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As Southwest Burns, Climate Scientists Warn: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet


#1

As Southwest Burns, Climate Scientists Warn: You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet

Nadia Prupis, staff writer

Wildfires in the Southwestern U.S. continued to rage on Wednesday, as the combination of extreme heat and erratic winds fueled the devastation and firefighters warned that blazes near Los Angeles were only about 10 percent contained.

As residents flee and emergency crews attempt to contain the infernos, climate scientists are warning that these deadly fires are climate change in action.


#2

Seems like Earth Mother is working overtime to prove to all the imbeciles who refuse to see the truth about global warming that it indeed is well underway.

Once their will stops throttling the rest of humanity in its efforts to cool down the engines of this miraculous planet, maybe some progress can at last ensue.


#3

This stuff seems to go right over the heads of Trump supporters as if it they were talking about the next science fiction movie and not the actual planet we live on. But I guess when your politics is based on hating the Clintons you are willing to go along with any birdbrained thing The Donald says about our climate. If The Donald says its a hoax then it is a hoax. Or, the planet and all the people who live on don't matter. What really matters is defeating Hillary Clinton. Personally when it comes to the climate I listen much more closely to what Michael Mann is saying than Donald Trump. I don't know who Mann is going to vote for but I am sure it will not be The Donald.


#4

Time to sit in the shade ad reread Cadillac Desert (Marc Reisner, author).


#5

Actually, this statement is true. Thank you Lrx for typing it.

Hillary is all in for fracking and unbridled use of GMOs and cancer-inducing herbicides which are destroying our environment. Anything that big business and the banks want, she is for. Don't forget she was a big supporter of NAFTA and until Bernie brought it up, a big supporter of the TPP. The TPP will gut all of our environmental laws and increase the effect of climate change. As soon as she is president, watch for her to bring back the TPP. If either Trump or Clinton are elected, we can kiss the environment goodbye.
And as an added bonus, if Clinton is elected, look for more war all of the time. War and the military are some of the biggest contributors to global warming.

The only candidates who have a handle on these issues are Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein.


#6

I live in the high desert (near 7000 ft.) in New Mexico. My area has received 7 mm of rain in the last two months -- less than 3/10s of an inch: perhaps about 3 inches of precip for the year. We had almost no winter. Although this is anecdotal, a wise comment-maker recently pointed out that all the living things of this earth live and die by such anecdotal realities.


#7

Don't worry. Nestle will sell you all of the bottled water you want.


#8

As a nuclear veteran, I have seen and felt ultimate heat.
* As a twenty-five year fire fighter, I certainly know what this article is referring to. Fighting a forest fire in 1960 was a nightmare, when a hot day was perhaps in the seventies.
* In the eighties, when temperatures regularly went into the eighties and sometimes ninety's, there was pretty huge property damage as housing went into places with heavy growth. Quite a few firefighters lost their lives trying to fight these fires. Many people died trying to save their homes, or leaving too late.
* These modern holocausts are mind boggling, with ambient temperatures in the hundreds. These fires create their own, sometimes hurricane velocity, winds.
* Humans cannot function well and work hard for hours in such temperatures, especially when facing fires like these monsters.
* Firefighters are going to be retiring with heart and lung damage, plus physical damage due to over stressing their bodies in extreme temperatures for extended times. The death rate will rise, also.
* And, as the scientists say, we are just getting warmed up for future heat.
* As the Scotsman said, "I think we're fooked!"
;-})


#9

Nonlinearity is a BITCH!


#12

You pretend that electing the sold-out, bought-and-paid-for, neoliberal and neocon candidate Clinton, would be a positive step in the fight to roll back fossil carbon energy, reduce atmospheric carbon, and ameliorate climate chaos.

You're the hoax here, pal.


#14

Sanders and Stein represent a sane ecological way forward. Our fascist media will never give them voice. Our fascist media should all be on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity.


#15

The moon rose red over the Mojave last night, and smoke was in the wind at all hours.

We are looking at massive die-off of pines in the Sierra Nevada--from beetles, but beetles enabled by a shifting climate among trees weakened by drought. When the top of the watershed has burned or been devoured, flood, drought, fire, and sterility will follow predictably in the watersheds to either side. And then, of course, things will continue to get hotter for other reasons. The process must accelerate for a time because of actions already taken.

Enough of the boiling frog thing, no?

Within the vast and alienated world of the actions that we call political, each of us may reach only a small part. This would not be so bad were enough persons to take enough actions: we do have plenty of humans; and, for the most part, we are not doing anything particularly useful or vital. There's no real need to allow the hills and valleys in California to die, and surely the same must be true for all sorts of parallel events elsewhere.

The large agricultural businesses are probably committed to their own demise by the usual processes of capitalist business, which does not count itself as a Ponzi scheme if somewhere within the folds of its apparatus it offers some paying customer some identifiable product, however imaginary.

The state and federal and mostly local governments, never clean, have now been hijacked by oil-arms-drugs-finance racketeers, so they pitch forward into a catastrophe now predictable in its grossly large outlines, all parts of a single panopticon system vying with itself for control with little perspective on its trajectory as a whole, its entire society and universe dismissed as externality.

We do not altogether have to follow, despite the coercions behind money and law. However, since the problem is large and the individual actions that may be taken quite small in comparison, since these actions must be taken up by many people who are waiting for others to bother, since these actions are yet unimagined by many and fairly novel to most of those involved, we had better get with this.

