Stupidest Climate Denier Comment Ever?

… came from Eric Worrall at the WUWT blog. He objects to claims that wilfire/bushfire will become worse in the future, even horrific. He objects that there’s just not enough trees to burn! To quote him exactly:


“Not only would these predicted superfires fairly rapidly run out of trees to burn …”

Apparently, Eric Worrall’s reason we shouldn’t worry about horrific wildfires/bushfires is that before long, there won’t be any trees left to burn.

Isn’t that a comforting thought?


Thanks to all readers who kindly donate to the blog. If you’d like to help, please visit the donation link below.


This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at My Wee Dragon.


30 responses to “Stupidest Climate Denier Comment Ever?

  1. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    >>> Isn’t that a comforting thought?

    It gets better…

    Someone else at WTFUWT, called Paul Driessen, is way ahead of the laissez-faire, ‘let ’em all burn’, pack on the “no trees” gambit… Humans should help with nature’s deforestation project by getting rid of the all the trees ASAP.

    https://blog.hotwhopper.com/2020/01/paul-driessen-at-wuwt-suggests.html

  2. Apparently, its why Death Valley is such a nice place to live.

  3. Right up there with Trump’s helpful advice for New York City to get ready with mops and buckets to deal with sea level rise. In addition to the rapid advances in climate science occurring as lots of smart people study climate change, there are profound and disturbing lessons about human cognition, self-deception (for those deniers who truly believe the lies they spread) and moral character (for those that know better but do it anyway to feed some other need). I think that the Oval Office is occupied by an evil force incarnated in human form. I’m not kidding.

    • Susan Anderson

      Yes. After considerable reflection, I came back to the classics on evil some time ago. Fact is, someone wholly lacking in conscience seems to move on greased wheels because they lack the consideration of higher things. The Aeneid: facilis descensus Averno (roughly, the way down is easy); Milton’s Paradise Lost (better to reign in hell than serve in heaven); Faust; and probably many others. They do eventually fall, but only after climbing on the mountains of victims and pain they cause. It has made me think a lot about the absence of an active deity, since smiting would be in order. But it is harder to dismiss the presence of active evil than it is to conclude that no power for good directs our path. If only we would love the ground that supports us!

      • @Susan Anderson,

        The trouble with singling out evil-doers isn’t that they aren’t, it’s that they get to do what they do because of public apathy, not-wanting-to-get-involvedness, a determination that working to oppose would be inconvenient, selfishness, wishing to get better piling on to the evil policies, or sometimes a combination of these.

      • Susan Anderson

        @Ecoquant, that’s not what I was saying. I am speaking specifically of Trump and possibly a very few of his inner circle. Most people are a mixture; Trump is an almost classic case of undiluted evil. Just my opinion, but I mean it.

      • @Susan Anderson,

        I wasn’t trying to cut 45 any slack at all. I agree he is really really bad, callous, heartless, cruel. But the only way he can do anything is if people cooperate with him.

      • Hi Susan,
        Off topic: I recently listened to Frank Close’s “The Infinity Problem,” which is about the quest for a renormalizable theory of the electro-weak force and beyond. Your father gets a very prominent mention–one that does justice to his contribution to the effort. I’ve been listening lately to a lot of popularized science, because 1) I’m thinking of writing some; and 2) It gives me something to listen to on my commute that keeps me from yelling at the radio.

        Back quasi-on-topic: I think that the problem we face can be broken into a series of logical fallacies–and one of the most prominent we face is the Appeal to Consequences. We saw it with Steve Mnuchin saying that he’d listen to Greta after she studied economics and his later comments to Christine LaGarde. He cannot envision how the economy will change to become sustainable, so it must not be a serious issue.

        I think that for the majority of the denialati, the logical processing doesn’t go that high. Their tribe doesn’t believe in climate change, and so it must be a hoax. Unfortunately, this appears to be between 30 and 40% of the American people, and they have made it clear that they will vote in a complete idiot if it pisses off “the Libs”. I do not see how our nation can continue as a single nation.

      • @Snarkrates,

        I think that for the majority of the denialati, the logical processing doesn’t go that high. Their tribe doesn’t believe in climate change, and so it must be a hoax. Unfortunately, this appears to be between 30 and 40% of the American people, and they have made it clear that they will vote in a complete idiot if it pisses off “the Libs”. I do not see how our nation can continue as a single nation.

        Oh, I trust that in a bit they’ll have a lot of worse things to worry about, whether they attribute it to climate disruption or not.

        It is a concern that (a) the U.S. Constitution appears incapable of doing anything systematic to address self-inflicted causes of climate disruption, e.g., the disposition of Juliana v United States, which is a serious shortcoming, and (b) the present administration, whether deliberately or accidentally inept, is incapable of good governance so would be hobbled in dealing with any set of climate disruption-induced calamities, should they occur on their watch.

      • Susan Anderson

        @Ecoquant, I’m not sure why you think I implied anything but what I actually wrote. My thesis includes historical observations about pure evil and the ability of those who are entirely without conscience to skate through life without normal blowback have little to do with your responses. I worked hard at this, and wish you would take in what I actually wrote. I’ve been interested that this has happened before, and that much classical literature addresses the problem. Pure evil can be successful because, not in spite of, its consciencelessness.

        That said, you’re right we need to do instead of talk or write.

