Out Leftie government recently found an excuse to give NZ$50million to the MSM to support them through Covid, as a result of which they hardly ever voice / print anything critical of the government’s socialist activities. Just a direct bribe! Our Prime Minister is a youngish woman who, just a few years ago, was world President of a Young Communist organisation – you can see her speech to them on You Tube, where she addresses them as “Comrade” about 12 times in one speech. Such depths we have sunk to!

Pamela Matlack-Klein
Reply to  Mike Lowe
September 30, 2021 1:03 am

Are New Zealanders that nostalgic for the old USSR that they supported this Communist for PM or don’t they pay attention? I guess if they were not paying attention is would have been pretty easy for a small, dedicated group of Commies to push her into the top spot. Now you are stuck with her. Any exit strategy for the next election…if there is one?

Rud Istvan
September 29, 2021 3:43 pm

More evidence that ‘we’ are slowly winning this climate war. The warmunist claims get ever more shrill and easyier to debunk. Summer Arctic Sea ice not disappearing. Sea level rise not accelerating. Polar bears thriving. Trees thriving. Renewables NOT thriving.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 29, 2021 11:15 pm

Sorry Rud,

But I fear we will really ‘win’ in most people’s blinkered minds, just as we all scrunch into the rocks at the bottom of the cliff.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 30, 2021 5:20 am

“More evidence that ‘we’ are slowly winning this climate war.”

I think so, too. The facts are on the side of the skeptics and nothing the alarmists can say or do can change that, so the alarmists have to resort to giving people a blizzard of climate change propaganda, and as you say, they are getting more shrill by the day.

Meanwhile, CO2 is increasing, yet the temperatures are cooling. That’s the alarmist’s big problem. They have the Propaganda Organs of Society on their side, but they don’t have Mother Nature on their side.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
September 30, 2021 11:25 am

“More evidence that ‘we’ are slowly winning this climate war.”

I disagree. The entire narrative of “climate change” is woven into the fabric of almost every endeavor anymore. For example, I read magazines on a wide variety of subjects and EVERY one of them defaults to “climate change is happening, it’s bad, and we need to do something about it”. It’s pervasive in all areas and not even questioned by the general public.

September 29, 2021 4:08 pm

Global warming at work. Global warmings secondary function is to be a scapegoat for all manner mismanagement from fish to forests. Its primary purpose remains as being one agent of complete economic destabilisation of the west so that George Soros and his believers can introduce a global government where the vast majority of people will be propertyless units of production and consumption.

John Garrett
September 29, 2021 4:34 pm

Using NPR’s correction form,


I have asked that NPR’s report be corrected (I won’t be holding my breath awaiting a corrected version).

September 29, 2021 5:42 pm

we need to start scare tactics claiming mobile phones are causing forest fires and massive power demand because of the downloads people do

September 29, 2021 5:44 pm

The age old phrase describing these ridiculous fact free assertions is “baffle ‘em with bullshit”.

Or, “Throw a whole lotta bullshit at the wall, and hope some of it sticks”.

Or, to quote the statement attributed frequently to Josef Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda:

“Repeat the big lie often enough and it becomes the truth.”

Reply to  Duane
September 30, 2021 12:43 pm

The Romans – unsurprisingly – had a phrase for that:
Excretio taurii confusit cerebellae


CD in Wisconsin
September 29, 2021 5:58 pm

‘“We have never seen the sort of mass mortality that we’re seeing now,” said Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) advisor Igor Lacan in the NPR article.’

I could not bring myself to read the NPR article. The post’s headline and the first few paragraphs of the posting were enough for me. If the claims the NPR article is making is based on the word of just one or a handful of persons in California, it qualifies in my mind as extraordinarily sloppy junk journalism. There is no way the the word of just one or a few persons in California should be extrapolated to apply to the forests of the whole United States…..or the whole world for that matter — if that is what is indeed being done.

Using the climate alarmist narrative to justify such extrapolation only makes matters worse. Spending U.S. taxpayers’ money to fund such journalistic irresponsibility and misbehavior is an example of the dysfunctional appropriation of govt funds. The abandonment of journalistic ethics and principles for political and climate activism should disqualify NPR (and perhaps PBS) for any govt funding.

If NPR were to go under without govt funding, I for one would not miss it since I never listen to it to begin with.

