Studies: Wildfires worse due to global warming

Scientists have been warning for years
Associated Press
May 19, 2014

The devastating wildfires scorching Southern California offer a glimpse of a warmer and more fiery future, according to scientists and federal and international reports.

In the past three months, at least three different studies and reports have warned that wildfires are getting bigger, that man-made climate change is to blame, and it's only going to get worse with more fires starting earlier in the year. While scientists are reluctant to blame global warming for any specific fire, they have been warning for years about how it will lead to more fires and earlier fire seasons.

"The fires in California and here in Arizona are a clear example of what happens as the Earth warms, particularly as the West warms, and the warming caused by humans is making fire season longer and longer with each decade," said University of Arizona geoscientist Jonathan Overpeck. "It's certainly an example of what we'll see more of in the future."

Since 1984, the area burned by the West's largest wildfires — those of more than 1,000 acres — have increased by about 87,700 acres a year, according to an April study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. And the areas where fire has been increasing the most are areas where drought has been worsening and "that certainly points to climate being a major contributor," study main author Philip Dennison of the University of Utah said Friday.

The top five years with the most acres burned have all happened in the last decade, according to federal records. From 2010-2013, about 6.4 million acres a year burned on average; in the 1980s it was 2.9 million acres a year.

"We are going to see increased fire activity all across the West as the climate warms," Dennison said.

That was one of a dozen "key messages" in the 841-page National Climate Assessment released by the federal government earlier this month. It mentioned wildfires 200 times.

"Increased warming, drought and insect outbreaks, all caused by or linked to climate change have increased wildfires and impacts to people and ecosystems in the Southwest," the federal report said. "Fire models project more wildfire and increased risks to communities across extensive areas."

Likewise, the Nobel prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change noted in March that wildfires are on the rise in the western U.S., have killed 103 Americans in 30 years, and will likely get worse.

The immediate cause of the fires can be anything from lightning to arson; the first of the San Diego area fires, which destroyed at least eight houses, an 18-unit condominium complex and two businesses, seemed to start from sparks from faulty construction equipment working on a graded field, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokeswoman Lynne Tolmachoff.

But the California fires are fueled by three major ingredients: drought, heat and winds. California and Arizona have had their hottest first four months of the year on record, according to National Weather Service records. Parts of Southern California broke records Thursday, racing past 100 degrees. For the past two weeks the entire state of California has been in a severe or worse drought, up from 46 percent a year ago, according to the U.S. drought monitor.

"With the drought this year, we're certainly going to see increased frequency of this type of event," Dennison said. "Because of the drought the fuels (dry plants and trees) are very susceptible to burning."

Another study last month in Geophysical Research Letters linked the ongoing drought to man-made climate change. Other scientists say that is not yet proven.

Scientists will have to do a lot of time-consuming computer simulations before they can officially link the drought to climate change. But Overpeck said what is clear is that it's not just a drought, but "a hot drought," which is more connected to man-made warming.

The other factor is the unusual early season Santa Ana winds, whose strength is a key factor in whipping the flames. So far, scientists haven't connected early Santa Ana to climate change, Dennison said.

Comments

Dinghy Gal

Bull crap!

Contango

"Strongest El Nino in 17 years brewing":

"If El Niño returns, the American West and Southwest could see major relief next winter from the long-lasting, punishing drought," said climatologist Bill Patzert,"

http://www.oregonlive.com/weathe...

Oughta throw some cold water on the above story.

We don't even understand the mechanism behind Pacific water warming and cooling, but AGW is a REALITY. Yea right.

2cents's picture
2cents

And I thought they were caused by over construction, eucalyptus leaves that burn like growing tar fields along with a couple of arsonists that ignite everything. Oh, the global warming thing, well you better send the EPA to China and India and get them on board!

Contango

Re: Man-made global warming.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie.

It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

- Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister

Al Gore is now worth an estimated $230M through the sale of his spreading of global warming er...climate change...er...climate disruption dogma.

coasterfan

Or, if you can find 10,850 scientific experts who all agree that climate change is real and that mankind is definitely making it worse, you can finally put to rest the lies/propaganda put forth by the Climate Change Deniers.

Less intelligent people will believe the anti-science non-experts, who have no training in climatology and who have done no research, and who instead cite a non-existent conspiracy, for which they ALSO have no evidence.

