Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “ISIS”

John Mattingly: The War on Fire

By John Mattingly

Wildfires are not inspired by ISIS, but the war on fire and the war on terror share a few futilities. Fighting fire is somewhat like squaring off against the sun.
Sun, water and earth combine to form carbohydrates and sometimes nitrogenized carbohydrates (proteins), all of which burn through either combustion or metabolism in relatively short time spans. Simple carbohydrates, like leaves and vegetable matter, burn relatively quickly and usually within a year. More complex carbohydrates, lignins, like trees, have a longer calendar for burning, but a visit to any forest shows that at all times some of the lignin is being burned, if not by fire then by microbes and bigger creatures. If the full family of carbohydrates did not burn, the litter would make it very difficult to move about on the land surfaces of Earth, and lightning ignitions would be enormously hazardous to mammals. As it is, humans are working industriously on a positive feedback loop of carbon emissions that increase heat and carbon dioxide, that in turn increase heat and carbon dioxide and more forest fires.