Let's hold the water here, spread it, soak it, put roots in the ground, talk, and work out the means to reject the goods and services trucked from thousands of miles away, to ignore the jobs that benefit no one. Let's get to the real work. We have to fix this at every scale.


#16

I also live in NM. What gets me is that in the face of historically unprecedented drought, it's politics and business as usual with our legislature. Our precious ground water is being sold off to the frackers by members of both major parties, Democratic and Republican. I know that the state is heavily dependent on gas and oil revenues and our legislators certainly like those envelopes of cash from lobbyists for the fossil-fuel corpse, but global warming is bearing down on us like a runaway freight train threatening to turn our beautiful state into a wasteland.


#17

There are many who no longer believe what they see for themselves but will believe whatever they are told by some political hack or conservative pundit or politician about how global warming is a hoax.

Thus for them they believe that there is no global warming while the North Pole ice cap melts away. Literally melts away! They will get angry and refuse to hear evidence about how they are wrong.

It is that great sin that destroys us >>> we tell ourselves what we want to believe and are greatest crime ( one that destroys us ) is that we believe what we want to hear.


#18

Lrx is a bit odd. It seems to avoid numerous classic troll behaviors, such as endlessly replying and derailing threads with stupid fights over distractions.

Our new Clinton campaign troll sdemetri applies more of that classic model, which fits the format of generating as much stupidity and noise as possible in a thread.

Lrx just keeps posting its memes, with minimal concern for responses, or for generating major disruption.

There are of course so many working the field nowadays - with an extra boost from campaign seasonal spending - that it makes sense that there are specialties emerging in troll profile and behavior.

i guess part of what i'm saying, is that i'm not risking as much by replying to Lrx, and my reply is more about making a point to other readers who may not have noticed what it is up to. With sdemetri and its ilk, "please do not feed the trolls" is more applicable. IMHO.


#19

And at 3200 feet and further north, apples cooked on the trees, and seedlngs dried in a pool of water. I am amazed by the things that my fellow Southern Californians do and do not do because so many seem to imagine that that all the navigable world shall be air conditioned.

Try these, depending on opportunity:

  • Get a rubber tub for watering animals. Put it in shade. Give it some water. It is best that the nape of the neck and the back of the head submerge for a good while, as should the trunk where that is possible. To just splash it on accomplishes a lot less. A break from heat, even as little as 45 minutes or an hour, will often children and the elderly enough strength and quiet to sleep in the evening. If this is not done before the person reports faintness, nausea, and headache, a lot more intervention is apt to be needed.
  • Keep nighttime air in the house. Shut the doors and windows in the morning. Open them to the breeze in the afternoon (usually at or after 4 pm, though sometimes it is good by 3) and in the evening. Open them from a shady part of the house first. It's worth noticing what part of the house is shaded in morning and in afternoon. This will not do much for people in New Orleans or Galveston, but it is sure helpful in the Southwest, where the daytime low and nighttime high may be thirty degrees apart.
  • Get a small window fan. Put it in a window so that it blows air out, not in. Seal the window otherwise. When the temperature outside is cooler than the temperature inside, turn the fan on for a few minutes and open a window or windows across the house, at some shady sector probably to the North and East. Close and open the appropriate doors and windows so that all of the house drains of its day-heated air. This usually involves having one fan on for ten or fifteen minutes in the evening.
  • Plant some xeric shade to the south and west of the house, even to the east if it's hot. The old farmhouses through all those areas were under oaks and walnuts, and there are other options as well. So, for instance, in Indio and Palm Springs, most every property should probably have date palms and something like mesquite below the palms, and something like cactus or ice plant below the mesquite, so that the sun does not hit a big mass of rock and earth or blacktop that will radiate its heat all night. If the trees are deciduous, they will not shade you in winter, in case it might actually get cold somewhere.
  • Earthen construction works in the Southwest and California climate. Wood burns and costs to heat and cool. Check traditional adobe dwellings or these:
    --- https://calearth.org/
    --- http://earthship.com/

Today would be a good day to get that tub. It's a sweet 95F here in the high desert, and by Monday, it will be 107F, probably with billows of smoke.


#21

Excellent posts here bardamu. People everywhere need practical approaches to surviving the extreme heat that will only become more pervasive. My housemates think i'm a bit obsessive about using doors and windows to manage the heat and cool in our house (we're in Seattle but still important practices).

We also need people everywhere on Earth to plant and nurture trees; and to build soil and grow food.

If billions of us actually undertake practices to support ecosystem health and protect resilience, while simultaneously slashing our reliance on fossil energy and all manner of manufactured industrial goods including industrial food, we can make a real difference, and may be able to stabilize the climate and the ecology before hyper-simplification and mass extinction hit irreversible runaway.


#22

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#23

Yeah, that's pretty rough, and I am sure glad that I am not in Indio or Palm Springs. Still, if it's 96 at night in the low desert, it may hit 126 during the day, and you sure want that air out of the house if you cannot cool it: as you point out in the first post, that heat will kill people.

What we did when it got like that in Blythe was to jump in an irrigation canal, but that's not always available. Water standing in the sun, like that in a swimming pool, gets pretty warm and loses a lot of water.

I don't much blame anyone in Indio or Palm Springs who has the AC on. But we cannot all do that, and few of us will be able to do it for long.


#24

Is Noam Chomsky a "troll" and "shill"? Is Z Magazines Michael Albert - an person with impeccable libertarian socialist values a "troll" and "shill"?

The sheer intolerance to other viewpoints among Commondreams commenters is nothing short of fascist.