The tragedy of the 19 Hotshot firefighters from Prescott, Ariz., killed battling a sudden blaze in the ongoing heat and drought of Arizona and the Southwest deserves the nation’s attention and respect. Unfortunately their sacrifice will not be the last among a new generation of warriors on the world’s natural and industrial frontlines.
We have created too many high-risk environments that can not be easily or safely managed. For thousands of years warfare was the main rite of passage by which young men proved themselves as warriors and heroes going on to become the leaders of our clans, tribes and nations. Today, given the interdependence of an increasingly crowded planet, and faced with growing impacts from extreme weather, including historic drought, heat waves, wildfires, tornadoes, coastal disasters and expanding disease vectors linked to climate change, also terror bombings, migrant surges, industrial disasters and pandemics, we are finding new heroes deserving of our respect and honor among our first responders.
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