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Letter: Fletcher fire opinion riles

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Firefighter sets a back-burn to contain the Meldrum Creek wildfire complex, spreading east towards Williams Lake, August 2010. (B.C. Forest Service)

Re: Hype doesn’t help forest fire efforts (BC Views,

Tom Fletcher tries hard to be annoying. His opinion rants are always full of irrelevant and deliberately misleading data and he tries hard to smear smart, honest, helpful people to kick up useless distracting controversy. This time Fletcher tried hard to smear the Red Cross, and Nobel Peace Prize winner (for his studies and work on climate change) Dr. Andrew Weaver.

Fletcher probably idolized J. Jonah Jameson (from Spiderman) as a kid and has spent most of his adult career trying to emulate him.

Reading Fletcher’s opening sentence (about last winter being the coldest on record) is enough to prove he’s full of garbage and no more relevant than a tabloid gossip columnist.

Dealing with the backlash to this opinion piece, Fletcher tries to defend himself on Facebook by referencing his Campbell River Mirror article about the Okanagan floods and high stream volumes and early run-off in the Cariboo (in early May) due to early snow melt. Ridiculously this is his “scientific proof” that climate change isn’t responsible for the fires. What a joke.

The reality is that eight of the last 10 years have been the hottest globally in scientifically recorded history. It’s also been more than 20 years since the Cariboo had a typical cold winter (one week of 40 below, or several weeks of 20 below), necessary to kill off enough bark beetles to prevent epidemics.

The areas that are burning now (part of a devastated Vancouver Island sized, pine forest) are so full of dead mountain pine beetle wood that it’s usually hard to find a green conifer in them more than 50 years old.

Whether Fletcher felt chilly in Victoria or Vancouver last winter is as irrelevant as the rest of his useless column.

Graham Gerry

James Bay