Wildfires explained | The Economist

Wildfires explained | The Economist

This week, our covers
about climate change. We were looking around at the forest fires and the droughts and the heatstroke that’s killed so many people
in the Northern Hemisphere, and something struck
us, that that this year, there’s a much wider willingness to accept the, these
things are partly caused by global warming. We’re not winning the war
against climate change, we’re losing it. Three years after the
Paris climate agreement, the NATO greenhouse gasses
being emitted is going up, investment in owner gas is going up. The amount of coal being
burned is going up. Meanwhile, subsidies for a renewables like solar and wind are going down, investment in those, installing. It’s actually surprisingly hard to replace fossil fuels. One thing is that energy demand is growing really fast, the other thing is that, of course, there’s a big political and economic inertia. That means it’s very hard
to replace fossil fuels. Now, the good news in
all of this is that we’re not short of technologies
and ideas for replacing greenhouse gasses, the
real problem is a sort of listlessness and an ability to coordinate and to convince people that
something needs to be done, and that’s what’s so
different about this Summer. When people start to
see how climate change is affecting them and people they know, that will shift public opinion.

31 thoughts on “Wildfires explained | The Economist

  1. It's incredibly frustrating that the world has lacked the foresight to deal with climate change… I think the other issue is corruption and vested interests in the coal, oil and gas sector delaying progress

  2. Climate changes; always has and always will. Now we are having heatwaves; not the first time but now it's the "fault" of "climate change". To assume that mankind is able to win a battle against natural climate cycles is as ridiculous as claiming/suggesting that mankind is responsible for these changes in the first place. As population density increases and many more people rebuild their homes in regions well-known for brush fires, tornado strikes, earthquakes and flooding, the impact of natural disasters is amplified; more people are killed/impacted and the financial costs are multiplied.

    Popcorn time….

  3. I call BS,affordable energy and the increased use of Energy allows people to moderate our natural environment ….

    Examples air conditioning in very hot places ,and heating our homes with ease in very cold places…..Deaths due to environmental causes ,are at record lows!!!!

    Nature is a Killer,look at stats from just a 100 years ago!!!

  4. And when we have science deniers devoid of any intellectual reasoning occupying the WH, it's going to get even worse.

  5. I’m cynical, the politicians will only confirm and work towards correcting climate change after it devastates the planet and when someone they care about dies. Until then we are screwed

  6. Good news that there are people like Elon Musk willing to use his wealth and intelligence to take on these fat pigs used to doing nothing but selling natural resources

  7. Climate change denial: Humanity changes the CO2 level by +35% will somehow not cause any adverse effect on the world. "Climate always changes~"

    Of course, no one is saying the climate never changes. It is that this recent change is happening too quickly for organisms and human to adapt.

  8. Of course we're winning the war on global warming, the cost of renewables has basically collapsed and will rapidly replaced traditional fuels by economic necessity. The worst effects have yet to come, but the structural requirements to beat climate change are about half done.

  9. One issue is political correctness. When you only allow one specific narrative to be heard and shout down and demonize anyone voicing a different opinion or asking questions then any reasonable person understands that at best they are only hearing one side of a complex and multi-faceted issue. On top of that when you have been around long enough to have heard the one allowed narrative shift and change over time then at best it erodes trust that the narrative is correct. You can not explore the other possibilities because they are not allowed to be heard.

    For example, during the Cold War the USSR had Pravda, which means Truth, as their main media source. However, it never wanted to publish negative information about the USSR, or communism or socialism. Therefore, if there was a major accident or food shortage or whatever it was either not reported or greatly down played. For a short period of time that was believable but over time if they did not report major aircraft accidents, or crime or food shortages or naval accidents then you had to believe that such things rarely or never happened or you had to stop believing the narrative.

    By the time that the USSR collapsed, even people that had been indoctrinated to be hardcore communists from birth knew that Pravda was anything but the truth. Just as a small example, I visited Russia one month after the USSR disbanded and I met two young college girls that were attending a technical university in Moscow. There was obvious economic distress everywhere you looked but I was trying to be nice and positive and reassured them that when they graduated I was confident that they would get good jobs. I was about three years out of school myself but they both looked at me and burst out laughing like I had just said the silliest thing they had ever heard in their life. These were young people that had been raised since birth to believe in communism and they knew it was ridiculous but until then they would not have been allowed to openly say it.

    Obviously, climate has been continually changing for millions of years and there are many different inputs. I believe that mans actions are one input but before man there were both ice ages and forests in places that are now covered in ice. Obviously, there is more to it than just inputs from men but you can not talk about that or you will be demonized as a climate denier. At some point it becomes no more credible than Pravda.

  10. Solar has a bigger footprint that coal, so that's first major issue here. Secondary to that is the fact they require batteries which at this time is more destructive to the environment than coal and solar power combined. Suppose anyone that's looked into this even a little bit knows the IPCC is scam, but I can't fault anyone for failing to take the time to figure out what it actually costs. First place to look is where they're getting the materials. That is say, where did the coal come from? Then ask where did the chemicals or materials for the panels come from? Answering these to alone show a part of why this narrative is propaganda. That is in terms of AGW (anthropogenic global warming). There's of course the production, which even without knowing anything about it, one should be able to trust the assumption that solar panels require more. The last end of this chain is to ask about maintenance. This end is where solar really fails, because of the cleaning products required to clean the panels. They typically utilize chemicals, one of which is a greenhouse gas, which drastically overshadow coal's footprint. This is a serious problem when we have videos like this, and the idiots taking stances they know nothing of in the comments on its video.

    I'd elaborate more, but I were shot in the head. Meaning I'm not going to take the time citing everything I'm speaking of. Can say much of this is on IEEE's website. Granted they, being made up of differing people, may or may not agree with some of my points. Meaning they as individuals haven't all done the due diligence to make certain they know what they're talking about. They're experts, so a part of why anyone thinking about this topic should be leery of jumping to conclusions.

    Anyway, I hope we find a valid solution. I also hope these idiots on a grander, non-mechanical level, finally start to understand climate change was going to happen regardless of the validity of AGW. Meaning even if we're a part of the cause, the end result were going to happen anyway.

  11. The human race is on a collision course with its own extinction. There is no strong political call for reform as the politicians are paid by big business to push their own greed and self interest forward. By the time they realize the truth it will be too late, human extinction will be inevitable. The planet will rejoice that the virus of the human race has ended and it can start its recovery

  12. Let's make laws against pre-emptive burning and cutting back brush and then pretend the increase in forest fires is global warming

  13. It's already too late to prevent or reverse it. We'd rather get ready to face the consequences of climate change, while we work at mitigating it.

  14. Climate change is a problem but don't tell me that heat waves are a problem in cold climates of Northern Hemisphere. People near tropics live in temperatures above those, every year.

    Also, I think this video should have been titled 'Climate Change' instead.

  15. Seriously? You can prove correlation between Climate change and California wildfires? You do realize that most of the wildfires result from humans igniting dry forest and "controlled" fires becoming uncontrollable? Of course dry weather makes things worse, but it is not the cause. Also, environmental regulations prohibit the use of highly effective chemicals to put out fires, so firefighters try to fight those fires like hundred years ago…

  16. Politics are just a small part. If the entire population's opinion doesn't change then there won't be any change in environment. Changing the population's opinion seems to be harder than a miracle.

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