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Wildfires | Climate Change | Fake News

Bandipur mountain

Is man made climate change a fact or fiction ?

The Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest near in California Aug. 17, 2013 .The fire has consumed approximately 149, 780 acres and is 15% . Image credits: U.S. Forest Service photo.

Despite the overwhelming evidence presented by the scientific community supporting man made climate change and its disastrous consequences, there is still a community of climate change deniers and the 45th president of United States, Donald J Trump is one of them.

In a time of devastating disaster and emergency where families have lost their homes to the raging fire and the death toll kept increasing, the comments from the president are both ill-timed and disrespectful to the brave men and women fighting the fire on the front lines.
In multiple interviews trump blamed the forest management and stated climate change has no role to play in the increasing size and frequency of forest fires all around the world.

Wildfires

In 2018 California experienced the most deadliest and destructive wildfire season in its recorded history. The burned acreage is more than three times the size of Luxembourg. In the history of California 15 out of 20 largest wildfires have occured in the past two decades. The fires are a natural phenomenon in California, the ecosystem and the vegetation in the region has evolved alongside wildfires. The fires play a crucial role in maintaining the Balance of the ecosystem. The fire burns down the thick canopies, restores the nutrients in the soil by burning the dead and diseased vegetation. This allows the sunlight to reach the ground and enables the next generation of plants to flourish. But this is a fine balance, which is disrupted when the frequency and intensity of the wildfires changes.

The three components of the triangle, Fuel, heat, oxygen. Illustration: Srujan Vully

The fire triangle illustrates the interaction between the three components, which are required in right amount for a fire to ignite and sustain.
In the case of wildfire the first component heat can be provided either by the sun, a bolt of lighting or burning cigarette. The heat provided can be turned into flames when it comes in contact with fuel such as dried grass, leaves and trees. The oxygen present in the surroundings not only sustains the fire but strong winds help spread the flames.

Climate Change

The rise in temperatures around the world has lead to hot summers turning the forests dry. The delayed precipitation exacerbate the problem as they prolong the season of summer, thereby making dry plants and and the soil deprived of moisture more susceptible to burning.
Climate change has lead to substantial increase in the number of wildfires not just in california rather all around the world.

The changes in climate create a feedback loop where the increase in the amount of forest fires also increases the release of the greenhouse gases by the burning forests and therefore accelerating the process of climate change.

In recent times the increased likelihood of a wildfire to occur, the severity, the size and the unpredictable nature of the wildfire is a matter of grave concern.

Source: India Meteorological Department

Fact or Fiction

The link between climate change and the increased intensity of many natural disasters like hurricanes , flash floods, wildfires is clearly established. Then one might wonder why is there still a debate whether man made climate change is a fact or fiction despite all the evidence ?
Why is there so much confusion regarding this issue ? Who is fuelling this confusion ? Let us attempt to understand this issue and answer these questions by looking at what happened in Bandipur national park.

Last week Bandipur National park, located in the south indian state of karnataka, was engulfed in a wildfire and the posts about the fire went viral. Images of charred bodies surfaced on all social media platforms and regional news outlets.


The same images also landed in the group of Reggae Republik and this is how the conversation unfolded………

Link to the video on Fake News

Fact or Fiction

we asked ourselves these question above, why is there still a debate whether man made climate change is a fact or fiction despite all the evidence ? Why is there so much confusion regarding this issue ? Who is fuelling this confusion ?

In our digital world disinformation spreads faster than the wildfires. The motive to spread the lies could be either political or economical. At the end of the day money and power dictate the events.
Biased Scientific studies with manipulated statistics funded by multinational corporations and lobby groups create an alternate reality. Thereby creating two factions and confusion.

Fight fire with fire is not just a metaphor but a strategy firefighters use to fight wildfire. A controlled blaze set up by the fighters is pushed back towards the main fire. The blaze uses up the fuel and deprives the wildfire of one component out of the fire triangle and hence the fire is extinguished.

In the Bandipur national park incident, manipulated images were virally spread, is it then acceptable when one justifies this action as setting up a controlled blaze to extinguish the wildfire started by lobby groups or multinational corporations. Is this action acceptable when the motive is conservation of nature.


What is your take on this complex issue ? Join this conversation of ours and let us know what do you think is the right course of action.

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Hope to see you until next time.
Srujan Vully.

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2 comments on “Wildfires | Climate Change | Fake News

  1. My one key takeaway is that how the news about any natural disaster is being used to mislead the common man. Beautiful presentation \m/

    Liked by 1 person

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