Illusory skies again this Monday morning as our marine layer whisking along California’s north coast is seemingly freakishly tainted with smoke from forest fires still raging within the interior — 21 wildfires statewide, a big chunk up here in the north.
One firefighter killed in the last week, and a shitload suffering heat exhaustion — a horrid peek at the future.
And this weekend (via Climate News Network): ‘Wildfire – nature’s way of turning fallen vegetation into the next season’s nutrients – is a growing hazard. In the last 35 years, the wildfire season has grown longer by a fifth, and wildfire is now a threat to one fourth of all the plant-covered land on the planet. US researchers report in Nature Communications that since 1970 the number of days without rain has increased by well over one day every decade…the combined changes in the surface weather have meant that the fire season has increased so far by 18.7 percent.’
(Illustration found here).
In keeping fire watch, CalFire on the official front, and seemingly the best on local views, Kym Kemp’s Redheaded Blackbelt (and all events/incidents emergency/police). Unfortunately as these incidents sprout, one needs a continuously-upgraded program to keep abreast of these surrealistic fires.
Meanwhile, the back-story on this scorching shit — further from Climate News Network:
Fires play a role in natural ecosystems, and some landscapes — the maquis (thick evergreen scrub) of southern Europe, the mulga forests of Australia and the chaparral of western North America — are adapted to periodic but not frequent visitations of fire.
But, say the researchers, there has been a recent surge of “extremely destructive fires with corresponding social disruption and substantial economic costs.”
The annual bill for fire suppression cost the US $1.7bn over the last decade, and US$1bn in Canada.
In just one year, 2005, fire losses in Australia added up to US$9.4bn, or just about 1.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.
Researchers have identified wildfire as an increasing hazard everywhere.
But in the US there has been repeated concern about risks in California and other parts of the American west.
All this as today President Obama rolled out another climate-change clunker: ‘New requirements — including the major one that carbon emissions be reduced 32% by the year 2030, relative to 2005 levels — kick in after Obama leaves office on Jan. 20, 2017, less than a year-and-a-half away.’
Clunker as in way-short of real action (Joe Romm at Climate Progress): ‘You can’t judge our CO2 commitment or any country’s commitment on whether it is sufficient to keep the world below 2°C — because none of them are. As I explained in February and again in July, that’s because 2°C will require deeper and deeper commitments for 2040 and 2050 and beyond until total global emissions hit zero and then beyond that until they go negative. No major country is prepared to take on such long-term obligations, especially given the last quarter-century of relative inaction by so many major countries — especially ours.’
Although a good intentions move, and because of asshole politics — Greg Sargent this morning at the Washington Post:
Hillary Clinton issued a strong statement pledging to defend Obama’s plan against “Republican doubters and defeatists,” a sign her campaign sees this issue as a good point of contrast with which to cast the GOP as the party of the past.
And indeed, the major Republican presidential candidates have already come out against the plan.
But this is only the beginning.
An international climate accord could be reached at the end of the year — just when the GOP presidential primaries are (sorry, I can’t resist this) heating up in a big way.
Given that this would combine Obummer Mandates with a new effort at international engagement that many GOP primary voters will likely oppose, it could perhaps make Obama’s climate push even more ideologically toxic to Republicans, requiring the GOP candidates to outdo one another in their zeal to oppose it.
Not only the real world going to shit, the unreal one also…