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  • Karl Walker-Finch

Firefighting



The highest ever temperatures on record were decimated yesterday, as seems to be happening every few years now. Global temperatures are rising steadily and there's no shortage of graphs, charts and illustrations that vividly bring this reality.



As the planet gets hotter, the land dries up and the risk of wild fires (or accidentally started ones) grows. There are wild fires visible from space and an incalculable number of smaller wildfires that firefighters around Europe are chasing their tails trying to extinguish.



The problem is that when the fire is raging, it's an urgent issue. Every possible resource has to be sent to deal with the problem to limit the damage that's occurring every second that the fire isn't extinguished.


Clearly, this could be construed as another blog about climate change and the need for some proper strategy on mitigating the rise in global temperatures rather than rushing around trying to put out the fires due to our failure to be proactive. My point however is that this is a perfect example of how we all too often live reactively, ricocheting from one urgent problem to the next.


We spend so long attending to the urgent issues that we never get round to the important ones. The important issues are the ones that prevent the problems arising in the first place.


During the heatwaves of the last few weeks, it's the empty shelves in B&Q for portable domestic air conditioning units.


It's the broken teeth that require root canal treatment and a crown because either the patient didn't come to see us in time, or we didn't take action soon enough.


It's the car breaking down because it hasn't been serviced.


Taking the time to take care of things in time always pays in the long run yet on an individual level and on a global scale, we seem drawn to the philosophy of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Which of course always leads to "pay twice as much to fix it after it's completely broken." Or in the case of the planet, the costs are likely to be far worse than simply financial ones.


We Are Scientists - Inaction

Counting on my relevant friends

When this keeps coming up again and again

If everybody knows how it's gonna end

Why doesn't someone stop me?


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