Worse, die-offs are not limited to North America-
Next summer will probably be a pretty bad forest fire season in the Pacific Northwest due to a dry winter, and so many of the forests are dead. This is not a local problem, however, as Jim Robbins discusses in the feature article below.
What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West? “Across western North America, huge tracts of forest are dying off at an extraordinary rate, mostly because of outbreaks of insects. Scientists are now seeing such forest die-offs around the world and are linking them to changes in climate.” By Jim Robbins. Yale Environment 360.
As for myself, I have been following the politics of forest fires since 1980 when Idaho had its first large forest fire in a generation or so. In the 30 years, I have learned that forest (and range fires too) will always be used for political purposes to further the agenda of the timber and grazing industries.
Their lobbyists know that most people don’t know that the pine beetle kill covers the entire West. They know the people don’t know that logging an area has no effect at all in stopping the spread of the beetle. They know that the public doesn’t know that dead forests are probably less flammable than green, but dry (droughty) forests.
So it is easy to predict there will be an effort to blame conservationists for the forest fires. They have been doing it for 30 years, and they will do it next summer. The news media should be prepared for this. I can also confidently predict most of the media won’t be.