The news says that where I live — as of now — we have the worst air quality on the planet. That is due to the massive wildfires on the West Coast of the United States.

Whether literally or metaphorically, depending on place, our planet is on fire. The present devastating forest fires burning here in the Pacific Northwest are extraordinary — nothing I have ever seen in my lifetime. And we can look to the complete lack of government climate action as a heavy contributor to that.

I had hoped the heavy wildfire smoke blanketing my area of the city would be gone when I woke this morning, but it is as thick as ever outside, and visibility is very low — the smoke equivalent of a fog. I smell it indoors, but there is nothing I can do about it. By the time I get an air purifier delivered, the matter of smoke here will likely have resolved for the time being, as we are to have a weather change Sunday or Monday (it is now Friday) that may help to keep the smoke at bay.

I just read that the fire is creeping closer to the city suburbs, but I think it is still comparatively distant, and there is not thick forest all around the city as there is where the fires are burning now. So I suspect our major problem here will be the dense and harmful smoke. And of course there are many homeless people out in it.

As for now, it is just something we have to endure. Large numbers of people in the rural areas have already been burnt out or ordered to evacuate.

As someone said, if warnings such as these massive fires were to be compared to the canary in a coal mine, we would be knee-deep in dead canaries now.  And we are only at the beginning of the coming world-wide climate and environmental troubles.

This is not a matter of politics. It is a matter of planetary survival. We absolutely must remove from office government leaders who will not seriously deal with climate change.  And in the United States, we can begin in the upcoming election.


7 thoughts on “THINGS TO COME

  1. You folks can definitely deal with what’s going on in the US and may be happy with the policies of a different top man. But when it comes to planet-wide pollution, the US is one big drop in the bucket. Believing that a change in US policies will impact the environment globally seems like a placebo to me. I don’t think the US has enough political clout anymore to make other countries change their practices. Pardon my negative thoughts.

  2. haikutravelyarns

    We suffered through wholesale wildfire devastation in Australia throughout our summer months of December, January and February, fires unprecedented in spread and ferocity. 18.6 million hectares (46 million acres) burnt, 34 lives lost, whole towns razed, nearly 3,000 houses and countless structures, bridges gone, a billion animals dead, air quality the worst on the planet (like yours now). Tragic and frightening to see the same happening in the northern hemisphere summer. I read that the US media is not making any link between record firestorms and climate change. Neither did the Fox News/ Murdoch press in Australia. They are climate denialists controlled by the very powerful fossil fuel lobby. I hope you can make a difference at the ballot box.

  3. Here, in Colorado, we are experiencing much of the same. Smog so thick that we cannot see the mountains that are burning. Our air purifier is running non-stop and helps little to clear the air in our apartment. Recent weather changes have helped fire fighters get a somewhat of a handle on the five wildfires that have developed in our area. A warming trend may bring new threats for the fall season.

  4. chucktu

    Unimaginable. And yet it needn’t be imagined. It is real and literally at our doorways [and even beyond]. You have been heralding the imperative to action by ourselves and our leaders for many years. And though changing administrations here in the U.S. may be but a drop in a leaking bucket, the alternative will only scale up the suffering. Please take care of yourself David [and everyone else]. It starts with the election but certainly does not end there.

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