Monday, July 1, 2013

Brave Firefighters-Loss of Life And Global Warming

In an horrific loss of noble lives, 19 firefighters from an elite group of "hot shots" died while battling an Arizona forest fire. A sudden windstorm trapped the firefighters in an inferno, from which they couldn't escape. Such a tragic loss.  Prescott Fire Chief was quoted as saying, "We grieve for the family. We grieve for the department. We grieve for the city....We're devastated. We just lost 19 of the finest people you'll ever meet."
I recently stood in front of a firehouse in lower Manhattan and read the names on plaques and prayed for the deceased firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11 in New York City.  Twelve firefighters lost their lives from that one firehouse in lower Manhattan. There are many plaques with names of heroes, who raced into the burning towers,  throughout firehouses in Manhattan and the five boroughs.  I have the utmost respect for firefighters who risk their lives for strangers. Could they more fittingly answer the biblical call to "love your neighbor as yourself?".........
But getting back to this most recent tragedy in Arizona, I can't help but think that global warming and the record breaking hot temperatures that the western United States is experiencing is partly to blame for this tragedy. Arizona has become a tinderbox, because of severe drought conditions.
Floods of historic proportions in parts of the world (including Lourdes, France) and temperatures reaching into the triple digits in the West, breaking records, could just be the beginning, (according to climate scientists) of weather and climate out of control. And if an elite firefighting group was caught off guard, what does this mean? If they can't deal with erratic weather, who can?
I think it's frightening but what I think is more frightening than anything is human pride that keeps people from acting wisely and decisively when dealing with global warming. Pride is a deadly sin and for good reason, it clouds judgment and decision making.
Some politicians and government leaders think that future generations will have to deal with global warming and come up with solutions. But it seems to me, when I see what's happening, the future is now.
I experienced the effects of Hurricane Sandy. A tree fell on my house. I witnessed firsthand the hardship it caused in New York City and on Long Island.
Fires, floods, hurricanes, rising tides................. I wonder is the deadly sin of pride going to make the situation worse because of inaction, because people think there is nothing to be done now?