Posts Tagged ‘Forest fire’

Swedish Environmental Party makes a fool of itself (again)

August 9, 2014

The Swedish Environmental Party (Miljöpartiet) has not been slow in trying to cash in on the large forest fire in Västmanland. The Swedish General Elections are in September and “anything goes”. Especially if it is alarmist. I don’t expect much intellectual or scientific honesty from them any longer but I though their behaviour yesterday was particularly opportunistic and crass.

  1. Never mind that forest fires in Sweden reduced from over 250,000 hectares destroyed every year before 1850 to less than 1,000 hectares per year in recent times when forest “cultivation” increased.
  2. Never mind that because of the reduced incidence of forest fires the owners have reduced their fire watches.
  3. Never mind that the number of military helicopters suitable for fire fighting have reduced from 33 to 3 in the last 20 years.
  4. Never mind that Sweden no longer has any planes suitable for water bombing.
  5. Never mind that in the grip of complacency, fire fighting equipment has reduced under 3 successive governments.
  6. Never mind that global temperatures have been stagnant for the last 18 years and have actually reduced slightly in the last decade.
  7. Never mind that carbon dioxide emissions by humans are apparently having no impact on real global temperatures (but are absolutely fundamental to every climate model)
  8. Never mind that temperatures in Västmanland this summer are nothing out of the ordinary.

Never mind the facts, just feel the fear. They came out with this picture yesterday even though the Västmanland fire has yet to be brought under control.

“We cannot afford to ignore Climate Change” it reads.

I get the impression that the Swedish Greens have prostituted themselves on the altar of global warming orthodoxy (sorry – climate change >> sorry – extreme events >> sorry – global cooling?).

mp västmanland

mp västmanland

But the temperature anomalies in Västmanland are nothing out of the ordinary.

Västmanland temperatures - The Stockholm Initiative

Västmanland temperatures – The Stockholm Initiative


Swedish forest fire largest in recent times but a tiny fraction of pre-industrial times

August 6, 2014

Västmanland, Sweden

Increasing humidity and some rain has limited the spread of the largest forest fire which has been ongoing for 7 days in the northern part of Västmanland in Sweden. One person has been found dead  and some 4,000 homes were evacuated a few days ago. Some of those evacuated can now begin to return.

The fire followed 2 weeks of quite warm weather over the entire country with temperatures around 30ºC (high, but not unknown at this times of year and no records were broken).

What became quite clear was that the equipment available to the emergency services was sadly lacking. Three successive governments have taken the easy opportunity of cutting emergency services and there were just no helicopters or planes available in the country for containing the fire. One was requested from Italy yesterday but could not be sent. Another from France is only arriving today. Needless to say they will probably arrive after the point at which they could have done the most good. If it continues to rain today, they will be irrelevant.

Before 1850, fires consumed 250 times larger areas of forest in Sweden than today. It has been the “industrial harvesting” of forests which has drastically reduced the incidence of forest fires. And it has been the complacency brought about by the low incidence of forest fires which has led to a reduced preparedness to fight the fires when they do occur.

The climate alarmists (and there are many of them in Sweden) have not been slow to blame the fire on global warming. A little depressing to hear people so ready to switch off all their rational faculties and parroting what sounds like a climate catechism.!!

But a few sane voices can also be heard.

Swedish Radio:

Two hundred years ago forest fires raged much more freely in Swedish forests. It was when humans began to harvest the forest that fires reduced.

“Swedish forests burned much more in historical times”  says Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson, professor of plant ecology at Mid- University. “Just a few hundred years ago one percent of Swedish forests burned each year. 250 thousand hectares every year. Today only about a thousand acres are lost to forest fires every year“.

Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson sees three separate  eras of fires in the Swedish forests. From prehistoric times to the seventeenth century there were only a few but very large fires. From the seventeenth century until the mid-nineteenth century, when the population increased and people started residing there, the number of fires increased but they were smaller. In the mid-nineteenth century industrial forestry started and the number of forest fires declined sharply. There was a dramatic shift to a landscape where people – rather than fire – harvested the trees.

“Even the very first people in Sweden might have affected how much it burned in the woods”, according to Bengt-Gunnar Jonsson. “Although we have observed fires for several thousand years, we cannot really explain effects of climate and lightning. Many argue that even the ancient fires had a human footprint. It could be that humans have influenced fire history since the ice retreated”.

Västmanland forest fire 2014 - Jocke Berglund -TT

Västmanland forest fire 2014 – Jocke Berglund -TT

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