Congressman Tipton missed opportunity to address climate change (letter)
August 22, 2018
Ah … you can smell it in the air — the delicate aroma of roasting timber and scrub brush, along with the occasional whiff of an incinerated home.
There's nothing quite like it.
Our Colorado air was getting a little too clear anyway. We all need a little smoky haze in the air to snap us out of our normal fairytale existence.
In a recent op-ed in the Glenwood Springs Post Independent titled, "We must utilize every tool available to prevent wildfires," our representative in Washington, Rep. Scott Tipton, is now promoting the wisdom of creating a wildfire emergency fund so that the U.S. Forest Service will be able to keep the money they need for proper land management that is now being spent reacting to the increasing number of wildfires.
Will the buildup of fire-feeding fuels that is now occurring be mitigated with this influx of funding? Possibly, but not likely.
I think Congressman Tipton missed a great opportunity to point out the contribution that the notable warming trend on our planet makes to these fires. Further dialogue and problem solving on the connection between climate change, drought and fire is sorely needed to arrive at the best solutions. I hope that in the near future we will hear from Congressman Tipton about the importance of addressing climate change and its causes as they relate to public safety, economic stability and our quality of life.
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Removing the fuel source for wildfires is definitely a smarter way to manage our forests than simply fighting the resulting fires and is certainly necessary. However, working toward removing the various causes of that fuel source makes even more sense to me.
If a bathtub is overflowing and flooding a house, doesn't it make more sense to shut the water off than it does to build a dam around it?
As a fan of any approach to complex problems that includes all of the solutions and tools necessary to ensure a successful outcome, I hope that Mr. Tipton will take into account the role that the change in our climate is playing in this very smoky summer that we are all experiencing.
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