Wednesday, October 30, 2019
This morning is a huddling time in Bend’s current temp of eleven degrees, cold that reinforces the reality of winter’s arrival (as if yesterday’s very chilly hours failed to declare adequately the situation).
That aside, it’s hard to focus on and worry about approaching local frigid weather while the fires of hell burn vigorously much of California. As a former Californian, my senses and imagination are engulfed by the situation. Forced blackouts mean that people for days are without electricity, including the disabled who need battery-charged ready vehicles. The horrifying photos of blazing fires suggest the extent of work needed to improve or fix the situation. It’s beyond imagination. Soon, someone will write a book that traces the genesis of electrical power development, focusing on PG&E’s history of ownership, money, influence, and political strength.
We blame the fires accurately, or at least partially, on climate change, and there’s more. This is the second year of major California fires caused by PG&E’s overhead power lines that annual high winds swing and ignite. These fires are more huge signs of crumbling infrastructure, suggesting problems appearing too big, complex, and expensive to fix–until critical failures force us to examine, argue, plan, and finally shell-out.
Big worries can make citizen groups easier targets for charlatans and crooks who claim they can and will make fixes, and in the end can’t or don’t. Social history is filled with examples of failed promises for improvements. Meanwhile, Nature and human infrastructure continue to battle.
California is an amazing example of an area that has flourished and despite huge worries about fragile infrastructure. This has been ongoing since long before the current fire-igniting powerlines. Among Californians, there’s continuous talking about earthquakes, including and especially the “coming ‘big one'” that’s destined to sink the entire state into the ocean.
No infrastructure problems are local, for example, Oklahoma suffers serious earthquakes, too, ignoring why. Everywhere and indeed worldwide there’s much to do, to reinforce buildings, bridges, roads, and re-improve misused soils. Not to mention reinforcing Nature itself by re-planting trees, repairing landscapes, rearranging waterways, and saving diminishing species.
Maybe the fixes won’t be by older citizens, battle-scarred, wiser, and tight-fisted. Maybe they’ll be forced by today’s kids who for themselves attempt to re-visualize the future. Consider, the young globe-trotting “Gretas”, worried, brave, and speaking boldly of an immediate need to address climate change. Consider, the “Parkland kids” who after learning first-hand about victimization, fiercely are opposed to the indecency of social status-quo attitudes enabling relatively easy mass murders.
Here’s one of my favorite quotes, a perspective of the brilliant biologist, Eward O. Wilson: “Nature is not something outside the human world. The reverse is true. Nature is the real world, and humanity exists on islands within it.
Dear Friends: It’s essential to think large and make wise decisions accordingly. Diana