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‘Inferno’ helps reader learn from the past

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By The Staff

If ignored, history will turn to dust. Its lessons will fade and smudge. While it is easy to shrug off the past and merely allow it to turn to ash, but that could be a mistake. Looking to the past can reveal answers to current and future questions.  

For instance, Tom Ribe, author of “Inferno by Committee,” took an in depth look at the Cerro Grande Fire and discovered a lot of lessons within the fire’s ashes.

Ribe doesn’t just look back 10 years ago to the first week of May 2000, he scans all the way back to about 8,000 years ago to the area’s first residents. Furthermore, he examines how, over time, humans significantly change the landscape – whether it was through grazing or logging or politics. He discusses at length about the differences between the National Forest Service’s philosophy of maintaining the land and the National Park Service’s beliefs.

After heavily sifting through the ashes of time, Ribe presents an argument that is applicable now, tomorrow and forever after. He stresses the importance of environmental stewardship but also the need to exercise stewardship amongst humans. A lot of problems can be resolved by good teamwork, unity and taking the time and effort to make the right decisions for everyone.


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