Sorry, but I think I'll go with the smart people, the ones with all the research-based factual information - especially as the effects of climate change are all around us, and especially as it is the climate change DENIERS who have obvious financial motives to deny its reality.

Contango

Re: "10,850 scientific experts who all agree that climate change is real"

REAL science is not based solely on consensus. it's about being able to PROVE the theory empirically which has not been done.

Al Gore is now worth 50 times more than when he stepped down as VP. As a good & caring progressive, shouldn't he "redistribute" some of that wealth?

--------------

So how's the house selling goin'? Any bites?

Nor'easter

Answer this. What was done 12,000 years ago when we were covered with ICE FOUR MILES HIGH(OVER 20,000 FEET) to cause your claimed global warming?

bnjjad

Correction - Al Gore made $70 million from the sale of his Current TV network to Al Jeezera. He made an additional $30 million from Stock Options from his Apple Shares. He also serves on several Silicon Valley boards who pay him. He does get paid handsomely for speaking engagements, which are no doubt regarding Climate Change, however they are small potatoes compared to the above.

Also, his profits from his book and films goes to his Non-Profit.

Contango

"How Al Gore's Net Worth Caught Up With Mitt Romney's"

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/20...

ski

Here are Joe Bastardi's reflections on earth day, which summarize his perspective, including facts and graphs to support his thesis. Bastardi is probably the foremost forecaster in the US, consistently getting it right. Follow the link to see for yourself. Sadly, all mainstream and liberal media continue to print only one side of the story. http://patriotpost.us/opinion/25107

eriemom

Yep. And he was fired because of his antiscience
opinions.

Contango

Re: "antiscience (sp) opinion"

Is that a euphemism for politically correct?

holysee

LOVE SEEING THE WINGNUTS DENY SCIENCE TO MAKE THEM FEEL BETTER

anthras

As holysee and coasterfan seem to be the two most intelligent persons posting I would hope they could answer a question that I have been thinking about.

The scientist tell us that the glacial grooves on Kelleys Island are about 20,000 years old and were caused the glaciers as they moved across the earth during the ice age. This would seem to indicate that this part of the world was buried under glaciers at that time .

I was wondering if there were a lot of gas powered suvs at that time and were there jet planes and approx. how many coal fired generating plants were there at that time as well as other things that the scientists have advised that cause global warming?

Also I would like to know what is the average temperature of the earth for the last million years?

One last thing do you feel that of all the scientist studying the weather that most are supported by government grants, employed by a liberal collage or receiving some other government support as it does not seem that there would be much of a demand for a weather scientist in the private sector? Also why have they for the most part changed the condition we have from global warming to climate change?

freespeech1

What a crock. Its already been proven that liberal tree hugger policies have caused this. So much underbrush not being managed has made it easier for fires to spread and quickly. Spotted owl anyone?

ram03

No scientist has ever reproduced their theory of climate change in a lab. Only in computer models. My computer can simulate all kinds if things that are not real. If this were true science then it would be rather easy to show real physical models to support your theory.

coasterfan

Frankly, it's stunning to watch the denial in real time. There is a great 'real physical model' in action. It's called the World. Entire ice shelves are calving in the Antarctic. Hurricane Sandy hit far north in the NY area, as a result of changing ocean currents, as a result of climatic change. The landslide in Washington State? Climate scientists predicted that one 6-7 years ago. Unending drought in California while monsoon-like conditions are in Florida. The worst winter in Ohio in 36 years.

The deniers don't understand the difference between weather and climate, and say stupid things like "we've always had extremes in weather". The point they are missing is that CLIMATE looks at the big picture, and looks for longterm trends. Only an idiot who cannot read and understand a bar graph showing steadily rising global temperatures over the past 50 years would deny it is real.

100 years from now, the deniers will stand on our coastline denying climate change is real, as the tide washes slowly over their head. Until then, they are content to merely bury their heads in the sand.

Contango

Re: "The deniers don't understand the difference between weather and climate,"

lol.

Neither do the global warming dogmatists:

WH advisor John "Podesta suggested they should 'look out your window and you'll begin to feel the effects.'"

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/...

