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'Climate Change...In Real Time': California's Frightening Fires Are the Nightmare Scientists Long Predicted


'Climate Change...In Real Time': California's Frightening Fires Are the Nightmare Scientists Long Predicted

Jessica Corbett, staff writer

As deadly wildfires continue to rage in California—destroying hundreds of homes, threatening thousands more, and forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate—experts believe the blazes are part of "the new reality" that climate scientists have warned about for decades.



The state needs to set fireline fires about one hour before the first snowstorm moves in. Preburned long, thin strips can stop megafires next summer.

The state needs better wilderness firefighting equipment: for example, vehicles that can go up steep terrain with a load of water or with a pumper so that water can be sprayed 500 feet in elevation above a pond or creek.

The world needs economical renewable alternatives for all major fossil fuel uses. Heating homes should be obvious - store solar heat for nighttime. Storing solar heat is also a way of generating electricity after dark. Our freeway system is too wasteful of fuel.

So, we need politicians that put their R&D funding where their mouths are. Most of the time it will be better to run a sacrifice primary campaign than to give voters no choice at all. Courage!

R&D must never mean lavishly funding Harvard and Stanford but cutting everybody else off without a cent. Real inventors with really good ideas are found all over the place. So look for them. Look or die, are those your only two choices?

We need to inhibit and reverse the Arctic meltdown using rather ecologically benign tools. Artificially coating the tundra with snow, probably using wind power, is pretty benign and could be effective.

We want to preserve animal species threatened with extinction until we can restore the planet’s climate balance.

Carping isn’t that useful. I’m of course ignoring the Koch Brothers’ troll farm that always posts here. May their constant off-topicking and putdowns of everybody here reinforce your belief that your participation is critical to the climate movement, because they’re sure wasting a lot of energy on you all the time.


Nice ideas, but the reality is now too little, too late. Do it all anyway (if you can), but get ready for the situation to get much worse. It’s already baked in, so to speak.


The Carr Fire is 23% contained. Do I wish it were 100% contained? Sure. Am I glad that the fire crews did as much as they did? Yes. So, with climate we must go and do likewise.


cracking through the media mirror / parallel universe to jolt folks into action requires conversation across topics - because they 're all interrelated

A serious and yet humorous take on our anthropocene frame of not-quite-mindfulness-yet from an economic perspective


I know the Carr fire was not set but some of these fires and perhaps some former fires have been set by crazy people. All I know is we live on a globe and it is the hottest it has been since records have been kept but cyclical or not burning fossil fuels is like pouring gas on the roof of our homes when they are burning down. Global warming is a fire tornado with 80 mph gusts while our Congress fiddles with the dead women from Yemen. Oh, lucky day. Support our fire and policemen. Vote and throw the bums out. We have to require alternative energy sources and let the States lead. America had electric cars in 1914.


Scientists have been warming about climate change for several decades. For awhile there was controversy in the scientific literature about the basic issues of climate change but this largely ended in the 1990s. And after Al Gore’s film Inconvenient Truth gained popularity a little more than 10 years ago the believers that something really bad was happening grew to large numbers. It seems to me that depending on where you live there is either a strong effort locally to do something or people are largely denying there is a problem. We need to decide what efforts are likely to be effective and what aren’t. I would say attempts to reduce population will largely be in vain and attempts to move to socialism are too late. In the US it is also futile to expect efforts at the federal level to pay off. it appears the most productive efforts will be at the state level and locally. The states have the biggest role in fighting climate change because they regulate the Utilities. Getting a grid that uses almost all renewable energy within the next 20 years is a stretch but might be possible in many states and probably should be the goal. As that transition occurs the infrastructure to charge electric vehicles needs to built on a big enough scale that driving an electric vehicle becomes practical for everyone. And steady efforts must continue on making buildings more energy efficient and converting heating from gas or oil to geothermal or electric. It would help to reduce meat eating and dairy consumption but that will probably not happen to a significant extent and means need to be found to reduce methane emissions from ruminants. I think something like these actions throughout the country is what it would take to reduce emissions enough in the US by 2050. Right now that isn’t politically possible because too many people in the US are climate deniers. The single most important thing is to acknowledge the problem. it seems hopeless if denial of scientific reality remains widespread in the US which right now seem very likely.


"How many more…lies from this president must we listen to? "


I estimate 18,321 lies times 473 average times each is repeated by the media = 8,665,833


Nature always kills off a species that exceeds its carrying capacity.


Actually, the species kills itself off. Natureboy, I know you get that, but I think American culture often tries to externalize the blame, even to the forces of nature.

We humans own this and this Western culture historically owns a big share.

There is a breath-taking (as in horrifing) book by William Catton called “Overshoot” that without a lot of emotion walks even this math-hater through the stats, exponential growth curves, resources, etc. Very. Sobering. Out of print but worth hunting down.


I find this oh so boring. Can we get back to Russiagate?


“These events are not aberrations, say experts. They are California’s future.”
They are Earth’s past, present, and future.


This is California’s present. We haven’t even gotten to California’s future, and that’s the real problem.

We didn’t know that a wedge tornado could grow to one and one third miles in diameter and could destroy a concrete hospital, until the Moore, Oklahoma tornado hit.

We didn’t know that hurricanes could explode in size just like that until recently. Now we have a new upper limit for acceleration. Also, we need numbers for category 6 and 7 hurricanes to distinguish them from mere category 5 hurricanes.

We didn’t know how hot and ice-free the Arctic could get, or how much methane it could produce, or that a great deal of Siberian tundra could catch fire, turning everything black and hot with soot and melting the permafrost under the soil. Siberia has been burning this summer, although if the media didn’t cover it, did it really happen?


Death Valley broke the July record for the hottest month on earth, so I think extreme heat and wildfires are a real good possibility for California’s future.


A 20 year horizon? The damage is already baked in.

When the Antarctic glaciers start dropping ice into the ocean, we can expect at least 10 feet of sea level rise. The ice shelves holding all that ice back are breaking up right now.

Brace for impact. One third of all housing in Florida will be under water.


Thanks for the link. I’ll add it to my ever expanding reading list.


But “business as usual” was drummed into us, over and over…
How dare we question capitalism, in any way…
Exxon knew back in the late 70’s, from its own scientists, that this would happen in the future, but management suppressed it…
Mega-corporations have us by the throat, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.


I’m from SoCal and I remember a fire fighter telling me 25 years ago that no matter how much it rained the flora and fauna were never fully nourished. It was still dry in the heart of the plant. Thus fire season was 365 days a year and the fires would get worse.
Now here’s the good news which I haven’t seen reported on any major news service yet:
Supreme Court Rules Trump Administration Can’t Stop Youth Climate Case


No matter what the Governor of California does to fight climate change, his efforts will be nullified by the US President and an ignorant Congress. A major goal of any new Congress and Administration should be to fight climate change but first Americans must lose their insouciance and demand it.