California is burning…

This is a picture one of my older brothers texted me on Friday moments before he got a mandatory evacuation order as the western side of the Sierras went up in flames. He said it was getting difficult to breathe. Both my brothers live in the area. If you look at a fire map of California you’ll see a lot of it is burning.

That magenta dot in the sky is the sun...
That magenta dot in the sky is the sun at three in the afternoon through the smoke of the Butte fire…

Back in 2009 the San Gabriel Mountains above Los Angeles burned. The plume from the fire was so huge it shut down the Denver airport, that’s over a thousand miles away. I remember ash falling like snow and smoke always in the back of my throat, stinging my eyes, in my hair, permeating my clothes. My friends from the East Coast called me in a panic, and since I lived at the base of the mountains and a freeway across from the fire I assured them I was fine and that I was able to stay put. But not being there you imagine the worse, especially when you hear “mandatory evacuation” and when I was texting my brothers from Boston Friday afternoon I was way beyond anxious. I am happy to report they both headed to family and friends in the Bay Area.

AP Photo Jon Vidar (1)
AP Photo by Jon Vidar, what you usually see behind downtown L.A. are the mountains, they went up in smoke (2009)

Across the planet we are experiencing climate extremes, and dangerous conditions. Warnings have been issued, religious leaders have made the case for change, and yet very little has been done as our home, our only earth, this beautiful place we live in, burns and floods and melts away.

So as certain politicians dither and dicker about climate change, obscuring the obvious and jockeying for ascendance and monetary gain, what they’re really doing is putting our children at risk. They are ignoring something as evident and immediate and as deadly as the weather.

It’s time to take a look around and protect each other. Make some noise people, the results of the climate summit in Paris will resonate around the world, and lives depend on it.

Here are a few places that will assist in making a change for the better:

Click here to take action with the help of the UN

Click here for a PDF on simple actions to be taken from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Click here for things you can do around the house to reduce your carbon footprint from the EPA

And if you want to get active politically just Google “how do we fight climate change.”

An update from the Los Angeles Times:

Brown declares state of emergency in 65,000-acre Gold Country fire

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Amador and Calaveras counties after a fast-moving wildfire exploded Friday to nearly 65,000 acres, damaging highways and threatening 6,000 structures…

More than 2,400 firefighters were battling the blaze, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlant, but unusually hot and dry conditions were making the fire unpredictable and extremely volatile. The fire was only 5% contained.

And something chilling from the New York Times:

Burning all the world’s deposits of coal, oil and natural gas would raise the temperature enough to melt the entire ice sheet covering Antarctica, driving the level of the sea up by more than 160 feet, scientists reported Friday…

A sea level rise of 200 feet would put almost all of Florida, much of Louisiana and Texas, the entire East Coast of the United States, large parts of Britain, much of the European Plain, and huge parts of coastal Asia under water. The cities lost would include Miami, New Orleans, Houston, Washington, New York, Amsterdam, Stockholm, London, Paris, Berlin, Venice, Buenos Aires, Beijing, Shanghai, Sydney, Rome and Tokyo.

Nobody alive today, nor even their grandchildren, would live to see such a calamity unfold, given the time the melting would take. Yet the new study gives a sense of the risks that future generations face if emissions of greenhouse gases are not brought under control.

“This is humanity as a geologic force,” said Ken Caldeira, a researcher at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Stanford, Calif., and another author of the paper. “We’re not a subtle influence on the climate system – we are really hitting it with a hammer.”

Be well, be aware, be safe,






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  1. September 12, 2015

    I gasped when I saw that first photo of the magenta sun. I have never seen anything like it. Here’s hoping the fires can be brought under control soon…!

  2. George Kaplan
    September 13, 2015

    You stay safe too, Vickie. Good Fortune to your brothers.
    Seeing the people ravaging each other around the World and the environment in such a parlous state is certainly scarifying.

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