AuthorTopic: Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like  (Read 1014 times)

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like
« on: October 19, 2018, 04:08:16 AM »
Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like

The worst case scenario plays out the same way everywhere, whether you are in southern California or northern Alberta. A nascent wildfire – driven by extreme heat, high winds, drought conditions and a century of largely successful fire suppression – explodes into a juggernaut and takes over the countryside.

Any houses in the way are simply more fuel. Preheated to 932F by the 100ft flames of the advancing blaze, homes don’t so much catch on fire as explode into flames. In a dense neighborhood, many homes may do this simultaneously. The speed of ignition shocks people – citizens and firefighters alike – but it is only the beginning.

Because the temperatures achievable in an urban wildfire are comparable to those in a crucible, virtually everything is consumed as fuel. What doesn’t burn, melts: steel car chassis warp and bend while lesser metals – aluminum engine blocks, magnesium wheels – will liquify.

In turn, the ferocious heat generates its own wind that can drive sparks and embers hundreds of meters ahead of the fire. Conflagrations of this magnitude are virtually unstoppable. Ordinary house fires often leave structures somewhat intact; things can be salvaged. But no one is prepared for the damage caused by a wildfire when it overruns their town – not the scale of it, nor its capacity to wipe out everything they have worked for.

A burnt truck sits in Lake Keswick Estates in Redding, California. after the Carr Fire

A statue stands where a fire whirl swept through during the Carr Fire in Redding, California

In late July, nearly half of the 92,000 residents of Redding, California, were forced to evacuate. More than 1,600 homes, businesses and other structures burned in the Carr fire, due to sparks thrown by a trailer wheel with a flat tire. But the cause hardly matters; it was 113F that day, and the land was primed for fire.

Seven people were killed, three of them firefighters, but when survivors tell of their escapes, it seems a miracle there weren’t many more. A local dentist, surprised by the flames in the gated community of Stanford Hills, fled for her life through the woods. Disoriented, with no idea where to go, she and her husband followed the animals – deer, rabbits and squirrels – as they fled downhill, toward the Sacramento river. Several of her neighbors were rescued by helicopter.

Any houses in the way are simply more fuel

Another neighbor, a retired homicide detective named Steve Bustillos, was preparing to evacuate when he noted an ominous, breath-like quality to the rising wind. It was the fire drawing oxygen into itself – so powerfully that it made the seals in his house whistle. When Bustillos stepped outside he saw the air rippling, “like when you open an oven door”.

A moment later, the air itself appeared to burst into flames. Trees and houses followed, igniting spontaneously in the superheated air. Bustillos escaped in his pickup, but the fire caught him on Buenaventura boulevard, a kilometre from his home. His pickup was heavy – over three tonnes – but it was moved off the road. After the passenger window blew out and the truck caught fire, Bustillos managed to exit the vehicle and take refuge under a nearby bulldozer.

Somehow, he survived and is recovering well, though he looked for a time as if he had been rolled in red-hot gravel. In the truck were all of his and his wife’s valuables – guns, jewelry, passports and cash. His loaded pistols were firing as the truck burned; nothing was salvageable. Forensic analysis of the scene on Buenaventura, where a bulldozer operator was also killed, concluded that wind speeds were somewhere between 220 and 270km per hour, and that “peak gas temperatures likely exceeded 2552F” – the melting point of steel.

In other words, what Bustillos endured was equivalent to an EF3 tornado, combined with a blast furnace.

Carrie and Steve Bustillos stand near the spot where Steve narrowly survived the fire whirl as he was evacuating his home in the Carr Fire. He abandoned his truck after it caught fire, took cover under a bulldozer and survived with minor injuries.

"We all know someone who lost a home” is not a phrase you used to hear very often, but in the North American west, it has grown much more common over the past decade. The communities where you hear this are growing, too – small cities, entire neighborhoods.

In Redding, many residents returned to ruins and in them there are patterns. The showers often survive, standing alone, a morbid joke now, while washer-dryer sets stare out like blank eyes in a roofless skull. The charred shells of stoves, air conditioners, freezers and refrigerators are warped out of shape, or collapsed. Fire damage has its own palette; it runs from bone-white through taupe to charcoal black, the rest of the spectrum burned away.

