Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fight fires with ‘ink’


    The local Castle Rock wildfire in 2007 and this year’s deaths of 19 firefighters in Arizona left us wishing never to see or hear of another wildfire again. However, with Earth’s temperature rising and weather patterns in drought mode, we’re not likely to get that wish.
    Records show that while wildfires are no more numerous than usual, they’re a lot bigger. Fires have burned more acreage in eight of the last 12 years than at any time since 1983, according to National Interagency Fire Center records.
    The records correspond to the predictions of climate scientists who’ve repeatedly warned that increasing temperatures would mean skimpy snowpacks, earlier springs and drier summers—the perfect formula for bigger wildfires.
    Yet, public outcry for national action to roll back climate change is little more than the size of a bucket brigade. The issue needs a lot more “ink”—letters, emails, texts and tweets—to let representatives in Washington, D.C., know that Americans support initiatives to reverse climate change. It’s time to demand that politicians put aside lame excuses such as claims that because the U.S. can’t control China, trying is useless and too expensive for business and industry.
    Against the costs of changing our ways and convincing other nations to do the same, we must stack the mounting costs of doing nothing, which include smoke damage to resort economies like ours, destruction of grazing lands and escalating costs of protecting homes, lives and property.
    Ink and paper or bandwidth and pixels will not quench fires or dissipate summer’s heat, but they may build a fire where it’s needed—under our senators and congressmen.




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