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Climate Emergency: Records Tumble as 2 Million Acres of California Burn

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/09/climate-emergency-records-tumble-2-million-acres-california-burn


The color of the sky at sunrise, here in the heart of the Bay Area, is astonishing. It looks like nuclear winter out here: Orangeman’s orange land. Snowy ash-fall everywhere. Loved-ones north of me got evacuation orders in the middle of the night.

As the sun rises, at this writing, the color of the sky gets more and more alarming.


Important piece however I find it surprising that the term “climate change” is used repeatedly in this article by Andy Rowell who states “These are the effects of climate change.”

I stopped using the term “climate change” and always state clearly HUMAN CAUSED GLOBAL WARMING or anthropogenic global warming (for those who understand the meaning of the word “anthropogenic”)

IMO: Climate change should never stand alone without the words human caused or induced. Our current climate chaos is a result of warming that humans have brought---- on as well as ecosystem destruction.

There are complete idiots that continue falsely trumpet ---- “climate has always changed” bullshit.

On another but similar note----

My friend who lost her home, her pets . . . .everything . . . in a fire 2 years ago was evacuated last night from the place she moved into after she lost everything. Due to work/$$ etc. she was not able to leave the area.

The level of incessant, brutal, repeated trauma (and deaths) that humans and nonhumans are experiencing is unprecedented.

We need to talk about large scale ecosystem collapse that is occurring throughout the world right now. How do we survive this? How do we cope?

I posted this on a previous thread responding to TrumpTowerofBabel who stated:

We are no doubt in hospice mode now.

I wish we had the option of “hospice mode”!

“Hospice care is for people who are nearing the end of life. The services are provided by a team of health care professionals who maximize comfort for a person who is terminally ill by reducing pain and addressing physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs. To help families, hospice care also provides counseling, respite care and practical support.”

How helpful that would be if we could get hospice care---- which I feel is what everything—all forms of life----desperately needs right now.

The tragic, heartbreaking, absolutely gut wrenching reality is we are experiencing the opposite of hospice care ----at least those of us who are not wealthy.

We don’t get “social, spiritual” support---- we get gaslighting, cruelty and literally torture.

We get beaten down in a system that has no room for compassion and empathy.

Hospice care is supposed to “maximize physical comfort”.

In this disgusting shithole country that is the u.s. we get one of the worst health care systems in the world. It kills people, it creates pain and suffering.

Elderly, poor people, women, children, people of color get kicked to the curb and treated like a felled forest for lumber-----cut up, shoved on a truck and eventually hauled away.

The reality we are in right now is, for me, almost impossible to wrap my head around.
Actually today . . . . it feels impossible . . the “almost” is not there today.

Media—of course— not accurately covering these horrific climate catastrophes as few, if any link them to anthropogenic global warming and anthropogenic ecosystem destruction.

These are human induced disasters that are breaking countless records but worse, leaving irreparable trails of destruction, death, suffering only ratcheting up as the once solidly frozen arctic---- which gave the earth climate stability---- is in free fall.

And so few people will talk about this. They are just carrying on as if “it” will eventually be ok. That blows my mind and crushes my spirit. It feels like a “zombie apocalypse” which until recently I thought was absurd!

I’m not sure where to turn these days. I used to come here but I can’t take the endless arguing over trump, biden, duopoloy, oligarchy----
while what I see out my window right now is a horror show and I’m not even in the fires or blizzard.

Literally frozen hummingbirds (from the recent wacked out jet stream), dying trees, lakes that are sick with invasive species and toxic algae, fires and wildfire smoke filling the skies all over the earth . . . in essence earth’s life forms (which does not exclude humans) are dying all over the world .

In the midst of the destruction of the “natural world”, here in the upper midwest there are hoards of people in their f—ing F150’s/ATV’s, SUV’s driving around angrily, many with trump flags waving.

The subaru/prius/tesla drivers are just hoping it will all be ok soon, keep their heads down while going back and forth between their city homes and “cabins” with their customized face masks. Probably many relieved today that the “djia” had the “fasted correction in history” this morning and is up over 200 points. (edit: now up over 400 points). This is a very clear stark example of cannibalistic capitalism. Will it keep going up when everything is dead?

The f—ing “djia” keeps going up and people are making money in their 401 k’s, housing market soaring----(as the world burns) but there is tension and unspoken anxiety emanating from everywhere, everyone which is palpable and getting worse.

I wish there was hospice care for the creatures we are killing and for the humans who are sick, struggling, grieving and do not know what to do.

I have abiding reverence for the passionate/compassionate people who carry on with their activism in their fight to minimize the damage humans inflict on all life on earth in spite of the dire facts of AGW/ecosystem collapse.

One such activist is Peter Kalmus, climate scientist who practices what he preaches more than anyone I’ve ever seen. On his twitter page he describes himself as a “climate scientist terrified by what I see. Shifting norms & living on 1/10th the fossil fuel”

I look to him for inspiration and knowledge.