Nor'easter

Answer this. What was done 12,000 years ago when we were covered with ICE FOUR MILES HIGH(OVER 20,000 FEET) to cause your claimed global warming?

Darwin's choice

"Frankly,it's stunning to watch the denial in real time"... obamacare.

Contango

Re: "Another study last month in Geophysical Research Letters linked the ongoing drought to man-made climate change. Other scientists say that is not yet proven."

So what are the percentage of contributions between natural and man-made; 60-40, 80-20, 95-5?

Did any of those geniuses happen to notice that much of CA & AZ is desert?

coasterfan

Fewer than 3% of scientific experts deny that climate change is real and manmade, and it's well-documented that the few "expert" deniers were hired by oil/coal companies - who obviously have a huge financial stake in denying that their product contributes to the Climate Change problems.

The long-feared levels of Carbon Dioxide have passed the 400 ppm "point of no return" level. Exactly what do you deniers think is causing the problem, if it's not us humans burning fossil fuels. This isn't new science, kids. We've known about it for 40+ years.

Saw a great editorial cartoon that sums up the utter cluelessness of the Republican camp on this topic. It showed Marco Rubio standing on a Flat Earth, exclaiming that rising sea levels due to global warming wouldn't be a problem, because the excess water would just flow off the edges of the earth.

The more intelligent heads of the Republican Party have finally begun admitting that Climate Change is real (Rubio is not in that camp), although they still refuse to admit that mankind is the main cause of the problem. Unfortunately, the rank and file conservatives among us have been trained to champion studipity, to think that everything is a conspiracy, and to demonize science and education. That's what happens when you watch the Alternative History Channel (Fox News).

I say we leave them out of the discussion as to how to fix the problem, since they aren't smart enough to even realize there is a problem.

ski

have you ever read Joe Bastardi's resume? He is the real deal as a climatologist and uses real world examples to show that climate change has been going on for quite some time and is a result of identifiable natural phenomenon. for those of us that have been around for 60-70 years, we see repetition in the current weather patterns from the 50's an 60's.I am not getting my fix from FOX or any other news channel, but by reading from both sides of the argument. This is science, not politics and scientists are cotinuing to develop new ideas every day, so to say that this is settled science is just another way to say "stop thinking and agree with my agenda". I choose not to do that. By the way, the 3% number comes from a survey that requested responses from 3000 scientists and received 75 responses, hardly a massive agreement by all scientists. Be careful of what you choose to accept to believe. If you would sit back and consider this as science instead of religion, perhaps you would gain an understanding of how the world works.

grumpy

Re: "Saw a great editorial cartoon"

So you praise an editorial cartoon that taught you? Editorials are not facts, and cartoon? That speaks volumes about what you consider proof. I now understand better where your "facts" come from. Thanks for sharing you "research".

When will the global warming folks be going to China, India and various third world countries and inform them that they have to stop burning dried dung and/or coal to keep warm and cook their food, along with not using coal in the power plants? The US has now reduced their C02 emissions to below 1992 levels. Those third world countries don't have any controls on their coal burning plants let alone the dried dung burning the people living in huts and tents. The cheapest easiest most effective clean up procedures are those in places where there are no controls, not where 90% of polution has been cleaned already. But where do these global warmists want to start? Where the controls already are in effect, not where there are none.

BTW I do think that there is man made changes... to a point... but then I realize that to clean where it has already been cleaned while letting othes not be bothered with cleaning is rather foolish. It is not a closed environment in the US... there are no walls or ceiling to keep it apart from the rest of the world.

Cleaning something another 50%, that is already 90% clean, brings it to 95% clean. Cleaning 50% of something that is 0% clean cleans it a heck of a lot more of the crap out of the air and water. But then then that uses logic and numbers... far beyond some folks abilities, or so it seems.

Contango

Re: "The long-feared levels of Carbon Dioxide have passed the 400 ppm "point of no return" level."

Then according to the global warming dogmatists - we're scr*wed.

How and why have CO2 levels been elevated in Earth's past?

CO2 levels have been observed rising on Mars. Evidence of a fossil fuel burning underground civilization?

What have you done to reduce your "carbon footprint"?

Given up eating meat, bicycling to work, raising and lower your thermostats, replaced all your house's lights with LEDs, bought several copies of "An Inconvenient Truth" and distributed them, et. al. ?