Ash covers everything – the memories, the histories, smells, recipes and comforts, reduced now to the barest elements: carbon, stone and steel, all cloaked in smoke and suffused with the acrid reek of burning. This tableau repeated itself more than a thousand times around Redding – a thousand families standing on the sidewalk, wondering where their houses went.

Everyone who loses a home is struck by how much is gone, and also by what remains: a carpet preserved by leaking water from a ruptured water pipe; books, ghost-white with every page intact, until you touch them and they collapse in a cloud of ash.

A home is a kind of memory palace and there is an existential cruelty in the razing of it. To burn them down by the hundreds and thousands, as wildfires are doing now in the western US and Canada, is a brutal affront to the order we live by, to the habitats that give our lives meaning. Their loss shocks the heart like a sudden death. Left behind are juxtapositions so surreal and disorienting that to describe them sounds like the mutterings of an insane person: garbage can puddle; melted guns on a platter; cars bleeding aluminum; pile of tire wire. Is this really where I lived, where I raised my children? Where did their beds go? Their bedrooms?

The photos, the evidence – all of it is gone. In their place, a void, the shadow of a burned tree where the kitchen table was, pools of once-familiar things gone molten, settled now into new forms, rigid and unrecognizable.

Larry and Willie Hartman lost their uninsured home that they built in the Carr Fire, in Redding, Calif. Their home was in the path of the unusual fire whirl, with wind speeds of more than 140mph, that swept through their community. They pledged to rebuild.

A scorched landscape near Keswick Estates in Redding, Calif. Power transmitters like these were torn out of the earth from a powerful fire whirl that swept through the area.

Two miles north of Redding, on a broad, forested slope that feels almost rural save for the steady crackle of high tension wires overhead, Willie Hartman stands ankle-deep in the ruins of her home. Hartman is a slight but sturdy grandmother with white hair and a sad-eyed kindness and, a month on, while her granddaughter plays around her, she is still coming to terms with the fire that has unmade everything as far as the eye can see. Behind her, what used to be a metal porch railing droops like a Dali clock. Spotting a charred skeleton of furniture, she murmurs: “The lawn chair’s in the house.”

So is the mailbox. Nothing is where it should be anymore, or even what it should be because the Hartman family, along with hundreds of others in the thickly wooded hill country north of downtown, were subject to something far more intense than ordinary wildfire.

Hartman’s living room, which no longer exists, once had a picture window of double-paned glass, but it melted. You can see it now outside, a vitrified river flowing downhill toward her daughters’ homes, each of them burned to the foundations, many of their contents borne away on the incinerating wind that spun out of the Carr fire and into their neighborhood shortly before 8pm on 26 July.

Sarah Joseph, 73, lives a kilometre to the north-west, in the Keswick estates neighborhood of modest, mostly single-story homes. Many of the residents here were sure the 30 metre-wide Sacramento river would stop the fire’s advance. Joseph had to gather herself before describing what crossed the river on that 100F evening. “It looked like a tornado,” she said, “but with fire.” It arrived so quickly that she had only minutes to gather up her cat, some photos and a change of clothes before fleeing for her life.

It looked like a tornado but with fireSarah Joseph

There are videos and they are terrifying: surging up out of a cluster of burning neighborhoods is a whirling vortex 300 metres across, seething with smoke and fire. In the annals of firefighting, there is no direct comparable. No one has ever seen anything this big, this explosive, or this destructive rise up out of the forest and enter a town. During its brief existence of approximately 30 minutes, the incendiary cyclone sent jets of flame hundreds of metres into the sky, obliterated everything in its path, and generated such ferocious thermal energy that its smoke plume punched into the stratosphere.

The damage at ground zero, a 300-metre wide, kilometre-long swathe of scoured earth, annihilated homes and blasted forest running just south of the Hartman family compound, is hard to comprehend. There, a pair of 40-metre tall steel transmission towers have been torn from their concrete moorings and hurled to the ground where they still lie, crumpled like dead giraffes.

