On the path to planetary destruction
For those of us concerned that the race to completely destroy the Earth’s biosphere might be behind schedule, not to worry. This year’s worldwide forest fires, heat waves, droughts and historic-level hurricanes could prove to break all records. According to the National Fire Information Center as of September 15, the total number of active large fires (which includes full suppression and resource managed fires) is 66, and fires nationwide have consumed 8,036,858 acres—about 12,557 square miles, larger than the size of Maryland. Along the French Mediterranean coast, wildfires forced the evacuation of 12,000 people. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma’s devastation to Texas and Florida’s coasts are unprecedented for a single year, and a new Category 6 hurricane level may be required in the future. (The monetary cost to humans in terms of billions of dollars in lost jobs, housing and infrastructure, agriculture and resorts may not be determined for months.)
And guess what? There’s another reason not to worry. According to Fortune, Trump has bolstered Big Oil’s 40-year quest to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: “There’s a simple reason for their persistence: ‘ANWR is the largest unexplored, potentially productive geologic onshore basin in the United States,’ the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in 2000. It’s also one of the rare pieces of unspoiled wilderness left in the world—home to polar bear dens and caribou calving grounds—and remains much the same as it was 10,000 years ago.”
Seriously, I assume we have not forgotten that stern warning from Smokey the Bear: “Only YOU can prevent forest fires!” I certainly hope Smokey’s cousin, a polar bear, also has a warning: “Only YOU can prevent climate catastrophes!” This could also serve as a reminder to vote in November for candidates who care about our planet and are willing to take action and support policies that will protect our air, our forests and our tributaries and bay from pollution and pipelines.
Native American Student Union Vice President Ben Walters was incorrectly identified in last week’s story, “No invitation: Why Native American groups weren’t protesting Unite the Right.”
The number of black and white arrests in last week’s ”‘Culture of racism’? Albemarle cop says high-volume black stops not racial profiling” should have specified those figures were from sectors 1 and 2 in county police patrol areas, not the entire county.