As fossil fuel pollution heats the planet, one of the casualties is the traditional celebration of the founding of the United States. The record droughts, floods, and storms fueled by global warming are causing widespread bans on fireworks and the cancellation of numerous municipal firework displays, even a celebration for our soldiers in Oklahoma:
There will be no fireworks this year exploding over Fort Sill in Lawton. The U.S. Army base’s Independence Day celebration and concert will go on as planned Saturday, but its fireworks have been canceled. A fire that started on a base firing range last week burned across 5,500 acres before it was contained. Thirteen homes were destroyed and 1,500 people had to be evacuated.
Firework shows from Texas to Massachusetts have been canceled because of the deadly climate conditions:
In Kansas, fireworks have been banned in Dodge City and surrounding rural areas due to the extreme drought.
In Louisiana, fireworks have been banned in Shreveport and neighboring Bossier because of extreme heat and drought.
In Texas, 170 counties have fireworks bans, including all of metropolitan Houston. Nearly all of Texas has burn bans as well. Because of the extreme drought, Fourth of July fireworks displays have been canceled in Texas towns large and small: San Antonio, Austin, Amarillo, Lubbock, Plainview, Magnolia, Tomball, DeSoto, Woodlands, Roman Forest, and Patton Village.
In Arizona, authorities have banned fireworks from Flagstaff in the north to Tucson, Douglas and Sierra Vista in the south.
In New Mexico, Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM) has said that there is “absolutely no reason to buy, sell or use personal fireworks.” She has declared a “state of emergency in New Mexico regarding the use of fireworks.” Albertson’s, WalMart, and Smith’s stores have stopped selling fireworks in the state. Taos, with wildfires raging nearby, has canceled its fireworks display.
In Joplin, Missouri, where a devastating tornado hit on May 22, officials have banned fireworks because of the amount of combustible debris in the tornado’s path.
In Massachusetts, the historical recreation site Old Sturbridge Village has canceled its fireworks display because its fireworks launch site was flooded and alternative launch sites were damaged by tornadoes.