Thursday, October 12, 2017

The California Fires

Some truly outrageous wild fires have been burning through northern California continuing a pattern established over the last several years of drought and then a super-abundance of rain.

We didn't live in the affected areas, but we are certainly familiar with them. Santa Rosa, the Napa Valley, burned areas in Yuba Country (Loma Rica), Mendocino, Nevada County, Calaveras. Oh yes, all of them hold emotional connections either through people we knew or the many places we became familiar with.

They say 23 are dead from the fires, hundreds missing, thousands of homes and other structures destroyed so far, and there is no end in sight. For many, it's an Apocalyptic situation, one that has become all too familiar in this era of climate change.

To be caught up in it is almost impossible to imagine, though we haven't been spared firestorms in our area of Central New Mexico. The backside of the Manzanos burned spectacularly a couple of years ago, dozens of homes burned and many people left refugees. The fire scar is still slashed across the mountains.

When I was a kid, as I've mentioned, I would sit on my back fence and watch the slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains north east of Los Angelesburn almost every year, and one year, the fires came up the east side of the hills by our home, crested the hilltop, and were starting down our  side. Panic ensued, but the fire department arrived just in time to stop the progress of the fires a few hundred yards from the border of the housing development. I did a Google street view tour of the area not too long ago and saw those hills were now covered with houses. I thought, "Uh-oh" but people there didn't and don't much care about the intrinsic hazards of earthquake and fire I think. It just goes with the territory.

I remember my mother was horribly fearful of fire, and I never quite understood it until she told me that when she was just a little girl, three maybe four years old, she witnessed the family home in Indianapolis burn to the ground. She couldn't shake the memory and she was terrified of fire ever afterwards.

I don't have quite that fear of fire, but when she told me what had happened when she was a child, I understood her fear.

These visions of fires in California are disturbing, there's no doubt. Ms Ché is somewhat less disturbed -- more for the animals than the people, whom she refers to as "rich white people" -- which not all of those affected are by any means. But enough of them are that her sympathies can sometimes lie elsewhere.

Is this something like the Trump regime's disinterest in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands? I don't know. But for the most part, the "rich white people" affected by the fires in California can and no doubt will  take care of themselves while the poor black and brown folks in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands can't very well, can they?

They were mostly impoverished by colonialism to begin with and have few resources to fall back on. How many of us are actually in the same leaking boat?

I mentioned to someone the other day that we are one, maybe two, catastrophes away from the Apocalypse and there isn't a lot we can do about it.

I'm not into Doom Blogging, but..

It's always darkest before the dawn. Or something.

No comments:

Post a Comment