Climate Change and an Induced Plague of Wildfires

Wildfires are a direct outcome of the human-induced climatic changes

Climate change covers super colossal shifts in the weather patterns having bizarre impact on the Earth and its dwellers. The main lead foot in climatic shifts is the global warming driven by the enormous emissions of carbon dioxide and methane. Humans continue to play a foul sport by large-scale fossil fuel burning, agricultural activities,deforestation, wildfires and manufacturing. There is a significant rise in land temperature which contributes to the expansion of deserts by heat waves and wildfires. Humanity must not endure the wildfires this time around.

The poor management and unresponsive behavior is causing loss of biodiversity rendering birds and animals homeless which is a startling signal for the elimination of humanity itself. This is crippling our way towards sustainability thus looming the world with demand, dare and defiance.

The harsh reality that summons to contest the wider spectrum is the relation of sustainability with the future only. This assertive narrative is primordially false and faulty since there are already millions of people hit, many unsettled and many dislocated. The bottom line is that the climate change is happening, humans are causing it and nobody wants hear this bitter truth.

Apart from the mutating coronavirus strains and vaccine flaps-troubles that are prime focus these days are the rampant wildfires. Wildfire consumes vegetation, damages property, human life thus conjecturing upshot on flora and fauna. Since Earth is an intrinsically inflammable planet owing to its cover of carbon rich vegetation, atmospheric oxygen, seasonally dry climates, widespread lightning and volcanic ignitions. This not only mediates the start of wildfire fury but also spreads it faster than the viruses. Climate variability, heat waves, droughts and regional weather patterns like high-pressure ridges can increase the risk and recalibrate the ferocity and frenzy nature of wildfires dramatically. The years of precipitation supported by the warm periods embolden the intensity and duration of the wildfires. Thus wildfires are a direct outcome of the human-induced climatic changes and the recent wildfires of Turkey, Australia, Siberia, Alaska, Amazon rainforest and Canary Islands are the testimony of the same. People may still argue about the creation of complex snag forest habitats and evolution of adaptations yet larger spectrum of mankind it at stake about its negative impacts.

Keeping the broader perspective of wildfire advantages and disadvantages aside - some reports are perplexing. In Canada, a little over half the wildfires are started directly by humans. In United States, human-started wildfires account for 84% of all wildfires, and nearly half of all area is burned. This may sound like a plot of Bollywood movie, but it is all too real. Although, some people still do not accept the truth, while others have no idea about the terror that awaits them. We cannot burn our way to the future. We cannot pretend the danger does not exist-or dismiss it because it affects someone else. The environment is where we all meet; where all of us have mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. Those who really don’t feel the significance of environment-try holding breathe with a favorite delicious food in hand.Perhaps this generation is the first that is feeling the sting of climate change, and we are the last generation that can do something about it. We can’t take climate change and put it on the back burner. If we don’t address the problem of climate change, we won’t be around as humans. While the problem can sometimes seem overwhelming, we can turn things around-but we must move beyond climate-talks to climate-actions. I believe mankind has looked climate change in the same way, as if it were a fiction. We are running out of time, and we must look for planetary solution to a planetary crisis- the future will be green or not at all.

How to thwart it?

Everyone has a power to bring change by prevention and awareness. Wildfire prevention refers to the precautionary methods aimed at minimizing the risk of fires as well lessening its severity and spread. In 1937 Franklin Roosevelt, a 32nd US president, initiated nationwide prevention campaign by highlighting the carelessness of humans in forest fires. The campaign gained momentum after featuring Uncle Sam from a Disney movie Bambi. North America firefighting policies permit naturally caused fires to burn to maintain their ecological balance, so long as the risks of escape into high-values are mitigated.Strategies for wildfire prevention, detection, control and suppression have varied over the years. One common and inexpensive technique to reduce the risk of uncontrolled wildfires is controlled burning: intentionally igniting smaller less-intense fires to minimize the amount of flammable material available for a potential wildfire. Vegetation may be burned periodically to limit the accumulation of plants and other debris that may serve as fuel, while also maintaining high species diversity Jan Van Wagtendonk, a biologist at the Yellowstone Field Station, claims that Wildfire itself is "the most effective treatment for reducing a fire's rate of spread, fireline intensity, flame length, and heat per unit of area.This is not a partisan debate; it is a human one. Clean air and water, and a livable climate are inalienable human rights. And solving this crisis is not a question of politics. It is our moral obligation. People of conscience need to break their ties with corporations financing the injustice of climate change. The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.

Atif Khurshid Wani, Research Scholar, Lovely Professional University

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