Nor'easter

Answer this. What was done 12,000 years ago when we were covered with ICE FOUR MILES HIGH(OVER 20,000 FEET) to cause your claimed global warming?

jazzbo

Neil deGrasse Tyson says that there's global warming.

sugar

I love science, usually would be glued to a program like cosmos, but sadly so much PC garbAge and a leftist agenda that it is difficult not to laugh. De Grasse on one hand talks about climate change throughout history, but fails to mention the cause, no SUV's, or coal fired electric plants back then, yet the climate changed. How is that possible???

jazzbo

Watch Cosmos A Spacetime Odyssey tonight .
" The Immortals "
9:00 pm NatGeo - Ch 062 .
If you really want an answer.

William Jeffers...

The Universe is roughly 13.8 Billion years, the Milky Way about 13.2 Billion, Earth and our solar system about 4.5 Billion years old. Earth remained lifeless for the first Billion years or so and since has had 3 cataclysmic events wiping out most of life on the planet each time and it will most certainly happen again. There are 17 Billion Earth like planets just in the Milky Way and roughly 500 million galaxies in an ever expanding and accelerating universe. In short, we are nothing...and we are all inevitably doomed!

This thought is depressing for some, but for me...well...I'm married. :)

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

There's much more to it, too, that will happen sooner. The moon drifts away from the earth two inches per year. The tides sloshing around are slowing our spin making days longer (and greater heat due to constant exposure). The sun will go nova and consume the entirety of our planet and if that weren't enough we face several possible ends to the universe: heat death, compression due to oscillation, or we are pulled apart on the molecular level as it continues to expand, stretching everything out. Oh I forgot that our galaxy will probably collide with another one too before that happens.

William Jeffers...

Very True, but I'm still betting that my demise will be proximately caused by my wife.

Donegan

Global warming, global change, global climate change, Climate change,inadvertent climate modification,global climate disruption, Lets just call it what it actually is "Weather patterns that we can get the morons hyped up about and make tons of money off of"

coasterfan

Sigh... Republicans don't believe in things that they can see with their own eyes: that buying 2 unfunded wars on the country's credit card, while simultaneously lowering tax revenue that might pay for that, while making other choices that led to a huge recession - will lead to a financial crisis of their own making that will take more than a year to recover from.

So, how can we expect them to see a problem that will take 50-100 years to fully appear? Especially one that takes a bit of scientific understanding, observational skills and an open mind to appreciate?

Here's a hint: if you don't know anything about a topic - and clearly Republicans don't, when it comes to anything science-related - listen to someone who DOES. You wouldn't go to a plumber for brain surgery, you wouldn't go to a brain surgeon to get your car engine overhauled. So why would you listen to a politician instead of an expert on climate change - especially when the vast majority of climate experts are in agreement?

You're right, the scientists have a vested reason to believe in climate change: they want to keep our world habitable for future generations. Please explain why that could possibly not be a good idea?

One of the most amazing things I've ever heard: Michelle Bachmann actually sits on the House Intelligence Committee for Science. How can someone who doesn't believe in Science be on that committee? If you're of lower intelligence, clearly you're invited in the GOP tent, and (gasp) you can even get elected to leadership.

eriemom

I have found that facts don't matter to the deniers. Even when faced with real current climate change they just diverge to attacking Gore or calling the facts some sort of cult or religion. My guess is that they have a vested interest in fossil fuels.

Contango

Re: "real current climate change,"

Is that a euphemism for weather?

Still eating meat and contributing to the problem?

Contango

Re: "My guess is that they have a vested interest in fossil fuels."

And Al Gore didn't amass an estimated $230M by getting some insider info. from his buddies in DC as to which cos. were goin' to get DOE green energy loans?

Talk about "vested interests." lol

bnjjad

Did you even bother to look up where his money came from? He sold his vested interest in HIS Current TV network sale to Al Jeezera (estimated $70 mill). He also exercised Stock Options on his Apple Stock for the tune of $30 Mill.
There is $100 mill right there.

Contango

Re: "Did you even bother to look up where his money came from?"

