“We inherited a beautiful planet from our ancestors, now it is our time to leave it in the best shape possible for the generations to come.”Utsah Shrestha
Forest fires and wildfires are becoming increasingly common as the world’s temperatures continue to rise, which makes the role of children in preventing them bigger than ever.
Children must be taught how to stop wildfire disasters and respond to their changing environment since they will be the ones to inherit this planet and their education must begin as soon as possible.
In the recent case of the Australian bush fires, for example, the resulting devastation was beyond what scientists predicted. This speaks to the utter unpredictability of climate change and its effects on the world.
In a piece published on Nature by Benjamin Sanderson, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, he noted how the real world can often surprise even the best minds.
“This event was worse than anything in any of the models at any point in this century. Only one of the models toward the end of the century started producing things of this magnitude,” he wrote.
Fortunately, there is still hope as long as the next generation is given the knowledge and tools to respond to this crisis.
Wildfires, The Good and The Bad
Much like a lot of things, wildfires themselves are not inherently bad.
They do have a role to play in nature since they are part of the cycle of propagation.
In fact, there are many times when forest and nature protection agencies deliberately set certain areas on fire.
This is meant to encourage the growth of new, lush greenery.
Unfortunately, climate change has had a profound effect on the intensity of the wildfires that occur. This was noted in an email to Wired by fire scientist Matthias Boer from the Western Sydney University.
“The widespread and prolonged drought conditions over the last two years have caused the entire eastern Australian forest area to dry out to extreme levels, such that all ‘natural fire breaks’ (e.g. moist gullies, south facing slopes, swamps) have been eliminated and the entire landscape becomes one connected fuel array,” the email reads.
This means that what was once a helpful part of the natural order has mutated to become a monster due to the planet’s worsening climate condition.
The pattern regarding the effects of climate change on wildfires is easy enough to follow. The planet’s temperature rises, which causes more dry spells and droughts.
These seasons of no moisture then lead to more dead bushes, leaves, trees, and others.
With more kindling to work with, wildfires get bigger and more easily get out of control. What was once a manageable annual affair has surpassed what humans are capable of stopping, thus causing widespread devastation, billions in damages, and major losses of life.
Children’s Roles In Wildfire Prevention
However, even with all of that, there is still hope in the next generation. Children can still be brought up with the right mindset, information, and training to respond to these escalating disasters.
It would be no exaggeration to say that the world is now seeing the most environmentally conscious generation in history. This is only natural since a lot of kids, teens, and young adults are keenly aware that it is their future on the line.
As such, many youngsters are now doing what they can to prevent deforestation, wildfires, increased carbon emissions, and irresponsible corporate practices.
Unfortunately, there are not nearly enough of them to really make enough of a difference just yet. This is why you need to teach your child a few things that will help them become more capable of making a huge impact on the grander stage.
How to Enable Children to Prevent Wildfires
The best way to equip children in the fight against wildfires and climate change, in general, is with knowledge. You can start by making sure that your child understands that events like global warming are real and that they are the cause of many of today’s natural disasters.
From there, you can move on to instilling practices that include:
Not to Carelessly Play With Fire – Teach your child not to play with matches or lighters, leave campfires unattended, or mess around with torches while camping or hiking. These are some of the most common causes of man-made wildfires.
Participate in Tree Plantings and Greenery Projects
Encouraging your child to get involved with activities like planting trees or revitalizing forests can increase his appreciation for nature.
Learn More About How Wildfires Occur – The more your child knows about wildfires, the better positioned he will be to do something about it in the future.
Interact With Other Kids and Talk About the Environment – Building a network of like-minded children his age can influence your child to become more environmentally aware.
Becoming More Environmentally Aware – When you teach your child to pay more attention to environmental issues, the more likely he will develop a desire to protect the planet.
Watching Science Shows – TV programs or internet contents that discuss nature, science, and the world can help shape your child’s brain so that he is more receptive to scientific facts.
Reading The Right Books
Reading books can already have a profound effect on children. It helps them easily understand the global issues that we are all experiencing. Ayden the Astronaut is the second book in the Past, Present, and Future Series which I have written to inspire kids to appreciate our planet more. It helps empower kids to understand not only what climate change is all about – but also the danger of taking Earth for granted.