Connect the Dots on Wildfires

Wildfires are becoming more severe and widespread. Some are saying that there is no longer a wildfire season because wildfires occur year-round. Last year was one of the worst for wildfires in the past 50 years and this year is shaping up to be even worse. The reasons: higher than normal temperatures, severe drought, and an unprecedented tree die-off.

An argument could be made that any of these reasons are related to climate change, but most of the reporting on the increased wildfires does not make this connection. I understand that journalistic best practices prevent journalists from making such connections without strong supporting evidence -- a smoking gun.

But, in the case of wildfires, there is a pretty clear smoking gun -- the pine bark beetle. Stay with me. Many reputable news sources have reported the increase in the pine bark beetle in recent years; and that the increase is due, in large part, to climate change (see "Bark beetles, aided by climate change, are devastating U.S. pine forests" The trees killed by the pine bark beetle are becoming fuel for the more severe wildfires we are seeing today.

Journalists: I beg of you, Please connect the dots!