There’s more than smoke in the air … What grieves me is that the wildfire smoke now enveloping us represents the loss of human life, forests, wildlife and their habitat. Also going up in smoke are some people’s hopes and aspirations for a decent home and a thriving farm or business. That smoke also represents the willful denial and resistance on the part of key policymakers to act on climate change.
Fire is natural as anything but we’ve created unnatural conditions (too much greenhouse gas, too little sustainable forest management) that increase wildfires’ frequency and intensity. It’s time for all of us – citizens, businesses and government -- to address not only the short-term hazards of a changing climate, but to leave a legacy better than more frequent wildfires, floods and drought to future generations. To NOT do so “will no doubt be remembered in history as one of the greatest failures of humankind.” That’s a quote from Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg. It’s well past time for us adults to pay heed.