Kanab’s 14th Amazing Earthfest 2020 to Address Climate Change as Forest Fire Roars Through Gateway to the North Rim

By Rich Csenge, President and Founding Director, Amazing Earthfest

Beginning Saturday, July 18, 2020, southern Utah’s nonprofit Amazing Earthfest will produce its 14th annual public festival celebrating National and State Parks, Forests and Monuments of the American West. In an all-online program due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Earthfest events in 2020 will engage the public in looking closely at climate change.

Propelled by high winds and months of extremely dry weather, the heartbreaking Mangum Fire has raged across more than 70,000 acres of the North Kaibab Plateau. The loss of Ponderosa Pine and Pinyon-Juniper forest, wildlife habitat and the wild creatures of the sylvan ecosystem is inestimable. All-season recreation destinations are being devastated for generations to come. Across the globe, climate change is driving mega fires like this.

Amazing Earthfest, based in Kanab, Utah, invites you to participate in viewing five free informative, award-winning documentary films, plus presentations and community conversations about the facts and the gravity of this evolving conundrum: The rapid rate of change in atmospheric CO2 coupled with persistent inaction to reduce carbon emissions. What can an individual do? For starters, keep in mind the 650 brave men and women risking their health and safety to contain this huge wildfire on the beautiful North Kaibab Plateau.

The Mangum Fire compounds losses from the June, 2006 Warm Fire which fourteen years ago torched some 40,000 acres of Ponderosa and mixed Conifer on the North Kaibab. In the context and frequency of such immense fires one must ask; is this an inescapable future we all must simply endure? Screenwriter Stephen Most will deliver the keynote address at the Earthfest opening event called Invocation to Sustainability. In one of the festival’s films, his acclaimed documentary, Wilder than Wild, produced by Kevin White, the two tell the gripping story of the California megafires of 2018/19.

These are not 500 year events any more. For the second time in 14 years, the lovely North Kaibab National Forest, gateway to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, is being inexorably altered by wildfire. Fire, excessive heat and extended drought deplete soil moisture, surface flow and groundwater reserves, presenting enormous risks to quality of life across the American West. We are witnessing the devastating reality of a Climate Emergency.

Driven by unrelenting consumption of fossil fuels to power our civilization, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels this year breached 415 parts per million. In Siberia, 100 degree temperatures in June smashed all previous records and aroused massive concern. Compared with the many other social and economic problems now dominating the news, global warming remains the most significant issue of our time.

Public lands are sanctuaries for biodiversity and drive our outdoor recreation economy. It is abundantly clear that the health of America’s public lands and the world’s climate crisis are inextricably linked. Heat trapping carbon dioxide and methane gas building up in the atmosphere are creating conditions not seen on Earth in three million years. (E&E News, May 16, 2019. For these reasons, the 14th Amazing Earthfest 2020 will emphasize educational events to broaden public understanding of the climate crisis.

The fossil record clearly indicates that humanity did not exist three million years ago, nor did our cultures, cities, economic systems, livelihoods and life supporting infrastructure! Some argue “the climate is always changing.” In geologic time only is their statement correct. But humanity’s ability to thrive is based on stable climatic conditions and in the span of human existence and individual lifetimes, the statement is tragically misguided.

Since 1950, atmospheric CO2 has risen from near 300 ppm to 415 ppm (the span of a single lifetime). It’s the rate of change that threatens our survival and prosperity. That is why the world’s science community describes climate change as a crisis. https://climate.nasa.gov/

Learn more by attending the online events of the 14th Amazing Earthfest 2020. Become empowered to address the climate crisis in your community with your friends and loved ones, and make a difference now and for future generations yet unborn. Visit www.amazingearthfest.org for full event details.


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By Rich Csenge, President and Founding Director, Amazing Earthfest Beginning Saturday, July 18, 2020, southern Utah's nonprofit Amazing Earthfest will produce its 14th annual public festival celebrating National and State Parks, Forests and Monuments of the American West. In an…

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