environment

I want to leave California

I want to leave California.

Here’s what I’m experiencing in Oakland.
Top: The Sun is sunset-orange… at 10 in the morning.
Middle: Oakland’s skyline as seen from my car, blanked in smoke.
Bottom: Also from my car. Can you see the Oakland hills in the distance? No? Neither can I. They should be clearly visible.

In 1969, when I first arrived in this state, already much of nature was being destroyed, but it was still beautiful. We used to take trips up north, camp out anywhere, enjoy the beautiful little rivers and streams. Cook out over a camp fire. You could do that back then.

Now, every day that I go out, I look around and the first thing in my mind is, “my god, and I’m breathing that stuff!”

At last count, there were 22 wildfires ripping through the state, from north to south. One particularly devastating fire, the El Dorado Fire down in Southern California, was started by some idiots who were having a “gender reveal” party. They were celebrating finding out the gender of their coming baby by setting of some pyrotechnics… in this height of the fire season! What the hell were they thinking? Or, more accurately: They weren’t thinking. They were just using their “freedom” as they liked. (Update: I was hoping to publish name of this couple, but the authorities haven’t revealed it.)

Sunday, I heard the brilliant evolutionary epidemiologist Rob Wallace speak. He explained how in this emergency scientists tend to focus on dealing with the immediate crisis and forget to really look at how we got here. Same for me at this moment.

But I only see things getting worse as far as the fires. It’s now clear that the forests and grass lands will be getting drier every year, and unusual wind patterns will be whipping up the flames. That means the smoke will get worse and worse throughout the state.

On top of that, we’ve had a horrible heat wave. A living example of global warming. It was 120 degrees Fahrenheit in Southern California yesterday and over 100 east of the hills here in the Bay Area!

Every morning, my wife and I listen to CNN, hoping for some news that will indicate a better chance for Trump to be booted out of the White House. This is the president who calls global climate change a “hoax” and says that if we raked up the leaves here in our forests we wouldn’t have such bad wildfires.

But let’s get real: What has Biden had to say about global climate disaster? Hardly a word, just like his predecessor four years ago, Hillary Clinton. Rob Wallace explained, even worse pandemics are coming, as long as we continue down the road of wilderness destruction and factory farming. We can mitigate the effects to a limited extent, but that doesn’t prevent future disasters.

Same with global warming/global climate change.

So, meanwhile, I want to get out of California before the entire state burns to the ground. But to where?

I know quite a few people who are talking about leaving the country if Trump gets back in. My wife and I are thinking the same thing. But where? Can you tell me one country that isn’t headed to disaster as long as capitalism remains?

2 replies »

  1. In Adelaide our fire season will be starting soon. First few days of Spring and temperatures way above normal. Oak tree in full bloom weeks ago

  2. John, Both you and Sonya are in my thoughts. I don’t know how to answer your question. Lo siento, Patrick

Leave a Reply