Did you?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/larr...

bnjjad

Again, All that proves is he is a business man, yes, some of his money comes from climate change, but 43% of his fortune came from non-climate related matters. And we don't even know his compensation for his serving on other Technology Boards (including Google). I am also sure he is invested in other companies as well to secure is worth. I would be willing to bet that no more than 30% of his money came from Climate related matters and investments.

Regardless, He politicizes Global Climate change. Politics has nothing to do with science.

"change over the course of a century or more—is what defines “global warming,” not the change from year to year or even decade to decade" - Also, it is not just industrialization and influx of cars on the road that can cause change. Anything from solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and atmospheric conditions can result in variations of the climate of the planet over a century.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I wish more people would bring up the indicators in your last paragraph than simply saying "hurr-durr factories bad". So thank you for including them in the conversation. This is a very compelling, credentialed astrophysicist who makes a very interesting addition to the discussion of the current changes we are seeing: http://www.climatedepot.com/2013...

Contango

Re: "he is a business man,"

Ruling political class crony capitalist would be more apropos.

Funny, he still owns his daddy's shares of Occidental Petroleum. Hypocrite?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Eriemom, I am sure there are deniers that anything is happening at all. That IS ignorant and those people are wrong in their beliefs as observable natural history let alone advanced sciences can prove. However, most of the people who are commenting here aren't denying that "climate change" is happening. They are saying generally, "So what's new?"

Our planet is billions of years old and the climate has always changed. Mankind's presence is a grain of sand on a beach. How did we fall into an ice age then melt our way out of it if we weren't around to change it ourselves? The Great Lakes are the scars of the ice age and leftover melt water from it. Did you know that the earth naturally has a way to reform melted ice caps as it has most likely happened before in our geological history? It has to do with currents and the salt levels of the seas.

What is "normal" climate and how do you propose to control it into perpetuity so that, unlike what nature has done for billions of years, it is kept static because we somehow know better? How do we know, if we do what we're "supposed to", when climate change will stop? Don't you find the notion we can do that or even reverse it as extreme hubris and an opportunity for a tremendous power/money grab in the name of an unachieveable, unrealistic in the entire galaxy utopia?

If the causes are solely (or in the majority) man-made, what proposals are there to reduce mankind? That seems to be how you would address man-made climate change. Anything else is wasting time since there will always ever be more humans burping, farting, multiplying, consuming, producing, dying, and doing things that involve energy consumption/production. How do we thin the herd? What are your proposals? Do we impose birthing restrictions? Do we just have a lottery in each city and decimate our population on a yearly basis through impartial luck of the draw? Do we encourage eugenics and selective breeding so that those who are born need less resources/medicine/care/energy to live?

Just calling something "climate change" and accepting it - even man-made - does nothing to address it since there is no beginning nor end to the process. I call the big shiny thing in the sky a "sun", so now what? Yeah it's great I recognize it and give it a name but what are we gonna do about the fact it kills people, helps grow crops, gives us power, destroys species, mutates species, is a manifestation of our god(s), and is also the largest contributor to climate change, etc.?

So for those here who say "so what about it", I think the proper response to them would be to stop the browbeating over a name of something and propose a discussion and/or solution (if it exists) to address it. Buying CFLs/LEDs and driving a hybrid car (both of which I personally do including owning an electric lawn mower) are a drop in the bucket and still don't address the finger being pointed at the "man-made" qualifier.

Contango

Re: "lowering tax revenue,"

A big revenue source and economic growth story is oil and nat-gas fracking:

"Many analysts and politicians say this resource is the next industrial revolution. Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking,' has helped lead a boom in gas and oil production in the U.S.

The new technology is unlocking oil and shale gas resources, spurring economic activity and giving industry a competitive edge with less expensive gas and electricity prices."

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101684079

Nothing like having the dogmatic progressive-socialists attempts to kill an entire industry for their non-empirically proven computer model driven propaganda.

So, do you eat beef and help contribute to methane production through cow flatulence?

Donegan

Somehow Climate "whatever its name is this week" is the Repubs fault? And you wonder why no one takes you seriously. LOL!

OMG.LOL.WT_

As long as people argue about things that can NOT be controlled, it give the government an excuse to do nothing. It's a diversion. Clean up what the fire burns.

coasterfan

Well, the point is that it CAN be controlled, or the damage can be slowed. We just have to wade through all the stupidity to do what needs to be done.

