Journalists and some researchers worry firefighters are not taking climate change seriously enough, especially as emergency crews attempt to contain raging wildfires in California and elsewhere.
Climate change is a key factor to a rash of wildfires in the U.S., E&E News noted in a report Monday before asking why firefighters refuse to take global warming into account when budgeting resources. Firefighters dismiss such concerns.
“We are not climate scientists,” Randy Eardley, chief of external affairs at the National Interagency Fire Center, told E&E News. “We talk about the effects we are seeing.” Other fire chiefs shared similar sentiments.
Talk about global warming is too riddled with political haggling between Democrats and Republicans, according to Rick Swan, director of wildland fire fighting safety and response at the International Association of Fire Fighters.
“I don’t think we would get into the cause of it, because from our perspective, the long season is relevant,” Swan told reporters, noting that firefighters don’t worry about cause agents, because “The cause is irrelevant. The damage is done.”
Meanwhile, more than 1,500 firefighters have been battling a wildfire in Northern California — the so-called Carr Fire is currently burning through tens of thousands of acres across the California-Oregon border and has already destroyed thousands of structures.
Wildfires have been an ongoing problem in Northern California over the years. The Thomas Fire barreled through 273,400 acres of land in December 2017, charring forests and buildings along its path. It became 154 acres larger than the deadly Cedar Fire in San Diego in 2003.
Politicians and members of the media have tried to tie wildfires ripping across the Greek Peloponnesus in July to man-made global warming. Yet wildfires in Greece and Mediterranean Europe have declined since 1980, despite a surprisingly warm summer. (RELATED: It Took National Geographic Seven Months To Admit It ‘Went Too Far’ Linking An Iconic Image Of A Dying Polar Bear To Global Warming)
Environmental policy expert Bjorn Lomborg argued in a July 26 tweet that the area burnt by fires in Southern Europe has nearly halved in the last 26 years. Lomborg also noted that the amount of forested area in Europe has also dramatically increased in recent decades, as had development and population.
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