colorado-fire-ban-mapSupporters of the fossil fuel burning status quo often claim that the measures we need to take to slow climate change threaten our way of life. In fact, the truth is that there is likely no greater threat to our way of life than global warming itself.

For 10 days, we’re focusing on 10 ways climate change is undermining our lifestyle. Way No. 2 we’re seeing climate change have a direct impact on our cherished American lifestyle has been in the form of campfire bans across much of the American West.

Way No. 2 –>Say goodbye to campfires & fire-roasted marshmallows
Okay, this might not be the hardest hitting lifestyle change incurred by climate change, but, for those of us who live, and camp, in the American West — large swaths of which, if you haven’t noticed, have been going up in flames in the hotter than hell summer of 2012 – it’s a lifestyle change nonetheless. And not a happy one at that.

We live in Colorado, where we typically camp between four and six weekends per summer. So far, we’ve only been able to have a campfire for one of our three trips this summer. That was back on Memorial Day weekend, which followed on the heels of about the last consistent rain we’ve had on Colorado’s Front Range.

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Some so-called “monsoonal” rains have hit parts of Colorado’s parched mountains fairly consistently, starting about two weeks ago. But, for the most part, Colorado’s – and Wyoming’s and New Mexico’s and Arizona’s and Nevada’s, pretty much all of the mountains in the American West — are extremely dry, even parched. The extreme fire risk has meant campfire bans in large parts of the region for much of the summer so far.

And it’s meant that tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of folks have had to say goodbye to a camping ritual so crucial to many that more than a few have probably cancelled camping trips rather than forego it, namely, the crackling campfire. It’s also meant that our roasted marshmallows were done over a tiny gas stove the last two camping trips 😉

While fewer campfires might – and I emphasize might – mean enough carbon reduction to make a minor positive dent on global warming, they also mean a good part of the fun of camping has been whisked away by climate change, which is clearly playing a role in the record heat, dryness, and horrendous wildfire season in the American West so far this year.

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