All the houses nearby are gone, stripped to the foundations. In the surviving branches of blackened trees, where plastic bags would ordinarily flutter, 3-metre pieces of sheet metal have been twisted like silk scarves. A 4-ton shipping container was torn to pieces and hurled across the landscape. The same thing happened to trucks and cars; one was wrapped around a tree.

Most of the grass and topsoil are gone; anything left behind was burned.

Really Hartman, 6, explores areas of her family's property destroyed by the Carr Fire in Redding, Calif. on August 28, 2018.

Larry Hartman, Willie’s husband of 47 years, is a large, congenial man with a hydraulic handshake and a gift for problem-solving. Finding himself with a dozen bear-hunting dogs that needed regular exercise, he devised a mechanical carousel with twelve chain leashes that now lies upside down in a heap of unrelated wreckage. When I asked him what he would have imagined happened here if he hadn’t witnessed it himself, he regards the utter ruination all around him, the spaces where outbuildings and other landmarks of his life no longer are, and says, “A bomb. Like Hiroshima.”

When you compare photos of the hypocenter of that nuclear blast with the excoriated ground just south of the Hartmans’ property, they are hard to tell apart. One of the Hartmans’ daughters, Christel, used to hunt bears with her father and she inherited his formidable handshake. Christel recorded video of their evacuation on her phone, and it shows a fire surging over the hill, which is how many California wildfires arrive, but this fire is higher than the transmission lines.

You can see the towers’ latticed silhouettes ghosting in and out of the flaming wall. War of the Worlds comes to mind. “It made a roaring sound,” said Christel, “like a man.” She demonstrates for me and then says: “Only 10 times that.” Across Quartz Mine Road, a few hundred metres from the Hartman compound, an elderly woman and her two great grandchildren were burned alive in their trailer.

Captain Dusty Gyves, a 20-year veteran with Cal Fire, California’s 130-year-old state firefighting agency, was shocked by what he saw four hundred metres south-west of the Hartmans’. After being lifted into the air, a two-ton pickup truck was subjected to forces so extraordinarily violent that it looked, said Gyves, “like it had been through a car crusher”. And then incinerated.

A firefighter named Jeremy Stoke was inside that truck and there is a memorial to him now on Buenaventura, where he was wrenched from this world. There are flowers, a flag, a nightstick and a humorous portrait of Stoke holding a pistol, along with dozens of ballcaps, T-shirts and shoulder patches representing police and fire departments from all over California. Among the offerings is a handwritten note saying: “Rest easy, brother. We will take it from here.”

Kyle Holtan updates a map while fighting the Herz fire north of Redding on August 30, 2018.

Sarah Joseph said she is moving to Oregon after the Carr Fire destroyed her home in Lake Keswick Estates in Redding, Calif.

What do you call something that behaves like a tornado but is made of fire?

Wildfire scientists bridle at the term “fire tornado”; they prefer “fire whirl”, but “fire whirl” seems inadequate to describe something that built its own weather system seven miles high. In 1978, meteorologist David Goens devised a classification system that placed fire whirls of this magnitude in the “fire storm” category, along with the caveat that: “This is a rare phenomenon and hopefully one that is so unlikely in the forest environment that it can be disregarded.”

This was 40 years ago. So what has changed?

For one, the addition of a new verb to the wildfire lexicon. “Natural fire never did this,” explained Gyves. “It shouldn’t moonscape.” But now it does. It is alarming to consider that this annihilating energy arrived out of thin air, born of fire and fanned by an increasingly common combination of triple-digit heat, single-digit humidity, high fuel loads, dying trees and the battling winds that swirl daily through the mountains and valleys all over California and the greater west.

Natural fire never did this, it shouldn't moonscapeCaptain Dusty Gyves

That this phenomenon may represent something new under the sun has become a subject of earnest debate among fire scientists and meteorologists. The only other event that comes close is a full-blown tornado that occurred in conjunction with the notorious Canberra bushfires of 2003. With the exception of the Hamburg firestorm, ignited when Allied bombers dropped thousands of tons of incendiaries on that German city in 1943, there is no record of a “pyronado” of this magnitude occurring anywhere on earth.

