As a recently trained Climate Leader, I’m pleased to feature the resources available to me at the Climate Reality Project. One of those significant resources is From the Blog. The following post is from Maggie L. Fox, the President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project. Since joining the group in early 2009, Maggie has led a campaign to help citizens around the world discover the truth about the climate crisis and take meaningful steps to bring about change. (Editor ~ Rolly Montpellier)
When we learn of or experience real-life acts of courage it’s often hard to fully comprehend their true nature. We can also fail to express our gratitude to the extraordinary individuals behind them when the words “Thank you” feel so inadequate.
Around the nation, one of the more tragic and tragically overlooked impacts of climate change is the toll it takes on our firefighters. These are the men and women who risk their lives to protect our homes and livelihoods. As prolonged droughts, rising temperatures, and other effects of the crisis make these fires more widespread, more frequent, and more intense, we’re asking firefighters to risk their lives more and more often. It’s never been a fair trade, but as our climate keeps changing, the demands we make of them just keep growing.
Some make fighting fires a career. Some volunteer in addition to doing a full-time job like the rest of us. Some of them have fought to save a stranger’s home while theirs burned. All of them answer a deep call of duty and give far, far beyond themselves.
In my home state of Colorado, this selfless heroism was on display last summer in the terrible Waldo Canyon fires that were the most devastating the state had ever seen, destroying nearly 350 homes. That was, until this June, when the Black Forest wildfires took over 500 homes and scorched 16,000 acres. Each time, firefighters went out and put themselves in harm’s way to save our communities. Firefighters in California, Nevada, and Arizona—among many other places—have been just as brave, with 19 making the ultimate sacrifice and giving their lives fighting the Yarnell Hill fire in Arizona this summer.
These are the debts that we as a society can never repay. At the very least, it’s essential that we pause and stop for a moment in the midst of our daily routines to recognize their service and to say a humble thank you. From all of us here at Climate Reality, we are pausing to say a heartfelt thank you.
P.S. We’ll be talking to firefighters about their work as first responders and the way wildfires just keep getting hotter, bigger, faster, and more dangerous due to climate change, with a special webinar this fall. Check back on ClimateReality.com for updates on timing and participants, or sign up for our email alerts to stay in the loop.
As President and CEO of the Climate Reality Project, Maggie has led a campaign to help citizens around the world discover the truth about the climate crisis and take meaningful steps to bring about global change. Along with Chairman and former Vice President Al Gore, Maggie has trained thousands of climate educators from around the world. Learn more about Maggie here.
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