Titan Chamber, Xiniu Cave (Guanxi) - China China Caves 2013 3D Project Expedition Team - 12.09.2013

Monday, July 16, 2012

Midsummer Afternoon's (burned) Dream

July 2012
Reducing shade, the soil radiation increases, soil dries out before the summer drought comes. Dry soils are more difficult to be imbued, are less permeable, and summer and autumn rain weathering is more extreme and the most fertile soil layer down to several centimetres is removed and can only be re-established when the vegetation comes back in wealth and richness
Only yesterday, in a single day, in Sardinia about 30.000 hectares went burnt... is not easy to imagine such a vast destroyed area, yet some people think that all this will lead to positive results. Today we are all economically poorer, we have less forest, landscape and possibilities; it is as if someone on the stock market had burned our investments...our savings from the last 50 years.
However, those who did it, did so deliberately and have stolen a piece of our future.
Deliberate fire cannot only happen at the hands of some bored kids, or some idiots who want to get rid of the tourists: in Bolotana, Ottana, in Cagliari ... San Teodoro, I do not think so!
Someone believes that something may turn in their favour as a result, and it is not easy to figure out what the real reasoning is ...within 15 years the burned-area’s landuse cannot be changed from one to another designation; if by 10 years we cannot build houses; and by 5 years grazing is not allowed, what's the point of burning? If the fire-fighting industry is professionalised and extra people seasonally hired to respond to emergencies, and possibly to allow the Civil Protection service to achieve results, what's the point?
Perhaps, fire might help to discourage tourists - but there are already so few- or might be useful to encourage b&b and farm building in 10 years. But the forest does not come back in 10 years, or in 25, maybe even in 50 years!

Perhaps someone thinks arson will produce something constructive and beneficial, without realising that not only is this impossible, but that it leads us all – us, them, their children and grandchildren - to a poorer future lifestyle.
Reducing shade, the soil radiation increases, soil dries out before the summer drought comes. Dry soils are more difficult to be imbued, are less permeable, and summer and autumn rain weathering is more extreme and the most fertile soil layer down to several centimetres is removed and can only be re-established when the vegetation comes back in wealth and richness (broad-leafed, oak ...). This all increases the chances of flooding in autumn and winter time, and all the funding from the European Union as well as the high-level hydro-geological studies and protection procedures won’t be enough, and many potential deaths for landslides or floods are lurking round the next bend.
Recovery is slow, and meanwhile we self-harm. We may just underline that the soil is dry, but must realise the implications - If the soil is dry there is less condensation, less cloud formation and persistence, and of course less rain. We cut down trees and remove the shading along roads and railways, as well as the eucalyptus trees in rehabilitation and reforming areas, and the wind then reaches the soil.  We reduce shady spots and destroy trees in cities and towns, we decrease the cool spots, increase the urban heat island, and soil evaporation. Livestock milk production is reduced, and the breeders and farmers earn less.
The strong heat is unbearable, does not allow you to think; and to raise the temperature further, means having to channel even more resources to reduce it.  This is how to limit everybody’s freedom.  Everyone will see their choices and possibilities limited and reduced, in terms of children, their own economics, and creativity.  The death toll may be many, but the unborn will be many more, because of socially and culturally impoverished lives, robbed by more than just fire. Every single unburnt hectare represents life, present and future, enriched with green, thoughts and creativity, and, above all, opportunity.
Lost opportunities come immediately from these fires, and are equal to 2 generations of children, that where land is burned will not know the bush, the forest, its vegetation, its richness. Those children will be deprived of economic opportunities, and suffer nature-deficit-disorder. They are condemned by someone who thought that fire is better, fire is great.

rivisited and adapted text by D. Pani