Painfully clear is the fact that there is no way for firefighters to combat these all-consuming fires – with or without a tornado in their midst. Water has little effect on a high intensity wildfire. Among the structures burned near Redding was a fire station. As one Cal Fire representative said of the Carr fire’s ferocious early days: “It shifted from a firefighting effort to a life-saving effort.”

There was a time not so long ago, when a fire like this one, which forced the evacuation of 40,000 people and burned nearly 1,000 sq km across two counties, might have been a monstrous anomaly, but now, says Jonathan Cox, a Cal Fire battalion chief: “The anomalies are becoming more frequent and more deadly.”

Police tape is tied to a tree near where firefighter Jeremy Stoke was killed during a fire whirl in Carr Fire in Redding, Calif. According the the National Weather Service, winds exceeded 143 mph.

A scene from where a fire whirl swept through during the Carr Fire in Redding, Calif. According the the National Weather Service, winds exceeded 143 mph.

Eight of the most destructive wildfires in California’s fire-prone history have occurred in the past three years. But as destructive as others have been – the 2017 Tubbs fire with 44 lives lost and 5,600 structures destroyed; this year’s Mendocino Complex fire, the largest ever – none of them has unleashed the apocalyptic mayhem visited upon the Hartmans and their neighbors.

Once restricted to weapons of mass destruction and exceptionally intense forest fires in remote settings, the tornado-sized firestorm is no longer as unlikely as it was in the 1970s. In 2014, another huge one was observed in dense forest, just 40 miles east of Redding. As the climate changes, fires no longer cool down at night as they once did; instead, they simply grow bigger and more powerful. Meanwhile, human settlement continues to push deeper into the forest where kilotons of unburned energy waits for any spark at all.

But most people traumatized by wildfire aren’t thinking about that. They are thinking about getting their lives back. The Hartmans had no insurance, but Larry is optimistic: “If I have my way,” he says, “there’ll be a new house here in a year.”

Sarah Joseph was insured, but she is finished with Redding, a place she has witnessed growing steadily warmer. “I’ve walked out on everything two or three times in my life,” she said. “I can do it again.” There is a town in Oregon and she is taking her younger brother. That town is as vulnerable to wildfire as Redding; so are most towns now, from Mexico to Alaska, but that is not what concerns her.

“I will not cry,” she says to herself as she gets a grip one more time.

"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Roads melt as heatwave escalates across parts of Australia
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2019, 04:13:20 AM »
Australian heat wave: Roads melt as heatwave escalates across parts of Australia.
When the forecast map turns this colour, this heatwave is about to get really nasty.

Heatwaves - Natures Silent Killer

Temperature records have already been broken but the worst of the heatwave sweeping across parts of Australia is yet to come.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned Friday will mark the peak of the week-long heatwave — currently in its fifth day — for some of NSW’s most heavily populated areas. Temperatures in western Sydney are expected to slide well into the 40s, while the CBD is likely to have its fifth consecutive day above 30C for the first time in eight years.

On Thursday, a total of 27 places across NSW and the ACT baked in record maximum temperatures, with one town in the northwest of NSW sweltering in oppressive, all-time high heat for two straight days.

The freakish temperatures have turned forecast maps a worrying black and purple in areas where the mercury is set to spike.

A Windy TV forecast with black and purple colours showing the extreme heat in Australia. Picture: Higgins Storm Chasing, product via WindyTV

A Windy TV forecast with black and purple colours showing the extreme heat in Australia. Picture: Higgins Storm Chasing, product via WindyTVSource:Supplied

Ads by Kiosked

Whitecliff, a tiny outback town with a population of just under 150 people, broke its record on Wednesday with a temperature of 48.2C, dropping only marginally on Thursday with a high of 47C just after 3pm. The extreme heatwave emptied the streets, turning it into a scorching ghost town.

Elsewhere in the far northwest, Tibooburra Airport recorded the top temperature in the state on Thursday with 48.2C just before 4.30pm.

Noona recorded 48.1C and Wilcannia Airport and Smithville both reached 47.8C, with Borrona Downs, Bourke, Cobar Airport and Delta all reaching temperatures of at least 47C.