  4. First, it’s enough if a small fraction of trees disappear and the fire becomes unable to jump from one area to another, thus greatly diminishing the burned area.

    Second, even if almost all trees got burned, it’s not the end of the world because, you know, the trees may and will grow again.

    • Susan Anderson

      Ugh. You appear not to have been following events in real time. But living in a mentally sealed room and ignoring world news has an endpoint. After four decades of material corruption, the ignorance brigade is beginning to be overwhelmed by actual evidence.

    • Haven’t seen LM-“logic” for a while.

      Forest ecosystems which get consistently burned off don’t just “regrow”. The entire ecosystem changes and even the climate changes due to reduced shade/reduced transpiration. In Australia that would most likely be into savannah/desert. No so many forest fires, true. But doubt Australians would be all that happy on a treeless continent with a near 100% nonforested land and much drier land.

    • So nice of LM to drop by and demonstrate his own special blend of arrogance, ignorance, and total lack of empathy. I’m sure his reassurance that it’s not the end of the world will give Australians a warm fuzzy feeling as they sit around the glowing embers of their homes.

    • for Lubos:
      “Fire officials in New South Wales reported that embers were landing 30km (18 miles) ahead of the front on Tuesday – three times more than the usual distance.” (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-50383800)
      You’ll get dry lightning strikes caused by the fires even further away.

    • Perhaps you should read about what happened in the recent Campfire burn in California which destroyed the town of Paradise, it jumped across a river canyon that was two miles wide. For a fire being unable to jump from tree to tree requires a lot more than a ‘small fraction of trees’ to be destroyed.

  5. Philip Clarke

    Gotta admire the thinking out of the box.

    Similarly, the coral reefs cannot bleach indefinitely as before long there’ll be no more reefs.

    Arctic Ice cannot decline forever as there’s once it is all gone, there’s no more ice to melt.

    Genius.

    Welcome to New New South Wales – Twinned with Death Valley.

  6. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


    First, it’s enough if a small fraction of trees disappear and the fire becomes unable to jump from one area to another, thus greatly diminishing the burned area.

    Small fractions of the forest have been disappearing forever – and it hasn’t seemed to reduce the extent of the recent fires very much at all.

    Maybe that’s because the fires are always being started by arsonists – arsonists who are very likely the offspring of immigrant single mothers.


    Second, even if almost all trees got burned, it’s not the end of the world because, you know, the trees may and will grow again.

    There are always more trees for growing.
    That’s why, for example, the once-forested Canadian prairies and the US mid-West, are once again dominated by old-growth walnuts and oaks.
    The Sahara desert must be rapidly re-growing trees too.
    That’s spontaneous generation for you.
    If only the poor occupants of Rapa Nui understood this fundamental truth of ecological science.

    Thanks for stopping by with your 5-sigma evidence!

  7. Yeah, that’s pretty stupid. Here’s another stupid comment at that blog:

    It sure doesn’t look like there’s any uniform warming going on, only warming on average.

    • Some of those clowns still think that somehow warming should be monotonic, or damn close. In between pillorying ‘alarmists’ for daring suggest that nothing but CO2 affects climate, of course.

  8. Stupidest ever has a lot of competition.

    Personally I find the idea – popular even within the current leadership of Australia’s Federal government – that because Australia is HIGHLY susceptible to extreme droughts and fires (“but there’s always been droughts and fires”) to be reason to NOT be worried about what adding 3 to 5 degrees might do with extreme droughts and fires.

    It is, as far as I can parse it, an oblique expression of climate science denial – and of belief that the current fire emergency is unexceptional. Trying to keep that air of unexceptionality, of situation normal, has been a real struggle for leaders who are expected to make much of the opportunities emergencies present to build an air of statesmanship – besides actually doing all in their power to support emergency services and effected communities.

  9. I’ve seen it in a few places. They all seem to have never heard of grasslands.

  10. My “favorite” denier trope: the planet will be ok & AGW won’t kill everyone.

    That’s the bar for mitigation: something has to kill everyone and destroy the friggin’ planet.

  11. I’ve been thinking about what’s happening in California, and by extension throughout the west, as the beginnings of large scale ecosystem replacement.

    As we get hotter and drier, ecotones will move. Sure, parts will survive intact, as they remain inside shifting boundaries. But much won’t. Wet forest becomes dry forest, dry forest becomes savanna and chaparral. Drier areas yet will become scrub or grassland. Sagebrush desert boundaries expand. They have to – the boundaries of all those systems are largely determined by heat and available water.

    How does that happen? In large part by burning off the existing ecosystem. I fear that the massive fires are the beginnings of that process. That in not too many years we’re going to see multiple late season lightning strike fires in the middle elevation sierra, dessicated fuel, and diablo winds, with 100 mile wide flame fronts burning down into the valley.

    Our fire season is hotter and 3 months longer -therefore 3 months drier – than it was 50 years ago. It pushes the new-normal fire season further into diablo wind season. It’s only a matter of time before all the bad things line up and we become Australia.

    And yes, these fires will stop burning when there’s nothing left to burn. He is right about that.

  12. Steve Milesworthy

    The rainforests will burn.

    No they won’t.

    The rainforests are burning.

    It’s just arsonists…and too many trees.

    The rainforests have burnt.

    Great. No more forest fires.

  13. Thanks for your excellent work here. The recent topics on Australian denial inspired me to donate. Keep up the great work.

    [Response: Thank you.]