The Sky Is Falling! Summer Is Hot, So It's Time for 'Climate Calamitists' to Wail and Gnash Teeth.

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The Atlantic published an article titled: “Living Through the End of California.”

Well, alrighty then…

I wondered: Might they be concerned California is slipping into an inescapable debt hole caused by one-party rule, or that under Governor HairGel, the great state of California has turned into a morass of homelessness and human excrement? No. I was wrong.   

Instead, I read a rather windy story about climate change. Sorry, the climate crisis. Get used to the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Each summer, as summer turns into…summer, “climate calamitists” begin their summer ritual. Like primitives dancing about, and casting talisman at the ground and into sky, doomsters remind us that the end is nigh, or something. 

This story centers on a woman named Majula Martin. Majula’s father was Majula’s midwife. She was named by the family’s Indian monk guru. I think the monk was an Asian Indian. Assuming an indigenous “Indian” is like dead-naming. Martin wrote a book about the 2020 fire season titled “The Last Fire Season. She recounts how she and her man-partner “Max” witnessed wildfires. Her purple prose included passages like these:  

“The red sky was a sight that might only make sense in a world of wrathful gods, or maybe a world of no gods,”  

This was a Dante, Odyssey, war-begotten red, like dust storms over a burning oil well in Kuwait. It was a color to put people in our place, inside history.” 

“The blades of electricity bisected the air … “My insides were set abuzz. My lungs contracted like they’d just hit cold water; my jaw compacted into itself; every muscle in my pelvis … felt as though it had been turned to wood. Somewhere inside my brain every synapse fired, and I was thrust into a whorl of anxiety: go, go, go.” 

But she didn’t “go, go, go”. She stayed, stayed, stayed. For two days, she stayed. Martin wants reparations to the land, and the land’s “first inhabitants.” She includes herself in the bad “white colonizer” category. But, is she giving up her property? Nah.  

Martin writes about stopping in a small-town bookstore and being horrified at the selection on “California.” Cowboys and Indians stuff. Stuff of myths, she writes. Martin and her hippy man are preparing to flee the fire but first, she emails her dad a poem by Beat Generation poet Gary Snyder. She later laments that she should have “Googled harder.” Snyder, she notes, is white and appropriated indigenous and Asian philosophies in his poems. The horror.  

Then there is this:  

When her partner buys a Torah, it isn’t just any Torah, but one “annotated with progressive commentary by women rabbis.” In the market for a trailer, they refuse to purchase one in part because the owner is a cop, and “Max, an anarcho-syndicalist, and I were both reluctant to hand over our savings to an agent of the prison-industrial complex.”    

Geez, lighten up, Francis. 

 Casey Schwartz, author of the Atlantic piece, waxed deeply about the blight we humans bring to the land, and we are the cause of the “climate crisis.” Martin and Schwartz are both all in on the almost inevitable doom of mankind. Sorry, humankind. 

Are we doomed? 

Fires in California are natural. Long before California was a state and for years after, it witnessed fires up and down California. Millions of acres of growth burned–sometimes for a month or more. Fires are natural and inevitable. Some growth requires fires to regrow.   

California droughts are not unique to the 20th century or 21st century. They also are natural. California droughts have lasted for over a hundred years or more. Those droughts pre-date the Industrial Revolution and the internal combustion engine. Droughts are not unique to any part of the United States. Roanoke disappeared because the colonists landed at the tail end of an 800-year drought. Jamestown, as well, was caught in the same drought conditions. And not one SUV or coal plant in sight.  

Enjoy your summer. Here in California, I can step outside and smell the smoke of a wildfire about 50 miles away. That smell is pretty much the same smell native populations smelled every summer for thousands of years.

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