The world just keeps getting hotter, and California burns ever-more-furiously as one epic blaze after another strain not just our resources, but our ability to cognitively adjust to the fact that this is the new normal. As I wrote in response to the huge fires in Los Angeles last December, “Reality is exceeding the capacity of our dystopian imaginations.”
Temperatures broke records worldwide this summer prompting the Washington Post to run a startling headline about our “red-hot planet”, while the New York Times observed how “Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes.” Here in California, Governor Jerry Brown visited the devastation in the wake of the Redding fire and bluntly commented that the problem behind these horrifying disasters was that, “We’re fighting nature with the amount of material that we’re putting in the environment, and that material traps heat.”
That fire was then followed by the largest blaze in state history in Northern California and another big fire in Orange County, both coinciding with the huge inferno shutting down Yosemite, and others still. Earlier in the summer, San Diego suffered through the Alpine fire and its own series of heat waves and freakishly warm, record-setting ocean temperatures in early August.
The list goes on and on. [Read more…]