The out-of-control wildfires burning in Canada have found their way to parts of the United States and may even reach parts of Norway. New York has been hit particularly hard, with New York City's air quality designated the worst in the world as a result. Parts of New York City and Philadelphia were under a Code Purple warning as part of the U.S. Air Quality Index. With the air quality measured on a scale from 0-500, Code Purple meant the air quality was from 201 to 300, with health risks for everyone, not just those with increased health risks. In images that called to mind a sci-fi or even apocalyptic atmosphere, the New York City skyline appeared orange.
There's been a lot of chatter about the cause, with many quick to blame climate change, but that may not be the whole story. As a CBS News report explains [emphasis added]:
How did the fires in Canada start?
Dry, hot weather also breeds more lightning. In a normal season, half of Canada's wildfires are started by lightning, but those fires account for more than 85% of wildfire destruction. The other half are human-caused.
What might seem like slight increases in average temperatures have major consequences.
"Most fires in the boreal forest of northern Canada are started by lightning. A one-degree Celsius increase in temperature amounts to about 12% more lightning. So the warmer it gets as the climate heats up, the more triggers there are for fires to burn," said Struzik.
In Quebec, for example, fires were sparked by lightning, but officials in Alberta have said that the cause of fires there is currently unknown. Elsewhere in the country, these fires have been human-caused in various ways from discarded cigarette butts to sparks from passing trains.
Christopher Barnard, vice president of external affairs at the American Conservation Coalition, tweeted a helpful thread, highlighting how so-called "environmentalists" are actually the ones making the problem worse.
Due to decades of fire suppression, Canada’s forests are overgrown. Environmentalists have lobbied against prescribed burns & active forest management, which would remove undergrowth and brush that's essentially tinder for wildfires.— Christopher Barnard (@ChrisBarnardDL) June 7, 2023
The result is *more* fires & *more* emissions
Yes, the climate is getting hotter and forests are becoming more combustible as a result. But that could be mitigated with better forest management policies.— Christopher Barnard (@ChrisBarnardDL) June 7, 2023
Let's also not forget that the vast majority of these fires are started by *humans* - they're not just random.
Bureaucrats in DC, who are typically divorced from these issues, are now facing the impacts themselves.— Christopher Barnard (@ChrisBarnardDL) June 7, 2023
Hopefully it'll incentivize them to stop hiding behind a façade of "environmentalism" and actually tackle the problem so the DC gov doesn't have to tell kids to stay home.
The CBS News report mentions Democratic responses, from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to a statement from President Joe Biden.
Not only did Schumer devote multiple tweets to blaming climate change, but he also took the opportunity to tout the misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act" as something that is supposed to do something to fix the problem.
These Canadian wildfires are truly unprecedented, and climate change continues to make these disasters worse.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 7, 2023
We passed the Inflation Reduction Act to fight climate change, and we must do more to speed our transition to cleaner energy and reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
This smoke and smog over NY and the rest of the northeast is a warning that we have a lot of work to do to reverse the destruction of climate change.— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 7, 2023
We passed the Inflation Reduction Act to put us on track to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030. But we must do more.
During his remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Schumer emphasized "none of this – none of this – is coincidence," as he also called the smog "a warning from nature that we have a lot of work to do to reverse the destruction of climate change," and said "every time" we see other weather events, "it's a reminder that time is short to reverse the impacts of a warming planet."
Schumer concluded by urgently calling on his colleagues to do more:
And Democrats are proud of the progress we’ve made to accelerate America’s transition to clean energy through the Inflation Reduction Act, but both parties, both parties, have an obligation to do more.
The work to protect our climate is far from over, and we are dangerously behind. Again, I am proud of the historic work Democrats did last year to move us in the right direction, but I implore my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to look up at the smog today and recognize we must, we must, do more.
At the top of the list is a good transmission bill, which will greatly enhance our nation’s ability to bring clean energy like wind and solar to large population centers, and reduce the carbon that is thrown into the atmosphere.
In the House, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was just as hysterical and shamelessly promoted her legislative agenda. Our friends at Twitchy highlighted AOC's tweets.
Along with "#GreenNewDeal," AOC tweeted, "We must adapt our food systems, energy grids, infrastructure, healthcare, etc. ASAP to prepare for what's to come and catch up to what is already here," after claiming "it bears repeating how unprepared we are for the climate crisis."
Between NYC in wildfire smoke and this in PR, it bears repeating how unprepared we are for the climate crisis.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 7, 2023
We must adapt our food systems, energy grids, infrastructure, healthcare, etc ASAP to prepare for what’s to come and catch up to what is already here. #GreenNewDeal 🌱 https://t.co/GT7hY4Ffm3
Her tweet was met with close to 12,000 replies, with many calling her out and directly challenging her point.
