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Fires Ravaging US West a 'Bellwether of the Future,' Says Oregon Governor as Half a Million Residents Evacuate

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/09/11/fires-ravaging-us-west-bellwether-future-says-oregon-governor-half-million-residents

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Entire towns being burned to the ground is the new normal. Just wait until large cities start burning to the ground. That is the future that awaits us now.


Will trump continue to shun democratic states in funding for emergencies? Something to watch for.

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Three years ago when the smoke from fires in British Columbia rolled down and blanketed Western Washington and just wouldn’t go away, the only warnings were to exercise in gyms and not outdoors. The air quality was exponentially worse than Beijing at the time.

With that as the response, I knew that we were all ready poised for these kinds of fire events to become the new “normal” on the Pacific Coast.

Today, as I sit in my rented house on the south side of the Olympic Peninsula the hills across the Chehalis River Valley fade in and out of view behind the smoke. Our air quality is “Moderate.”


The prediction is by 5 PM we’ll be in “Very Unhealthy.”

Outside the local, it seems the entire political class has once abandoned the West Coast.

It’s taking its toll on the collective psyches here I think. All the Flight Reflexes are screaming to kick in the overdrive, but there is no where to go.


You may not be wrong. My sister who lives in Portland, is on high evacuation alert.

It’s good to hear the governor’s statement, but this is not only a bellwether but an arrival of many things that we have called future. This is deforestation, a tipping point at some scale, an iterative feedback cycle with more problems to come, the dumping of billions of pounds of carbon into the air, with billions more guaranteed to follow in upcoming floods and droughts, the arrival not of “a new normal” but of a damaging feedback cycle that will not become stable until considerable other changes have occurred.

People who pretend to count such things in dollars might supply any number they care to. If you get any produce from those large commercial acreages in California, know that the rains here will now reduce, that the crops as grown will not require further inputs and, by current systems, further subsidy to produce–repeatedly, and probably until the system breaks down to where it cannot profitably be sustained.

We have two candidates and two parties just fine with the world burning; they might prefer that it not burn, but they are not set to any change of course to alter the course of damage, which they appear to consider inevitable. The population has almost fully released and been swindled from any electoral hold on policy. The dominant economic system awards power and autonomy only to those willing to sacrifice judgment and the world to peculiar numbers games.

By these unreasoned customs, we lack a steward’s access to the systems that support us, not just individually, as in “the means of production,” but more fundamentally–ecologically, as a species. We could perish, by default. Or we could take that access one way or another, wherever we might. I suspect that the most effective will be the least obtrusive: to go ahead and do that without permission, apart from the log jam in Washington until such time as it sees fit to part itself.

We need to vote away from power, spend away from power, speak away from power, and act away from centralized power, directly. We need to be stopping, sinking, and spreading water in the ground and putting plants back in the ground faster than we are burning them up. We need to be building soil faster than the plow scars it to blow away and faster than Monsanto poisons it. We will certainly lose far more before any such balance may be constituted, but that does not change the project; it just shows how extensive the collapse of the central economic mechanisms might eventually be before they are replaced.

Our interests lie in having an alternative system functioning while this happens–something beside the overground, overgrown, and overhanded system of war and finance and its underground system of smuggling and slaving and protection and extortion. At some point, we must reject this as a body or perish in its folly.


They are hiding the trade deals that make both parties oblivious and powerless in the face of impending environmental disaster after disaster.

The right to vote is an empty one thanks to them and their treasonous corruption.

Tweedledum and tweedledee are lying to us. take back the planet from these global thieves.


Once again Common Dreams refers to the Green New Deal without defining it. I can only assume they mean the too little, too late version the Democrats already abandoned. For a serious Green New Deal, the Green Party is the only option.

The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Howie Hawkins, continues to campaign while being ignored by nearly all media. Howie Hawkins was just interviewed in Portland:

“Trump calls Climate Change a hoax, Biden and the Democrats act as if it’s a hoax”. Full interview airs this weekend


Green Party, yellow vests!

We can do whatever we want, as long as it complies with the GATS and a growing number of similar agreements in other areas, to enhance corporate profitability. Of course nothing ever can, except more global pillage.

So what’s the point of endorsing the monstrosites? An employment guarantee for profiteers?

But TRUMP IS WORSE they say!!

What is it they say about not negotiating with TERRORISTS?


Stop using so many plastics, and their endocrine disrupting chemicals, so at least if they do burn, they wont render the surrounding land toxic for generations.



I just wonder where all these evacuees go.

And not related to wildfires, but devastating nontheless:


Those birds look like something from Pompeii. At least that was a true natural disaster circa AD 79.

Half a million can’t be right. Two-thirds of Oregon’s population is in or near Portland. They must be counting Level 1 and 2 alerts. (1=ready; 2=set; 3=go)

Of course he will. Why would that change? He cannot be president for only red states & others that he “likes”. That isn’t what the job is about! President for ALL AMERICANS, or not at all! I say NOT AT ALL!

I wish I could give this 5 hearts! This is exactly what we need to be doing. I was having a similar conversation with my son a couple of nights ago sitting around a fire pit on the shore of a beautiful lake in NY state, while the loons called all around us. The last 2 paragraphs say it all. And we need to start right now.

Yes, my daughter was lucky and fortunate that she just moved in time from a small town in Oregon that just burnt down including her former home.

Come to Alaska, we have some of the purest and cleanest air in the whole world.

The fires remind me of the Covid situation. Total irresponsibility by the fedral government led by Trump and eventually there won’t be enough people who have not yet caught the disease to sustain it’s spread. With the fires, soon there won’t be enough material left to burn to support these fires. Mind you, in both cases you will be left with a wasteland.