Strategies of Communication on Climate Change

Monday, June 24, 2013

Connecting dots, anyone?

(image from "how stuff works)

by Dan Savage, The Stranger, June 19, 2013

Four hundred homes went up in flames in Colorado last week.

"Nature Takes a Fiery Toll Despite a Community's Efforts to Prepare," a June 14 New York Times headline read. They're calling 2013 the "most destructive wildfire season in Colorado history." The last wildfire season they described that way? That would be last year's wildfire season—the 2012 wildfire season—when 600 homes and countless acres in Colorado burned.

According to research cited in the New York Times, six of Colorado's worst wildfire seasons have taken place since 2000.

(h/t Tenney Naumer)


  1. Yeah, search for the paper which brought the concept of "fire deficit", that is larger than ever: Long-term perspective on wildfires in the western USA. Combine a) fire supression in the last 60 years, b) increased biomass sink as a result of CO2 and nitrogen fertilization, c) increased density of the forests, d) rapidly rising temperature and drought...

  2. Yes, some early npn-linear effects seem likely and Americans build suburban homes & tourist cabins in woods in fire-dominated eco zones, like Brits have recently built on flood plains in England. Apparently also in Colorado there is a lot of recent beetle damage.
    From Wikipedia
    "Mountain pine beetles inhabit ponderosa, whitebark, lodgepole, Scotch, and limber pine trees. Normally, these insects play an important role in the life of a forest, attacking old or weakened trees, and speeding development of a younger forest. However, unusual hot, dry summers and mild winters throughout the region during the last few years, along with forests filled with mature lodgepole pine, have led to an unprecedented epidemic.
    It may be the largest forest insect blight ever seen in North America.[2] Climate change is said by some to have contributed to the size and severity of the outbreak, and the outbreak itself may, with similar infestations, have significant effects on the capability of northern forests to remove greenhouse gas (CO2) from the atmosphere."

  3. Someone sent me this a couple of days ago which I thought was very useful.

    Lots and lots of dots to connect !

    And then what? Obama's plan?