Or we could spend a LOT less money than the green new scam and actually manage forests properly. 🤷♀️ We have this issue every year now in Oregon because you green nuts won’t allow common sense forestry. 🙄😒— Nancy the Neanderthal 🇺🇸 (@nan_mclellan) June 7, 2023
Fellow squad member Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was also tweeting about the need for "climate action" and the "climate crisis," which included another leftist phrase of having an "equity approach."
The East Coast has some of the worst air quality in the world today due to Canadian wildfires. Please stay safe and mask up 🙏🏿— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) June 7, 2023
We need bold, sweeping climate action, so that our communities aren’t risking their health because we are failing stand up to the fossil fuel industry. https://t.co/zK0X0FxqMG
We need an equity approach to the climate crisis because redlined Black and brown communities have more air pollution & deal with smog like we see now for a few weeks every year. This is the legacy of racist policies that still harm our communities today https://t.co/c3ysDKqRpW— Congressman Jamaal Bowman (@RepBowman) June 8, 2023
Twitchy also pointed to an insufferable tweet from MSNBC's Chris Hayes. Hayes, full of snark and virtue signaling, drew parallels to COVID-19. Given how certain narratives did not turn out to be what the "experts" tried to convince us of in the beginning, perhaps the media should look in the mirror when it comes to "never hav[ing] to admit taking a wrong turn."
I always thought there would be *some* kind of climate reckoning when it got bad enough but Covid has taught me that, no, people will just step on the gas and happily mow people down so they never have to admit taking a wrong turn.— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 7, 2023
There's also a reaction from Bloomberg through a TikTok video, which lectures people on climate change and wildfires. As Twitchy's Brett T. put it:
Apparently Bloomberg put out a TikTok video Tuesday about the smoke from the Canadian wildfires that matters greatly because it’s happening in New York City, where all the media are based, and not, say, East Palestine where no one cares. That video got a lot of “climate deniers” in the replies, and whoever this guy is from Bloomberg is so butthurt he had to put out a video doubling down on the link between climate change and wildfires.
The holier-than-thou video's caption asks, "Everyone [is] ready to take climate change seriously?" It's almost two minutes long, with the host pretentiously lamenting how he "saw a lot of climate denialism in the comments to our TikTok we did about this situation" the day before, and goes on to claim "the data is undeniable."
Although he offered no proof to dispute claims of arson, he said, with a sarcastic laugh, "No, there is no guy with a gas can running around wildfires as I think a lot of you apparently think," as "no one Antifa guy is going to be able to accomplish" setting all of the fires, even though nobody appears to have made such a claim.
The host then claims that "the problem with this climate denialism is that it distracts us from the real issue," which he believes is to "keep the planet from heating up much more than it already has." In what appears to be a serious warning, he claims that if that's not achieved, "this kind of destruction and disruption will become the new normal," as "the very act of breathing will become a luxury."
"Is that really the price we're willing to pay just to keep burning fossil fuels?" he whines toward the end of the video.
The smoke in New York City is getting worse.— Bloomberg Opinion (@opinion) June 7, 2023
Everyone ready to take climate change seriously? pic.twitter.com/5yoK9PXFKM
But again, the hysteria came all the way from the top of the U.S. government and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who acknowledged President Biden sending firefighters to help.
We've deployed more than 600 U.S. firefighters, support personnel, and equipment to support Canada as they respond to record wildfires – events that are intensifying because of the climate crisis.— President Biden (@POTUS) June 7, 2023
Here at home, we’re in close touch with state and local leaders to ensure they…
We’re seeing more and more of these fires because of climate change. These fires are affecting everyday routines, lives and livelihoods, and our air quality. We’ll keep working – here at home and with partners around the world – to tackle climate change and address its impacts.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 7, 2023
Biden's remarks came in addition to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre's during Wednesday's press briefing.
Early in the briefing, Jean-Pierre lamented that the fires are "another alarming example of the ways in which the climate crisis is disturbing our lives and our communities." When she took questions, she was confronted by a reporter about her claim on climate change and asked, "Should the public expect this kind of thing to be happening more often?"
It was then that Jean-Pierre acknowledged "I'm not an expert," though she went on to say "it's only getting worse," as well as that "climate change has been a real problem" and "it is the science that shows us that."
REPORTER: "Should the public expect this kind of thing to be happening more often?"— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 7, 2023
KJP: "Over the last couple of decades, climate change has been a real problem. It is the science that shows us that." pic.twitter.com/q4knRY4GSF
Speaking of Hayes, he also shared a Fox News article about Biden attributing the wildfires to the "climate crisis," leading Twitchy's own Sam Janey to weigh in.
Gee yeah how could unprecedented wildfires *in canada in early june* have anything to do with higher temperatures !?!?— Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) June 7, 2023
They both have melted brains. Yup.— The🐰FOO (@PolitiBunny) June 8, 2023
Not only are such figures and outlets hellbent on the climate change narrative, but they are also demanding others get on board with equal vigor.