Massive wildfire in Canada now; horrendous and devastating for affected people.
Yet also, exactly the kind of thing expected with climate changing; also has footprint of our over-population.
Seems there's anger at folks saying as much; easier to blame messengers like this, while fossil fuel companies support families n communities even if unsustainably.
Fire is a natural part of the boreal ecosystem, but what’s happening in Fort McMurray isn’t natural. A messy mix of factors—including inadequate forestry management practices, rapid encroachment of the urban area into the surrounding environment, a particularly stagnant weather pattern, a record-strength El Niño, and human-caused climate change—all aligned to turn this fire into this continuously unfolding tragedy. And it’s that last factor—climate change—that has spawned a commentary firestorm of its own this week.
Many people have expressed outrage at the fact that climate change is being mentioned as a contributing cause to this fire. It is “insensitive” to the victims to bring up something so political at a time like this, they argue.
I want to be clear: Talking about climate change during an ongoing disaster like Fort McMurray is absolutely necessary. There is a sensitive way to do it, one that acknowledges what the victims are going through and does not blame them for these difficulties. But adding scientific context helps inform our response and helps us figure out how something so horrific could have happened.