Another day of intense and unsafe heat here in Northern California and much of the Western portion of the U.S.. It is difficult to do much in temperatures of 112 Fahrenheit and higher. You get feeling not quite right after only a little bit of time in that heat. Yet, I drove by men and women working in it as part of a road construction project this morning where it was 103 degrees at 10:03 am. I saw that reading on my vehicle and I was struck by the terrible symmetry.
I call these intense heat events, “heat storms.” You really can’t go outside. We are very fortunate to have an above ground swimming pool. However, it is most enjoyable to swim in at night.
We moved out here, in the valley, for several reasons including the opportunity to be more physically active and to be more fire safe. That has worked out so far. But, the drought is so severe that many people in this area are seeing their wells go dry. People right across the road had their well go dry a couple of weeks ago. We are certainly pumping water from the same aquifer. In another month, the number of dry wells might be staggering. No water, no life. They will probably find that out when they land on Mars too.
And now the fire season has gotten off to another tragic start. Just saw heartbreaking images of homes being destroyed in an area with very few trees, but low growing and dry vegetation. There is really no such thing as a “defensible space” because there is not enough defenders to defend and these fires have such dangerous behaviors, including fire tornadoes. I sometimes wonder if it is just a waste of time and money trying to fight the fires. Saving lives by getting people evacuated is about the best you hope for with the most dangerous fires and usually there are many of these burning at the same time.
I love California, but the trajectory we are on is beyond serious. Many have moved away, but they too find themselves facing similar situations in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana – and even British Columbia where an entire village was destroyed by fire.
I can’t even think about the infrastructure issues as condominiums collapse in Florida. Hell, in our area the Oroville Dam almost collapsed a few years ago. The loss of life would have been nearly immeasurable. It can get quite depressing. What does one do about such things? We have a Prius and have solar panels on our roof. I have most of the trees, grapes, and garden on drip irrigation. But, it feels like a photo I just saw of firefighters simply watching a house burn down tonight. They all looked sad and somewhat helpless and perhaps a bit depressed.
Yet, we really have no other option than to find effective solutions. This is not a future we want to hand off to the next immediate generations or they will be really depressed.