!http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee4aad973970d-800wi|border=0|src=http://nfpa.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee4aad973970d-800wi|alt=Monday Blog|style=margin: 0px 5px 5px 0px;|title=Monday Blog|class=asset asset-image at-xid-6a00d8351b9f3453ef017ee4aad973970d!In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a recent blog from Brad Plumer in the Washington Post brings to light what many of us have probably been asking ourselves lately: Can all this extreme weather be linked to human activity that is warming our planet? Consider some of the stats he cites, especially as they relate to wildfire activity across the country:
- The U.S. wildfire season this year was the second-largest by area since records began in the 1960’s, topped only by 2006.
- The first nine months of 2012 have been the hottest in the United States on record.
And while there’s much debate about whether these weather events represent true climate change or not, you can’t help but think, even just for a little bit, that things don’t look so good for Mother Earth. Consider the future. According to Plumer, climatologists say that if we keep emitting greenhouse gases at our current rate, “droughts will likely become more severe and longer-lasting, and that wildfires in the western United States will flare up more frequently.”
No matter how you want to slice the data or what you wish to believe, as we look back at 2012, the hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and the hundreds of wildfires that roared across the U.S. should give us pause to reflect on what’s truly happening around us. My hope is, when it comes to wildfires, we will continue to work together to find ways to help lessen the catastrophic impacts these events have on our communities, even if we can't rid ourselves of them entirely. </p> Read the entire blog post from Brad Plumer. And the other articles about climate change that are popping up in our local papers and on websites this week. Then decide. As 2012 comes to close, what will you do as the new year unfolds to work towards creating safer communities for you, your family and neighbors, and for Mother Earth?