In Sydney’s west, Penrith, Richmond, Campbelltown and Camden all reached 35C by 1pm.

Conditions are so extreme that the bitumen on the Oxley Highway near Wauchope, just west of Port Macquarie, began melting about midday.

The Oxley Highway near Wauchope has started to melt as the oppressive heat continues. Picture: Facebook

The Oxley Highway near Wauchope has started to melt as the oppressive heat continues. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

Ads by Kiosked
Motorists were warned of the deteriorating surface as social media photos show the tar beginning to melt. Picture: Facebook

Motorists were warned of the deteriorating surface as social media photos show the tar beginning to melt. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

Ads by Kiosked

Looking ahead, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of more sweltering weather on the way for much of the state.

In a statement, BOM spokeswoman Anita Pyne said the west of NSW would likely see temperatures in the mid to high 40s, including areas around the Ivanhoe and Menindie areas forecast to hit up to 48C.

Broken Hill is forecast to reach four consecutive days of more than 45C — an event which has not happened since records began in 1957.

Transport for NSW is warning drivers to allow extra time on the roads as dangerous temperatures often result in more breakdowns as vehicles overheat.

Meanwhile, the NSW Rural Fire Service is battling more than 60 fires across the state, and 13 fire bans are in place across much of central NSW, stretching from the Victorian border up to Queensland.

Pedestrians are seen in Sydney’s CBD during a scorching day on Thursday. Picture: AAP/Paul Braven

Pedestrians are seen in Sydney’s CBD during a scorching day on Thursday. Picture: AAP/Paul BravenSource:AAP

Authorities are again warning people to take extra care in the heat by staying indoors, keeping hydrated and limiting physical activity.

Paramedics have been called to treat numerous patients for heat-related illnesses, including three children in Sydney’s southwest who were suffering from exhaustion, heatstroke and vomiting. One was taken to Liverpool Hospital in a stable condition.

Sydney train users are being warned there could be delays across the network as temperatures rise.

Temperatures in Sydney’s west are expected to climb as high as 45C on Friday, ahead of a long-awaited cool change on Saturday.

Beachgoers cool off at Bronte Beach as heatwave conditions sweep across the state. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAP

Beachgoers cool off at Bronte Beach as heatwave conditions sweep across the state. Picture: Joel Carrett/AAPSource:AAP

"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline K-Dog

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 3929
    • View Profile
    • K-Dog
Re: Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2019, 04:50:37 PM »
Perhaps more gravel in the asphalt.

If it matters I qip.  The pic is from the movie 'On The Beach' 1959. 

Sawfish and its crew return to Australia to enjoy what pleasures remain to them before the end. Osborn wins the Australian Grand Prix in which many racers, with nothing left to lose, die in various accidents. Dwight and Moira embark on a weekend fishing trip in the country. Retreating to the resort for the night, they share a romantic interlude inside their room as, outside, a gathering storm howls. Returning to Melbourne, Towers learns one of his crew has developed radiation sickness; the deadly radiation has arrived in Melbourne.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>
Under ideal conditions of temperature and pressure the organism will grow without limit.

Offline AJ

  • Waitstaff
  • ***
  • Posts: 281
    • View Profile
Re: Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 05:48:34 AM »
Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like

<picture><source srcset="" media="(min-width: 740px)" /></picture>
<p>A burnt truck sits in Lake Keswick Estates in Redding, California. after the Carr Fire</p>

This picture is my nightmare for the great forests of the PNW. Crap loads of rain aren't going to stave off the 3 months of bone dry summers. AND if civilization collapses who's going to fight the fires that will surly come?
Nullis in Verba

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 41786
    • View Profile
Re: Hellfire- This Is What Our Future Looks Like
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2019, 07:54:28 AM »
This picture is my nightmare for the great forests of the PNW. Crap loads of rain aren't going to stave off the 3 months of bone dry summers. AND if civilization collapses who's going to fight the fires that will surly come?

