La guerre mal à propos contre le feu

TEMPE, ARIZONA – La façon la plus simple de décrire le feu à travers le monde, c'est qu'il en existe trop de la mauvaise catégorie, trop peu de la bonne, et trop d'une manière générale. Les mauvais catégories sont celles comparables à l'incendie qui vient de tuer 19 pompiers ici en Arizona, ou celles qui ont jeté le deuil sur l'Asie du Sud-Est, en incinérant des communautés entières, en souillant les écosystèmes et leurs affluents et en saccageant les biotes avec des déchets qui brûlent au mauvais moment, avec la mauvaise intensité. Les bonnes catégories sont celles qui rendent un service écologique en brûlant les paysages correctement - et qui restent à leur place.

Paradoxalement, il est probable qu'il n'y ait pas assez de feu sur la planète, mais grâce aux combustibles fossiles, il y a certainement trop de combustion. Dans l'ensemble, le monde développé a trop peu de bons feux, et le monde en développement en a trop de mauvais. Presque tous les observateurs prévoient que cela va continuer dans les prochaines années.

Notre action à ce sujet dépend de la façon dont nous posons le problème. Le paradoxe du feu tient à son rôle de grand métamorphe des processus naturels. La raison en est simple : le feu n'est pas une créature, ni une substance ni un événement géophysique comme un ouragan ou un tremblement de terre. Il s'agit d'une réaction biochimique. Il synthétise ce qui l'entoure. Il tire son caractère de son contexte.

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