September 29, 2021 7:02 pm

I believe it was at the time of the Camp Fire. There was an article (on WUWT or Climate Etc?)
The delved into the PG&E budget and what drives it. It quite clearly stated three things that I’ve wondered about since:
1)   The Utility Commission that rules PG&E policy and practices is made up mainly or entirely of political appointee activists who have no background, and probably therefore no understanding of, electrical generation or grid maintenance. The article claimed that the Utility Commission constantly directs funds away from maintenance and into adding more unreliable sources.
2)   This same Commission refused all of PG&E’s request for rate increases for funds to implement maintenance rather than do more expansion.
3)   Some authority(ies) consistently deny PG&E permission to trim trees back far enough to assure said trees were unlikely to interact with power lines, thus start fires.

Clearly, after the fire, all blame fell on lack of maintenance with PG&E being the culprit. Apparently there was no attempt by the indicted to refute the charges (politics or threat?). Does anyone know about such an article and maybe how to find it?

Does anyone know of any available information source that could enlighten one on the real situation?

September 29, 2021 7:25 pm

Progressives choose truth over facts. (try and keep up.)

On today’s program, Mark Levin referred to NPR as “National Pubic Radio.”

Mike Dubrasich
September 29, 2021 8:09 pm

Hey, green trees blow over and fall on powerlines. They don’t have to be dead to do that.

However, in rebuttal to the author, canopy cover is not a measure of forest health or growth. A 7-yo Christmas tree plantation may have 99% canopy cover, while an old-growth forest may have 50% and be perfectly healthy and growing magnitudes more biomass per acre per year. Two-dimensional aerial or satellite photos do not capture the true conditions of manifestly 3-dimensional forests.

In addition, since 1983 nearly 300,000 square miles (190,413,162
acres) of US forests have burned in large (100+ acre) fires according to the National Interagency Fire Center. The cited satellite-based data (gain of 100,000 sq mi) is not plausible.

That being said, NPR has a history of fanciful claims regarding forests. They were staunch supporters of the 1993 Clinton/Gore Northwest Forest Plan to save the spotted owl. Since inception of the NWFP the owl population has plummeted by 90% and more than 10 million acres of owl forests have burned. NPRhas never assumed the blame for (or even acknowledged) that catastrophic failure.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
September 30, 2021 5:27 am

“Since inception of the NWFP the owl population has plummeted by 90% and more than 10 million acres of owl forests have burned.”

That’s about right. These people could screw up an anvil.

David Guy-Johnson
September 30, 2021 12:34 am

Well I suppose if there are 3 times as many trees, you’re likely to have 3 times as many trees falling over! Welcome to, “Global warming”, the catch all excuse for government and corporate failure the world over.

September 30, 2021 12:56 am

There are drought struck and beetle ridden dead trees all over west and north west America, aren’t there?

And climate change is driving that.

Reply to  griff
September 30, 2021 4:59 am

Droughts are weather events griff. Been happening since creation.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
September 30, 2021 5:28 am

“And climate change is driving that.”

How so?

Reply to  griff
September 30, 2021 7:37 am

Are you really a sceptic and just trying to say the most moronic things you can to show how stupid the true believer position is?

Reply to  griff
September 30, 2021 1:08 pm

Proper forest husbandry is the solution, not tree slavery as you leftards are now calling it, lie spewing liar. Climate change is something trees have always dealt with. Why? Because the climate changes, constantly. Always has and always will, humans are not causing it and can not stop it. But hey! Spew all the lies you want, lie spewing liar, no one is listening to you lie spewing liars anymore.

Fred Middleton
Reply to  griff
October 2, 2021 2:16 pm

Many many less beetles today in Western USA Conifer forest compared to May of this year.

Tom Abbott
September 30, 2021 4:31 am

From the article: “In reality, objective science shows forests are becoming healthier in a warmer world”

Warmer than what?

September 30, 2021 7:57 am

 “there are presently three times as many trees per forest acre” In my area of British Columbia large tree density seems to be creating to much competition resulting in unhealthy trees. [just my observation] 

September 30, 2021 1:00 pm

“mass die-off of trees in California and throughout the country, with the trees falling on power lines and causing power outages” No need to go past that, greentards are simply retarded.

EJ Canary
September 30, 2021 2:37 pm

The biggest human caused factor affecting the “climate” is the elephant in the sky that no one is allowed to speak about–geoengineering aka weather warfare. Until that is stopped, we are all screwed.

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