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Climate Emergency Overdrive: Our Age of Compound Disasters as 10% of Oregon Is Evacuated, California Burns, and Louisiana Sinks

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/12/climate-emergency-overdrive-our-age-compound-disasters-10-oregon-evacuated


But manly presidents don’t wear sweaters nor put solar panels on the White House, they just pretend everything will be alright. And the fools sing God Bless the USA and wave their plastic flags half-covered in ice-cream sundae drippings.


We built a huge economic system. A system that depends upon growth.

Dismantling that system – well, that’s apparently now Nature’s job.

She’ll be using some powerful tools: Burning, drowning, starving, and disease.

On the bright side, give her 500,000 years and this’ll be a nice planet again.


Here in the Bay Area, we’ve got a pattern where the huge mass of smoke turns down inland warming after sunrise, way down. Without the relative inland heat, our ordinary morning seabreeze never shows up, so the smoke just sits there and thickens. A vicious cycle. Thicker every morning, at this writing.

The last couple of mornings we’ve seen sticky dense fog with moisture condensing around very small smoke particles, incredibly thick. We can hardly see anything farther than half a block away.

“I can’t breathe” has become a community condition, out here.


Well we can HOPE it will be a nice planet again.

It is speculated that both Venus and Mars were once much more Earth like. They are not going to be nice planets in 500000 years . The Venus type scenario could be where the Earth ends up .


Just copied this from a Counterpunch article.
< Meanwhile, Trump has diverted Oregon National Guard helicopters for use in Afghan War: “Six of the state’s 10 firefighting helicopters, the CH-47 Chinooks, are not available because they have been deployed to Afghanistan at the request of the Department of Defense to aid in military missions.>
Am I the only one shocked and horrified?


Yea - that’s about it right now.

I came across this in the preface to the new biography of JFK, “JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, 1917-1956” (vol 1), by Fredrik Logevall, a Harvard historian & Pullitzer Prize winner.

"Unless democracy can provide able leaders, its chances of survival are slight."

  • JFK, in an essay written while he was in college.


Right now Evo Morales is in exile - his country, Bolivia, is disintegrating. Everything we touch seems to be also disintegrating. Evo, one of the very few able democratic leaders, dispatched - thanks a million Musk.

Understandably, the US electorate and media are focused on the US.

We need to broaden our horizons, as JFK did all his life.


If you talk about broadening our horizons around here, you get reminded by the mathematically challenged that a vote for a third party is a vote for Trump, but never for Biden.

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You know ST - I am going to talk more and more about this broader outlook - not to be contrary - but out of necessity.

Necessity is the way forward - the opposite of The Affluent Society, and right now, our best friend.


To Juan Cole:

Glad to see you glomming on to the natural world - I hope you continue in this vein.

Clausewitz is reported to have said that war is politics by other means.

Now - the natural world is also another means.

Eventually, people and then politicians will catch on.


San Francisco & Seattle - just checked - PM 2.5 ca 180.

Here in Calgary, we have had marvelously clean air, but today, I see the mtns are obscured by smoke from the west coast fires.

I don’t think we are going to get away Scott free much longer.


Well, I hope you mention long term thinking because I’m seeing a lot of folks who can’t think beyond the ends of their noses. You mentioned Elon Musk, famously making his mark on history by promoting himself as a forward thinker – but when he needed Bolivia’s lithium, he acted short term and maliciously.


I don’t think Musk could design a working hammer ST. But he is a good salesman.

And yes to long term. I am always hopeful, but realistically I doubt this system can be reformed in the short term.

So the long term is all that is left.

The UN has the track record - not the Security Council - the UN General Assembly and its offshoots.

Long term, humanitarian at heart, the IPCC and now the Biodiversity Group, soon I hope Rights for the Environment will make it into their charter. None of this is going to happen overnight - it is long term.

The greatest advantage I think of long term thinking is that it means one has hope.

“The food of hope is meditated action”, a poet once said.


I’m not as hopeful as you.

One reason is that, even with decades to act, the world couldnot/wouldnot accept the science around climate change and how to effectively prevent the worst of it.

And that’s why I would stress long term thinking, even though it flies in the face of our capitalist framework based on short term gains – picking up the pieces after a preventable disaster is not the position we should find ourselves in so often. The stakes have never been this high, the outlook has never been this dire…and yet, on we continue, and blithely.


Sadly, there may be a blessing in having deployed those Chinook’s elsewhere in May.

If they were available, Trump would’ve used them to attack protesters in Portland.

I guess Jimmy Carter wasn’t so stupid after all in his 1979 energy speech nor Al Gore in the 80’s books and movies about the clamities that would arise if we did not address climate change. Loving their monies more than their children and grandchildren.

Yes - large segments of society for sure.

But then the Governor of Oregon has come out and definitively said climate change is most responsible for their fires, and California’s, and Washington’s, and I see the smoke has now moved into southern BC - in Vancouver the air quality is up there with Seattle and San Francisco ~ 180 PM 2.5.

That’s nasty stuff - hazardous to all outside - we’ve seen it here in Calgary at three and four hundred a few years back - that’s when I bought our first N-95 masks - which you can’t get now as they are all going to the medical people.

Jay Inslee is on board I think also - and I imagine Cuomo in New York.

“Able leadership” - JFK said - he never mentioned perfect.

I think Nature will eliminate non-able leaders, as the people wake up.


I’ve been listening and observing for a very long time. A very long time. I’ve experienced the changes first hand and did not like what I saw. The emphasis on speed, the car and suburb culture, the dismantling of community stores as Big Box stores moved in, both retail and fast food.
And I still listen and observe. Today I stood in the middle of a circle of second growth oak trees, enjoying the warm breeze from the southeast, the marvelous spectacle of altocumulus clouds, the mauve tinted cumulus. I entered the grove as a guest, asking permission first. The breeze stopped, and I felt the trees sizing me up. Was I a friend, or a noisy intruder. The breeze returned and I felt they were going to continue to evaluate me with every visit until we got to know each other.
Then I watched the drivers, slaves to their cars, and people shopping for groceries. So many with flat affect.
Perhaps a start to change would be…why are you going somewhere and where are you going? Then…can I walk there or take public transit. So much of what we do as a culture is on autopilot. I’m bored, therefore I shop. And use my car. In these parts, that is usually a big-ass pickup truck.
While old(in the terms of our culture), two books may jar us free of the planned induced coma placed on us by corporations and the Elite-Culture Jam by Kalle Lash and In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honore.
Right now, the purple fringed gentians are in bloom, along with the first of the asters and the last of the golden rod and Queen Anne’s Lace. A few chicory linger.
As a last thought, consumption used to refer to a deadly disease, tuberculosis. It’s still a deadly disease, and no antibiotic can cure it. Only living in Nature fully can fill the void created in us by our culture.


You could send this to Michael Moore, Jeff Gibbs and Ozzie Zehner at Planet of the Humans - I think they would appreciate it very much ?

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Okay, the west is burning. Again. And it’s only getting worse. Again.

The governor’s acknowledge that climate change is the culprit. Again.

And then there’s this:


From the link: “The number of oil permits issued under Newsom since he took office in January 2019 now totals 6,168.”

And that was three months ago. More have been approved since then.