Crying in the dark

August 24, 2012

Crystal clear skies this early Friday morning along California’s northern coast, and near-cold, too.
Odd to see stars way up high in the dark.

Although the fog will most-likely roll in before sunrise — about two hours away — the effect now is clean, and kind of noisy as sound seems to float and survive better.
And for some reason, a bit sad.
Outside just a minute or so ago smoking a cigarette, I could hear a child crying somewhere off in the distance, a melancholy weeping in the stillness — tugs at the heart for all the weird, ugly shit gripping a lot of folks on this waylaid, doomed planet.
Just a few driving miles south of us, the environment is way-different — in the heat and dry, more than a dozen wildfires are burning, one, located east of Redding, has grown at a rate of 2,000 acres overnight, while two fires in Mendocino County have already burned 17,820 acres and are just 10 percent contained and threatens 45 homes.

(Illustration found here).

And that’s just in my neck of the burning woods.
As of last week, the US Forest Service reports (via The Modesto Bee), wildfires have scorched 276,252 acres across California and things are really just warming up:

Last weekend, the Ponderosa fire burning outside Shingletown, east of Redding, destroyed seven houses.
Late Tuesday, officials said it had burned 50 more buildings.
The fire has charred 21,506 acres since it started Saturday morning.
This summer follows several wetter, cooler years with fewer fires.
By the middle of August last year, fires had burned 73,868 acres statewide.
Last week, 8,000 firefighters were battling wildfires in California, including the 47,000-acre Chips fire in Plumas County, the 28,000-acre Reading fire in Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Rush fire east of Susanville.

“Though we’ve already seen an increase in fire activity, the busier parts of the year are still ahead of us,” said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant.
Though fall is cooler than summer, the risk of fire is greater because brush and timber continue to dry until major rains begin, usually in November.
“Every week that passes, it just gets drier and drier and drier,” Berlant said.

Ominous words right there, buddy.
And a pretty-accurate picture of the future — and not a future way on down the fiery road, either.
Everybody sees the weather and how it’s most-obviously changing, but people are just not talking about it.
Connecticut farmer Art Talmadge on the personal side of climate change:

We know what we’re dealing with — that the climate is changing — but we don’t really talk about it as climate change … When I talk to other guys that are growing, it’ll just be, “Man, it was hot,” or “Man, it was cold,” … but that’s the end of the conversation and nobody ever talks about why … maybe because most of the people I know are so involved in right now — “What have I got to get done today?”

The talk about why, though, is most-important because if there’s any chance anything at all can be done before it’s to late, the cause of all these calamities is much required.
And man is the root cause, and time is of the essence.

Yesterday from EcoWatch:

New research released today has explained the extent of warming in Antarctic Peninsula, painting a picture of a future of rapid warming and melting ice.
The research showed that the Peninsula has seen a rapid warming over the past 100 years, but that this has also come on top 600 years of more gradual, natural warming in the region.
The research was conducted by an international team of climate scientists, including Dr. Nerilie Abram from the Australian National University.
The team drilled a 364 metre long ice core spanning thousands of years on James Ross Island.
Ice cores show scientists the incremental buildup of the annual layers of snow, providing a time-capsule that shows the climate record over the age of the core.
James Ross Island is adjacent to the Larsen A & B and Prince Gustav ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula, which have both seen large collapses recently.
Dr. Abram says the warming over the past 100 years has been dramatic.
“The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the fastest warming places on Earth at the moment,” Dr. Abram said.
“The last century of warming has been unusually rapid with the mean temperature increasing by about one and a half degrees—one of the fastest temperature increases seen in the ice core record.”

“The ice shelves along the west coast are showing signs of becoming less stable, but we haven’t seen the big collapses that we’ve seen on the Antarctic Peninsula so far,” she said.
“The big concern about that area is that it is where the West Antarctic ice sheet is.
The amount of ice being lost there is accelerating and this is contributing to global sea level rise.”
It paints a worrying picture, according to Abram: “The main finding of our research is that warming as fast as this is very unusual.
We should be very concerned about that.”

Indeed, be concerned, be way-concerned.
The blog site Daily Kos is running a most-excellent Climate Change SOS Blogathon right now with a long list of posts about climate change, the politics and the science, from sea level rise to record-hot temperatures to extreme weather.
And the hardy denial of such matters from certain quarters.

And that’s what not helping — assholes.
Via Think Progress:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a voting record to match.
A favorite of the Koch brothers, Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.”
He has implied that snow invalidates global warming.
Ryan has voted to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from limiting greenhouse pollution, to eliminate White House climate advisers, to block the U.S. Department of Agriculture from preparing for climate disasters like the drought devastating his home state, and to eliminate the Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency.

And shit like this (from Media Matters) on the legal knock-down this week of the EPA’s rule intended to curb power plant emissions:

The right-wing reaction to the decision was just the latest chapter in a years-long campaign by conservative media to sow fear about the economic impact of EPA pollution controls while downplaying or denying their health benefits.
A Wall Street Journal editorial claimed the “flawed rule” is part of the EPA’s “regulatory war” on coal plants, and The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll called it “just one of many costly regulations currently in the pipeline.”
RedState blogger Daniel Horowitz called the decision “a big victory” while Fox Nation ran a story from The Hill under the headline “Obama EPA Whacked Upside Its Head.”

Maybe instead of a crying child in the dark, the sound of empty heads rattling together.
Be it better than a child.

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