This Is How The World Ends…

California has been dealing with the aftermath of a hot dry spring…a fiery summer. Here in Babylon by the Bay, the smoke from almost 800 California wildfires has turned our usual summer fog into a yellow-brown haze. Stepping outside my flat on Thursday morning I could smell the smoke, and by the time I reached the train station for my trip down bay the odor had turned into an omni-present stench.

Our time on this planet isn’t going to end in some kind of watery, ‘Blade Runner-esque’ downpour. We’re not going to drown in the rising seas. We’re going to burn. We’re going to choke to death in clouds of stinking smog and the smoke from our forests going up in flames.

12 thoughts on “This Is How The World Ends…”

  1. Kvatch, I grew up with memories of wild fires raging around me. To this day the smell of a spring prevention burn is enough to trigger a gut wrenching reaction.
    As a child I lived through one fires that swept ten miles in ten minutes, the fire balls racing across the tops of the eucalypts as the volatile oils were ignited, creating its own wind storm.
    Having experienced a North American fire (BC Canada) from a distance I can honestly say the same deep fear was present. The smells were different, but the smoke, the eerie light and so many other aspects were exactly the same.

  2. Kvatch, the entire state is covered in a thick haze from these fires. Down here in Lost Angeles, the haze in the mornings is thick and dark. Nothing like your neck of the woods, though. You are right – we are going to burn up like paper.

  3. Cartledge… I’ve read about some of Australia’s ‘mega-fires’, and I have to say that the descriptions sound more like the apocalypse than merely forests going up in flames. Has that drought abated yet?

    Diva… Actually, it’s been bad here, but I can’t really imagine what it’s like in the Central Valley. We’re getting pretty decent wind in the Bay Area now, and that’s clearing the air a bit, but over toward Fresno and Modesto the papers are describing particulate concentrations that you don’t see outside of the most polluted industrial cities of China and Russia.

  4. This year’s weather has been strange all over. Here in New Jersey it has been hot and humid with daily afternoon thunderstorms – more like a summer in Florida than June in New Jersey.

  5. Another Cali blogger bud from Sacramento area says she’s got no fires near her, but their valleys are filled with it.

    No smoke in these parts, though. As a matter of fact, folks around here seem to be “blessed” by GCC’s effects so far. It’s been one of the nicest springs I can recall. We’ve got plenty of rain, but it’s always been nicely interspersed with loads of sunshine. We’ll see how they like it once the flooding starts in low-lying coastal areas and the refugees start heading this way en masse.

  6. Mauigirl… But the real question is: How’s the weather in Maui? ;-)

    Michael… We had a wonderful summer last year in the Bay Area, unusually warm and sunny. You could even dine outside in the evenings, something we can almost never do in July. Not so, this summer. Fires aside, it’s been cool and foggy/hazy.

  7. Smoke chokes off living things from the sunlight, decimating the entire planet-reminds me of the dust storms of WALL*E, a film a highly recommend.

  8. We’re having the same weather as Jersey here on Long Island not too surprisingly since it’s almost in the same place. I thought it was a lot like Florida, too. The daily thundershower thing is not what we usually get. We might get two weeks of rain with thundershowers included or a day or even two of storms, but this is something different. And you’re burning and Iowa is drowning. So, things are good all over.

    On LI I doubt we’ll end up burning away. Our wilderness is so limited that it’s a rarity for us to have out of control wildfires that can’t be put out pretty fast. I’m pretty sure that for us the end will all about rising sea levels. We’re a freaking sandbar.

  9. Kvatch, this is a big continent, well aren’t they all? :) The drought has eased on the coastal fringe but beyond that. Even so, the rain on that fringe is a danger because it promotes growth. Lose/lose sort of. If we have a dryish spring and warm dry summer the forest fuel will be heavy. It just means the fires might e later.
    Any which way, wild fires there are as deadly and destructive as here. The power is truly awesome and the helplessness equally powerful.

  10. Lew… Saw Wall-e the day it came out. Great film but very bittersweet and…bleak.

    Zenyenta… True true. So do me favor and escape before the water starts rising!

  11. Kvatch, why posit this hopeful end? Get ready to be nuked. It’s more likely.

    Next in line is starvation, you know, where you lose all that weight you’ve tried to get rid of for years.

    As the list grows, there’s radio-activity and lots of two-headed kids…

    Bushfire smoke? That’s for pansies.

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