Is Anybody Listening?

from Forbes

How much longer will we continue to ignore the impact of our continued refusal to do anything to mitigate the planet’s long-standing climate emergency?

California and Oregon are in flames, forcing half a million people to abandon their homes, and exceeding in a matter of weeks the area burned last year: yet we still refuse to accept that this is a direct result of the increase in global temperature caused by human activity that has turned our forests into tinder. The orange skies lending an apocalyptic, science-fiction air to San Francisco illustrate the terrible magnitude of the catastrophe we all now find ourselves part of.

And it’s not just California and Oregon: the Amazon rainforest is burning at a faster rate than ever; the ice in the Bering Strait and Greenland is melting beyond the point of no return in a loss that keeps increasing every year, threatening floods that will surely create millions of climate refugees; temperatures in the Arctic exceed 100ºF; the Atlantic hurricane season seems to be preparing to break all records and wipe out entire areas; human activity is destroying biodiversity at an unprecedented rate, storms flatten entire towns in Iowa, and huge clouds of mosquitoes rising from flood debris are killing cattle and horses in Louisiana. For once, the term apocalyptic is no exaggeration.

The science is beyond question: our carbon dioxide emissions are killing the planet by turning it into a hothouse. Last year, the climate emergency generated more than fifteen weather phenomena the cost of clearing up each exceeded $1 billion, and threatens to destroy our economies, especially if we continue voting for politicians who do nothing to prevent it or even make the problem worse.

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2 Comments

  1. This article caught my attention as climate change is a major global issue that has been going on and talked about for years. And although it is known and talked about, nothing is being done to the extent that will help save us from the problem. Red flags should be raised when hearing and learning about the many wild fires and the constant rise in global temperature. The fact that there are still some people that do not believe in climate change is the reason nothing drastic can be done to help the planet. And because of this, the problem is only going to grow worse to where it will be too late to fix anything. The carelessness of people, meaning pollution, is one of the major causes to climate change. Factories, littering, etc. never stop which is why climate change is becoming more apparent.

  2. In 2020, the state of California had 35 major wildfires with more than 35,000 acres of land burning. This is a terrifying statistic to see. However, humans have led to some of this natural destruction of land. Climate change is a huge factor causing extremely deadly wildfires which spread faster and are occurring more frequently. However, wildfires have been mismanaged in the state of California. In 1974, congress passed the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974. This act required states like California to actively put out fires when they start, instead of letting them naturally run their course and burn out. When Humans actively combat forest fires in order to try to save the lives of other humans, they actually make future fires worse. This occurs because forests need to naturally burn, in order to thin out very dense and overgrown forests. The extra trees which are saved by humans trying to put out fires, allow for future fires to spread more easily as these extra trees allow the fire to spread more easily. Forest Fires are part of a natural cycle of forest management, and when humans interfere with this cycle, we allow future forest fires to become more dangerous as they spread faster and burn larger parts of land. However, States like California have no choice, but to manage forest fires as these fires are occurring near new housing developments. Developers have been building homes in locations which are considered at risk of forest fires as people are flocking away from major urban areas in California. The building of homes in areas at risk of forest fires requires the state to aggressively combat forest fires as the new homes could burn otherwise. If fires can’t be put out or contained, then they will and have spread into residential neighborhoods. This is extremely problematic as fires can burn uncontrollably though manmade homes and ultimately destroy peoples most valued possessions. New homes should not be built in these areas at risk of wildfires as this development demands that the state of California increase their efforts to put out naturally occurring wildfires. This human interference with the natural cycle of wildfires, only allows future wildfires to be worse as forests will become too dense. Humans should move out of areas which are at risk of forest fires, so fires can run their course and burn out naturally. However, before populations become displaced in a method to manage wildfires, it is important to note that technology is being developed which predicts where future wildfires are likely to occur. This new forecasting technology is a great way for governments to monitor and focus on preventing wildfires in targeted high-risk areas. This is the most innovative way to try to stop natural forest fires with human intervention. Maybe this technology would provide a better way to more proactively manage forest fires, rather than letting them burn naturally. However, we will have to see how this new innovative technology helps prevent and combat forest fires.

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