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- 8 May 2016 at 3:47 am #3650
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.9 May 2016 at 2:37 pm #4941
Fires only are expected to get bigger and costlier as humans keep pumping heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere, primarily by burning fossil fuels for heat, electricity and transportation. A 2011 report from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, for example, says certain parts of the American West could see up to a 650% increase in the median area burned by wildfires each year if temperatures rise another 1 degree Celsius. Humans already have warmed the climate about 1 degree Celsius compared with temperatures before the industrial revolution.
by cleaning up pollution we can make fires like the one in Canada less likely.
“Sometimes it takes a few bloody noses for human behavior to change,” said Flannigan, the professor at the University of Alberta. “I was hoping maybe Hurricane Sandy would be a springboard for change. In part, this fire may be a springboard for change — at least for Canadians.
“As a global citizen who has any concern for their children or their grandchildren we need to take action,” he said. “We can’t continue on this business as usual [path] without severe repercussions.”
Ones that look a lot like the hellish fire in Canada.
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