This was has most recent (alarming) post on twitter from last night: (h_ttps://twitter.com/ClimateHuman/status/1303524175022153728)

Well, there you go, we just got the dreaded evacuation warning for the BOBCATFIRE. Getting ready in case we need to go. Fuck climate change, fuck climate deniers, and fuck everyone leaving this for someone else to fix.
Peter Kalmus is the people’s climate scientist
@ ClimateHuman


I had ash and pieces of pine needles on my patio yesterday and I’m at the edge of the foothills, a pretty reasonable distance from the fires.


The fires should be named after oil/gas companies-----or sociopathic CEO’s who keep this cannibalistic capitalism machine churning while they are safely ensconced in their yachts or mansions fully equipped with private firefighters.


I have lived in the S.F.B.A. for almost 50 years. This is bizarre. Every year seems to get worse.
The SCU lightning fires brought it close to me this year. If the wind had been from the east things might have been bad for my area. The Oakland Firestorm was the last time I was worried for my house.
I hope all those being affected are safe.


Bob Marley and The Wailers - Positive Vibration


Im outside of Sacramento, surrounded by fires, choked by smoke no matter the Diablo winds direction, in this ring of fire.
Smoke darkens the sun, I feel onset of seasonal light depression.


Precisely stated. Thank you.

The sky was grey-black and red here and overcast here in the Mojave Desert until this (Wednesday) morning for fires in across the coastal mountains from us. We could watch the lights from the moving fires on the underside of the smoke and clouds over Yucaipa, fsome forty or fifty minutes away.

And this is just a fraction of what people are seeing up north. These are big, longterm changes that will make a dryer landscape and deepen the flood-drought cycle.


A friend evacuated his ranch yesterday, just a half-mile or so from the Creek Fire. The fire has currently burnt over 160,000 acres and at 0% containment on 9/9, per CalFire. Apparently his place has probably not burned down yet; it depends upon the wind.

It is human-caused climate change. A part of that is poor land management–an important point because that gives more of us options to do more work.

Part of what people often do not understand is that such major fires are part of long-term change. They are not only an effect of change; they shall be a major cause. This is part of a feedback loop of sorts that has been activated and will not soon settle into stable cycles until the climate and landscape are considerably different than at present. To simplify a whole lot of considerations consider that forests create about 40% of continental rainfall downwind, and that vegetation and the associated organisms are almost all that holds water in the topsoil rather than allowing it to run through to the sea or to lower levels. When you lose your water, you can lose your forests; but when you lose your forest, you will also lose the associated water, and over a much wider area.

As though this were not enough, there is another point. Residents of many parts of California have been and many remain under skies darkened almost exclusively by smoke and not moisture. Here in my little corner of the Mojave Desert, we were in half-darkness yesterday from fires around Duarte and Yucaipa that were miles away, and the humidity was 13%. That is all carbon being un-sequestered, millions of acres and therefore billions of tons of it. And when the tiny lives in the soil supported by trees and brush die and cease to fight for their physical integrity, the carbon that largely constitutes them will wash away as well at the first flood season.

Here in the desert–and this is a beautiful, mostly natural desert, not a stark and dead, human-arranged one–two inches of rain in a day will flood Main Street fourteen inches deep

  • We need to shape the earth to hold the water all over the state
  • We need to alter the water infrastructure of cities and towns and residences so that water is held for use rather than sped to sea
  • We need to pass our greywater and our sewage to plants rather than dumping it, often into the ocean
  • We need to reorganize agriculture so that it builds rather than destroys soil

Further, we will not decide to not eat or to not generate incomes until a very long time into the catastrophes now arriving in force and en masse. My friend stopped off with his dogs and a bedroll in his pickup, and left to a place where he could work after maybe an hour of conversation, hoping that his property does not burn.

He still “has to work,” and in a real sense. It is how he will do whatever he will do next. We have to arrange “work” so that it cares for people, cares for the Earth, and returns its surpluses to those ends.

Large companies, states, and the Federal government are mostly working in the opposite direction–with Trump, without Trump, with whatever. There are some programs to the good, but many otherwise, and a general usurpation and derailment of most constructive impulse.

We’re going to have to do this piecemeal, while attending to the whole. We are well into the process of collision, and most of the society is still stomping on the accelerator.


That’s seasonal affective disorder (SAD). I used to get it every year after the fall began every year as the days got shorter. By early November I was a basket case. Then I started a regimen of vitamin D every day. No more SAD! Maybe I need to up my dose with the fire darkened sky?


PS I lived and worked (Sutter Health) in Sacramento in the late 70’s and '80’s. Sure glad I’m not there now for this hellscape. Be safe!


“The wildfire situation in California and Oregon has now escalated to the point that I can no longer keep track of the countless massive, fast-moving, and potentially very dangerous fires,” tweeted Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. “The geographic scale and intensity of what is transpiring is truly jarring.”



My eyes, nose, and throat itch.
I have a cough, stuffy head, a fresh box of tissues and a headache.

Footstep in the ash.
The wind of change is hidden.
Worst summer ever.