The fires burning on the US West Coast are terrifying to witness. Our San Franciscan colleagues are sending pictures that look more like the surface of Mars. Elsewhere in California, Oregon, and Washington State, it’s even worse.

Estimates put the total burnt area at 1.8 million hectares so far, which is already almost ten percent of what burned through Australia earlier this year. We used the term “unprecedented” down here a lot; it’s safe to say it applies up there as well.

The conspiracies around it are also playing out in the same, entirely predictable way. People desperate to avoid the direct, irrefutable, and obvious connection to human-induced (or exacerbated, choose your poison) climate change are blaming the fires on anyone from arsonists to protestors, to debunked claims about prescribed burning. They do it because it works, it’s politically expedient, and keeps the plebeians fighting amongst ourselves. Why waste time debating when they’ll chop off their own noses to spite their faces? Because you know who’ll be sitting pretty if stuff gets worse, and who won’t be. Funny how that never gets mentioned by the talking heads who say it’s all a con.

(My favourite theory was the fires were a “False Flag” caused by climate change activists… because clearly dumping hundreds of millions of tonnes of CO₂ into the atmosphere helps with that cause? When you’re that dull selfish and dishonest, I suppose it’s easy to project and think others must be too).

We’re beyond the point of preventing damage, we’re in mitigation mode now. What we do as a species on this planet over the next few years will determine the course of history, and will be the source of judgement in future generations. Fires, disease, cyclones, I can’t help but feel like the planet is telling us to get a flipping clue. Hopefully more do.

If you’re in the US right now, I hope you’re okay. ♡ Our summer was the worst in our history, but we weren’t also dealing with COVID at the same time. I can’t begin to imagine the fear and helplessness, especially with that impeached halfwit in charge.