London, May 23 (IANS) A team of international researchers has evaluated the pivotal relationship that exists between mankind and fire, hoping it would help policymakers “reassess their attitudes” towards how to deal with fire in the natural world.
The study explores both the natural and human face of fire.
It delves into the complex relationship that fire has had with our planet and humans over millennia, from the first fires through to its role in the industrial revolutions worldwide.
“It is imperative that we consider this complex interaction between fire and humankind on a global scale and not just imagine it is a localised, or of far away, concern,” said Claire Belcher from University of Exeter in Britain, who led the research team.
“What we have shown is that understanding fire is a broader and more complex issue than it is perhaps treated now — it encompasses physical, biological and social sciences as well as engineering, and the humanities — and it needs to be seen as such by policymakers, both home and abroad,” Belcher added.
The study suggests that a combination of factors, including the problem of invasive plants, landscape change, climate change, population growth, human health and economic, social and cultural attitude, make a re-evaluation of the relationship between fire and man necessary.
“Imagining that we could live without fire is both folly and impossible. Importantly, our combustion habits — both fossil fuels combustion and landscape burning — ensure that we are building new dynamism into our social-ecological relationship with fire through climate change,” the researchers said.