Environment Policy Speech (February 2010)
Author: James M. Taylor
Thanks you very much for the kind introduction and for the opportunity to speak here today. Thanks you, also, Dr. Gray and Dr. Hayden, for the very informative presentations on climate science. What I would like to do with my time is address the specifics of the Governor;s Climate Action Plan, especially from an economic perspective.
Forest Fires and Drought
From the very first page, the report demonstrates that it is neither scientifically not economically well formed. For example, in Governor Ritter’s remarks on the first page he states unequivocally, “Forest fires will be more common and more intense.” There are no caveats or qualifications to this statement. Of course, neither are there any references to scientific studies or to real-world data.
So we are left to wonder, what do scientists who actually research such issue tell us about droughts and forest fires? surprisingly absent from the Governor;s statement and the Climate Action Plan is that the overwhelming scientific evidence is that droughts are becoming less frequent during our recent warming.
The July 2004 issue of International journal of Climatology reports, “It is now clear that many places in the Northern Hemisphere, and in Australia, have become less arid.” The study concludes, “A good analogy to describe the changes in these places is that the terrestrial surface is literally becoming more like a gardener’s greenhouse”