Contango

Re: "We just have to wade through all the stupidity to do what needs to be done."

The U.S. could reduce it's "carbon footprint" to ZERO and without developing mkts on board like China and India, it won't make one damn difference.

And the socialists deny that they're out to destroy the economy. lol.

------------------

Re: "We"?

The question is: Have YOU done enough to make a difference?

Typical authoritarian-totalitarian. If you can't get someone to agree with your opinion - force them.

bnjjad

RE "If you can't get someone to agree with your opinion - force them."

Sounds like the conservative religious views on other subjects up for contention in this country.

Contango

Re: "conservative religious views,"

Off-topic.

2cents's picture
2cents

"We just have to wade through all the stupidity to do what needs to be done."

Cut the population of the Earth back to 1900 size and all will be ok! You want to go first? : )

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

No! You cannot "control" the climate. Technologically nor ethically. There is no "normal" climate (never has been nor will there ever be). I understand how much you want other people to control your life and the lives of others but this is something that cannot and should not ever, ever, ever be "controlled". Neither you nor science broadly has any concept of what "normal climate" is and you'd do well to cease this kind of notion that humans can (or should) actually do something to control the climate.

You talk about something in the immediacy that even you still say is 50-100 years coming yet have no actual solution. You determine the cause is mankind, yet what are you doing to reduce the source? I am still waiting on your proposal to thin the human herd. Nothing. So you are talking about something that has NO standard/constant and you refuse to even address the cause of MAN MADE global [cooling/warming/change/disruption].

This isn't a call to dump toxic waste into Lake Erie, but rather, a calling out that humans can't control something they are intrinsically a part unless they eliminate themselves. Again there is also no possible/known "normal" for climate that we could hope to achieve. The terms climate change/disruption are just ways to keep a target moving and a huge scapegoat for anything, anywhere that could happen. Didn't you read the prison heat death? The man died in winter due to equipment failure yet the first words out of the lawyer's mouth were "climate change".

The Big Dog's back

Other than the koch brothers pouring millions into global warming denial because of their pollution making ventures, why do you right wingnuts keep denying it?

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

http://online.wsj.com/news/artic...

I have devoted most of my life to understanding the principles that enable people to improve their lives. It is those principles—the principles of a free society—that have shaped my life, my family, our company and America itself.

Unfortunately, the fundamental concepts of dignity, respect, equality before the law and personal freedom are under attack by the nation's own government. That's why, if we want to restore a free society and create greater well-being and opportunity for all Americans, we have no choice but to fight for those principles. I have been doing so for more than 50 years, primarily through educational efforts. It was only in the past decade that I realized the need to also engage in the political process.

A truly free society is based on a vision of respect for people and what they value. In a truly free society, any business that disrespects its customers will fail, and deserves to do so. The same should be true of any government that disrespects its citizens. The central belief and fatal conceit of the current administration is that you are incapable of running your own life, but those in power are capable of running it for you. This is the essence of big government and collectivism.

More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson warned that this could happen. "The natural progress of things," Jefferson wrote, "is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." He knew that no government could possibly run citizens' lives for the better. The more government tries to control, the greater the disaster, as shown by the current health-care debacle. Collectivists (those who stand for government control of the means of production and how people live their lives) promise heaven but deliver hell. For them, the promised end justifies the means.

Instead of encouraging free and open debate, collectivists strive to discredit and intimidate opponents. They engage in character assassination. (I should know, as the almost daily target of their attacks.) This is the approach that Arthur Schopenhauer described in the 19th century, that Saul Alinsky famously advocated in the 20th, and that so many despots have infamously practiced. Such tactics are the antithesis of what is required for a free society—and a telltale sign that the collectivists do not have good answers.

Rather than try to understand my vision for a free society or accurately report the facts about Koch Industries, our critics would have you believe we're "un-American" and trying to "rig the system," that we're against "environmental protection" or eager to "end workplace safety standards." These falsehoods remind me of the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan's observation, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Here are some facts about my philosophy and our company:

Koch companies employ 60,000 Americans, who make many thousands of products that Americans want and need. According to government figures, our employees and the 143,000 additional American jobs they support generate nearly $11.7 billion in compensation and benefits. About one-third of our U.S.-based employees are union members.

