As wildfires rage across the northern hemisphere, we weep for the devastating loss of life, habitat, and vacation destinations that will impact the ecosystem for centuries.
The mountains represent a refuge to retirees and low-middle class blue collar workers who prefer slower living. Many of the displaced can not afford the flatlands. As their options literally turn to ash, what will happen to Mountain People?
Some will initially flee to gymnasiums, temporarily fed and housed by taxpayers and the Red Cross. Some will return to their devastated towns and rebuild. Some will double up in their children's homes in RVs, trailers, garages, or spare bedrooms. Some will relocate permanently if they can afford it.
Renters and homeowners who are unable to negotiate with their insurance carriers (fire insurance is no longer affordable to those who need it most) are at risk of becoming unhoused and thus overexposed to crime, illness, hunger, and an uncaring, bankrupt, fearful public.
US state and federal parks still reflect a fanciful yesteryear when the middle class with union jobs could buy shiny new homes (as long as they were white) on wildland-urban interfaces and enjoy summer vacations in the woods. These vast tracts of the peoples’ land that have been set aside for recreation, ranchers, and lumber yards could also be used for another public good: nonprofit housing, clean restrooms, edible gardens, schools, and medical offices.
Yes, we can but no, we won’t. It sounds too much like socialism: it must be good to be true. What about future generations of white college students who need to camp in the woods during their gap years? The excuses are endless.
While forests turn bone dry, burn, and transform into lovely rock deserts, We The People remain brainwashed into believing that billionaires and their many corporations pay enough tax. We dare not demand our masters pitch in to build the cross-country water pipelines needed to save California’s fertility. On the other hand, their insistence on profiting from taxpayers (the USPS; the Internet; military contracts) while dodging taxes is just Capitalism. Carry on and profit, we say.
Many of our so-called leaders blather on about forest management as if we can turn back the clock when the coveting of manufactured goods and electricity was countered by union wages and when American teenagers shot at communists instead of buying their cheap LCDs online. As if harvesting beetle-infested trees is the solution to the millions who will be unable to afford a one bedroom apartment in 2050. CO2-consuming forests will not be making a comeback during the modern age. Forest management is happening naturally. Say good-bye while you can.
The other half are still appeasing a traitor who berated us to rake the forests but didn’t care so long as his side hustles kept raking in cash. The treason party benefits from global collapse and doubly so when Democrats are in power.
The GOP’s silent motto has always been Let it Burn. Even they can grasp the inevitable outcome of their Dominionist worldview. Republicans are criminals who profit from and shield themselves with God and Country while evading taxes.
A few found their fortune. The rest of us, like the forests, oceans, and wildlife, are sacrifices to their gods of greed.