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OSU Professor Argues For Multi-Faceted Take On Climate Change Debate

Brian Bull

Climate change remains a divisive issue in politics, even with the majority of scientific research establishing the role of greenhouse gas emissions in global warming.

This year’s intense wildfires have fed debate over the specific cause, which includes hotter weather, drier fuels, forest management, and expanding residential development into forests.

John Bailey is a professor of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management at Oregon State University. He says it’s “frustrating” when people try to blame just one factor.

“There are all just probabilities," said Bailey.  "They’ve all come into play based on where the towns are and how we build, and maybe even blaming the ignition itself, but ignitions happen. Wind happens.  Fire season, every year. Fuels are out there.  It is all these things at once. And as you can tell, I get a little frustrated when it starts being parsed out.”

Bailey made his remarks at a recent OSU forum with wildfire experts and the media. 

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