Political scientist Mark Lubell has been trying to convince his nuclear engineer dad of the dangers of global warming for years now, and he just got a big helper in the form of Colorado's Waldo Canyon wildfire. Lubell's parents were among those who had to evacuate, he writes in the Los Angeles Times. And while it's impossible to pin the devastation directly on climate change, these kinds of fires, "and the weather conditions that create them, are exactly what climate models are predicting for arid Western landscapes from California to the Rocky Mountains."
It's not just a theoretical argument, he writes. People can take tangible steps to mitigate fire damage by, say, keeping their homes clear of brush and dense vegetation. But they're less likely to do so if they think climate change is bogus, writes Lubell. "As a trained scientist, my dad may be more receptive to changing his views on global warming," he adds. "But it will be interesting to see the reaction of others in his community. Will they be open to emerging scientific findings about climate change? We have to hope so. Our future depends on it." Read his full column here.