climate central org
. the massive fire seasons recently. even with climate change,
were the culmination of a trend:
between 1986 and 2003, western forests saw
a nearly fourfold increase in the number of wildfires,
and those fires burned six times the amount of land
and lasted five times as long
when compared with the previous 16 years.
In response, states and the federal government
adopted policies and legislation,
such as the Bush administration’s
Healthy Forest Restoration Act,
which were designed to head off
increasingly catastrophic wildfires
by thinning forests and reintroducing fire
to areas that were overgrown with fuel
from a century of fire suppression.
Some wildfires would be allowed to burn
in hopes of improving overall forest health.
The fires, however, have continued to grow
in size, frequency, and intensity,
while the policies meant to tame them
have sputtered and stalled.
Air quality issues
increasingly limit the number of days when
prescribed burns can be lit,
and the public is often resistant to them,
particularly after incidents in which
forest managers lose control .
Residents of fire-prone landscapes
are often unwilling to cut down the trees they love,
even when removing a few trees increases their safety.
And building with fire-resistant materials
is often more expensive
and doesn’t fit with mountain traditions.
. between 2000 and 2010,
more than 100,000 people moved into
Colorado’s most flammable forests .
. global warming means that
bugs are killing more trees,
so we have a lot more to burn through;
and, there's less water in the area
to naturally suppress that burning .
Wildfires nationwide cost the federal government
up to $3 billion annually
— twice what they cost a decade ago.
Today wildfires take up nearly half
of the U.S. Forest Service’s budget,
up from 13 % in 1991.
the real problem is that people who should be
investing in fire prevention systems
like irrigating the property around them,
are instead relentlessly spending on
expanding the population .
. use solar energy to pump oceans into deserts
and this will make solar do more desalination too .
. the problem is not too much affluence,
it is too much poverty:
high-tech could survive global warming;
but this 3rd-world mentality cannot .