Koch employees have earned well over 700 awards for environmental, health and safety excellence since 2009, many of them from the Environmental Protection Agency and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. EPA officials have commended us for our "commitment to a cleaner environment" and called us "a model for other companies."

Our refineries have consistently ranked among the best in the nation for low per-barrel emissions. In 2012, our Total Case Incident Rate (an important safety measure) was 67% better than a Bureau of Labor Statistics average for peer industries. Even so, we have never rested on our laurels. We believe there is always room for innovation and improvement.

Far from trying to rig the system, I have spent decades opposing cronyism and all political favors, including mandates, subsidies and protective tariffs—even when we benefit from them. I believe that cronyism is nothing more than welfare for the rich and powerful, and should be abolished.

Koch Industries was the only major producer in the ethanol industry to argue for the demise of the ethanol tax credit in 2011. That government handout (which cost taxpayers billions) needlessly drove up food and fuel prices as well as other costs for consumers—many of whom were poor or otherwise disadvantaged. Now the mandate needs to go, so that consumers and the marketplace are the ones who decide the future of ethanol.

Instead of fostering a system that enables people to help themselves, America is now saddled with a system that destroys value, raises costs, hinders innovation and relegates millions of citizens to a life of poverty, dependency and hopelessness. This is what happens when elected officials believe that people's lives are better run by politicians and regulators than by the people themselves. Those in power fail to see that more government means less liberty, and liberty is the essence of what it means to be American. Love of liberty is the American ideal.

If more businesses (and elected officials) were to embrace a vision of creating real value for people in a principled way, our nation would be far better off—not just today, but for generations to come. I'm dedicated to fighting for that vision. I'm convinced most Americans believe it's worth fighting for, too.

Mr. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries.

jazzbo

bs , Mr. Koch.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

If you care to cite specific contradictions against Mr. Koch's letter you are welcome to do so.

jazzbo

No need for long explanations , just believe it.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

That's a pretty dangerous statement. Who do you believe that told you that this is a "bad man" that you also don't question if you are unwilling to question the man who is addressing your concerns?

jazzbo

Smoke and bs = Mr. Koch

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

From what basis are you drawing that conclusion? Are you parroting Sen. Reid who has the audacity to lambast private citizens from the Senate Floor? Or would you like to cite your independent research on what the letter above said was false?

jazzbo

It's the summation of my observations.

The Big Dog's back

Also, I and every other person with a brain, this excludes right wingnuts, should continue to call it what it is, GLOBAL WARMING!

I

BigLapDog, I think you're having a hot flash!

Nor'easter

Answer this. What was done 12,000 years ago when we were covered with ICE FOUR MILES HIGH(OVER 20,000 FEET) to cause your claimed global warming?

bnjjad

Anything can affect climate, from Solar cycles to volcanic eruptions. Just because most people think cars and fossil fuels does not mean they are the only causes.

As for "Global Warming" it should be Climate Change, it changes, it will continue to change, we cannot stop it.

However, we can also do things to make our planet healthier, and some of those things are coming from the "Global Warming" war that has escalated through out this nation and the world. We have better, more efficient ways of producing electricity and recycling products. No reason not to continue innovating and moving forward with a cleaner earth to make everyone healthier. This could be a second industrial revolution, a better one at that!

Contango

Re: "We have better, more efficient ways of producing electricity,"

Correction: We have more expensive and highly taxpayer subsidized " ways of producing electricity."

An "efficient" second Industrial Revolution, should be free mkt. not bureaucratically driven.

FYI:

Even Mr. Gore says that ethanol as a fuel additive is unnecessary & unproductive.

Yet for political reasons, we continue to produce it and subsidize it with tax dollars.

And who says that the global warming argument isn't political?

downthemiddle

Ahhhh the dog is checking in from uaw paradise....

How is the weather there?

Donegan

Obama calls it climate change, You speak blasphemy! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-...
Beside that neither you or Obama can prove you have even half a brain so you can call it what you want. I'll continue calling it what it is, A scam.

8ballinthesidepocket

What a bunch of BS!!! The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!!

Little Giant

It is sad that more anti science / education conservative believe in bigfoot than climate change. If you don't believe that man can have an impact on his/her environment........why post your opinion? Aren't you in fact trying to change your environment?