More Spectacular Fraud From Scientific American

Scientific American claims that 2015 was the “Biggest Year Ever for U.S. Wildfires” – with more than 10 million acres burned.


Global Warming Helped Exacerbate Biggest Year Ever for U.S. Wildfires – Scientific American

Their claim is flagrantly false. In 1937, more than twice that many acres burned.


October 9, 1938 – NYTimes

Earlier in the 1930s, more than 50 million acres burned. Burn acreage in their claimed record year of 2015 was about 20% of the early 1930s. But their fraud is much worse than it seems.  The current numbers include Alaska, whereas the 1930’s numbers most likely didn’t.


Indicator 3.16: Area and percent of forest affected by abiotic agents

And to top it all off, they didn’t even get their 2015 number correct. It was less than 10 million acres, which includes Alaska.


National Interagency Fire Center

2015 was actually one of the quietest fire years on record in the southwest and Rocky Mountains, because it was very wet. Most of the burn acreage was in Alaska.

This year, 63% of ALL wildfire acres burned in the U.S. burned in Alaska, much of it over remote tundra ecosystems.

Official Year-to-Date Wildfire Stats: Beyond the Rhetoric & Hysteria – A New Century of Forest Planning


The level of fraud on display from Scientific American is quite spectacular. But it gets even worse. When CO2 was 280 PPM, burn acreage in the conterminous US was 50 times higher than 2015.


It is time for Republicans in Congress to bring this scam to an end.

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12 Responses to More Spectacular Fraud From Scientific American

  1. John A Emery says:

    It ain’t scientific and it ain’t American. Sad, used to be a great publication.

  2. Theyouk says:


  3. Theyouk says:

    I brought this issue (the ‘worst fire season ever’) to a friend in journalism. He did some digging and got this response:
    Hi XXX,

    I had the below query passed to me by my USDA colleagues. The official source of fire statistics for federal and state agencies is the National Interagency Fire Center, which compiles annual wildland fire statistics for land under the jurisdiction of federal, state and local agencies. NIFC data goes back to 1960, is the only official, reliable data for statistical comparison and is the standard the Forest Service uses for statistical comparison.

    According to NIFC, 2015 was the largest fire season by acres burned. Data before 1960 is unreliable. Last year was one of the most catastrophic years in our nation’s history for wildfires, with substantial fires occurring in areas next to or surrounding communities. A total of 13 wildland firefighters, including 7 U.S. Forest Service firefighters, lost their lives in the line of duty. More than 4,500 homes and other structures were destroyed by wildfires. Our nation’s Forest Service exhausted $2.6 billion on fire alone and a record 10.1 million acres burned. We must adapt to the reality of today and ensure that those charged with protecting lives and property have adequate resources in order to get the job done.

    I hope that helps. Please feel free to let me know if you have further questions. Have a great weekend.

    So, the ‘official’ records (‘trusted’) only go back to 1960…which according to Sci-Am is ‘forever’. Nice clarification, but still a *facepalm*. And no mention of the history of handling high-fuel zones.

  4. John A Emery says:

    I had the below query passed to me by my USDA colleagues.

    Please provide some DATA, not more narritive bullshit. WE NEED FACTS, NOT MORE NARRATIVE BULLSHIT. SHOW THE DATA!!!

  5. John A Emery says:

    AND THE SOURCE OF THE DATA. Otherwise your comment is just hot air. I’m so sick of this bullshit.

  6. John A Emery says:

    Anyone who has ANY faith in our corrupt government (that includes USDA especially) at this point is a total idiot. Please cite the last time that your government has told you the truth. And you have to cite the truth. I’m not kidding. Please!

  7. Theyouk says:

    John–Agreed, and it’s maddening how everyone (except Tony) lets this crap slide. A mininal amount of digging and one quickly finds assumptions and conditions that *should* make one (esp a reporter!) question the data and not allow assertions like Sci-Am made go unchallenged.

  8. dp says:

    If we don’t learn from history we’re doomed to ignore it. I wonder what the world of research would be like if everyone were careful about removing cookies and logging out of social media before looking for something with search engines. Extra points for restarting your internet connection in the hope of being assigned a different IP address. Bias is built into searches when this isn’t done. I wonder if SciAm writers can stay off Twitter/Facebook long enough to get meaningful information.

  9. hunter says:

    The social madness of climate obsession corrupts everything and everyone that succumbs to it.

  10. rw says:

    The amazing thing is, they can’t possibly keep this up that much longer. Which tells me they’re in a Reality Warp, quite likely related to the one that Angela Merkel paddles around in. (Of course, she’s now embarked on a much more dangerous adventure – one that will pop the bubble very soon.)

  11. When your “living memory” only reaches two weeks back, everything is a record of some sort ..

  12. Bob in Castlemaine says:

    It seems the Scientific American has been in the business of tea leaf reading for a long time now:

    The Australian Mining Standard of 5 December 1888, on page 8, had a story from the Scientific American of the time about free energy.  In those days it wasn't about "free" energy from the sun or the wind but from a wonderful invention by a Mr. William Timmins.

    The Timmins machine was apparently pronounced a success by "experts" of the day?  One wonders how Mr Timmins managed to contain the 20,000 psi pressure his machine was said to be able to create?

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