This blog is about career development but I'm diverting today to discuss climate change. I'm just back from visiting my sister in Hailey, Idaho, where the Beaver Creek fire burned a 175 square-mile-area. Seeing it up close I realized what's happening to the planet will, sooner than I thought, make all other issues moot.
In August my sister stood on the roof of her home, near the ski resort of Sun Valley, and thought she might lose every earthly possession. (She took the pictures below.)
Thanks to incredible work by the firefighters, only one house was lost. (The top picture, where the gates are still standing, is where the house was. The red in the photo is fire retardant, not autumnal splendor.) Many homes now float on a island of grass surrounded by black ash and skeletal trees. The valley was smoke filled for days and the forest no longer smells of pine but of damp ashes. New growth will start up after winter snows cover the blackened mountain but for now it's really sad to see so much natural beauty destroyed.
And here is what the mountains look like between Hailey and Boise. Elsewhere in the west fires are still burning. This week's New York Time's Magazine has a fascinating article, Some Like It Hot, that explains the complexities and science of how fire spreads. The author, Paul Tullis, notes fire policy is a social and political process that is woefully underfunded and poorly managed.
That's not all, in Colorado where my niece lives, they are still looking for people who were washed away with the rain. I knew we had a climate change problem but this time it is too close to home.
I'm at a loss for a conclusion to this post. We know climate change is a crisis. We know we aren't doing enough. I recycle and make donations but I don't really know what else to do. One suggestion comes in this well done video from The Climate Reality Project about the price of carbon. Perhaps you have some other ideas?
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