Just be sure to keep your Bugout Machine topped off with gas and loaded with your Preps ready to go the minute you get the Knock on the Door from the Gestapo telling you to EVACUATE NOW!  Have your Escape Routes pre-planned and your GPS ready in case you gotta go off road.  Terrain Maps available from the USGS also helpful here.  Apps available for your Smart Phone.  Put your Pedal to the Metal and ignore all Speed Limits.  Have a handheld Police Scanner Radio at the ready in the Bugout Machine to monitor the progress of the fire.  GTFO of Dodge.  Collapse has ARRIVED at your doorstep.  Hopefully though, you will have been reading the Diner and will know about it before you get that last minute call.  Better to leave a day early than a minute too late.  The Early Bird catches the worm, and lives to eat another one tomorrow.

Try NOT to wait this long before you make your Final Run for safety.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
The world has the power to make Brazilís Bolsonaro pay for his destruction
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2019, 04:35:07 AM »
The world has the power to make Brazilís Bolsonaro pay for his destruction of the Amazon
The best weapon against the far-right president is to hurt the Brazilian economy.

A firefighter works during a wildfire near Robore, Santa Cruz region, eastern Bolivia on August 22, 2019.

These have been horror-filled days for those who care about life on Earth. The devastating, record fires that the Amazon rainforest has suffered have pushed the forest ever closer to an irreversible tipping point. 

Even among the invariably grim news about the climate crisis, there was something more profound about the devastation we witnessed. We have despaired and panicked, deprived of breath as though the black smoke could find us in our living rooms, choking us as it would soon choke our future. We have watched as our future burned, and we knew the name of the arsonist: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil has never seen itself as a villain on the world stage. On the contrary, there was a general bonhomie around the Brazilian image abroad. This hid a certain permanent darkness in country’s soul. Despite consistently paying lip service to collective action against climate change, Brazil has never had a perfect track record on environmental preservation. Even at its best, the country sought to maintain a dangerous balancing act between the interests of the powerful agribusiness lobby and green concerns. The election of the far-right Bolsonaro in 2018 exposed the dismissive attitude of the majority of Brazilians towards the Amazon and its indigenous people: this is a man who has never disguised his contempt for green activists, and takes an almost sadistic pleasure in mocking the concerns of scientists and celebrities. 

This is the first essential truth when confronting the tragedy before us: Bolsonaro does not care about our anxieties. The only thing Bolsonaro cares about are those whom he sees as extensions of himself — that is to say, his family and his foot soldiers. That is the extent of his empathy; this is a man who scoffed at the brutal torture of a pregnant teenager. The only language Bolsonaro understands is power. Look at the photos of the fire engulfing the largest carbon sink in the world; look at what they represent. This is a threat to our right to exist. Start asking, then, how to fight back.

Fighting a foreign government thousands of miles away might appear an impossible task, but punching back is not only possible, it is actually much easier for the average person in a developed country such as the UK or the US. Brazilians are under Bolsonaro’s power and at risk of losing their jobs or being attacked by the president’s supporters. Donating to NGOs, which monitor the destruction of the Amazon and defend indigenous rights, is a start but that is merely a defensive ploy. We must strike back.

Bolsonaro believes that destroying the Amazon is profitable. Every Brazilian president is politically fragile before an opportunistic Congress, and Bolsonaro, in particular, has frequent scuffles with it. He is kept in power by the extravagantly wealthy: the people who believe his excesses are tolerable in return for pension reform and employment deregulation. Neither Congress nor the Brazilian elite, have any loyalty to Bolsonaro’s ideology; instead, like parasites, they simply use him as a vehicle to pass legislation and will discard him should he become too inconvenient. 

The best weapon against a Bolsonaro administration is to hurt the Brazilian economy. Countries such as Norway have tried the gentler approach of financial incentives, which were rejected. It is now time to be aggressive. Boycott Brazilian products. Make association with Brazil an ugly stain for international companies, and demand they pull their business. Push your government to take an extremely hard line on Bolsonaro. If it is necessary to discuss the possibility of sanctions, so be it. The mere notion will shake people in important places to their core, and what they lack in morals, they exceed in cowardice when it comes to losing money. 

If we believe in the immensity of the harm caused by climate change, if we believe that the images from Brazil are harbingers of doom, if we believe that the Brazilian government will kill not just us, but generations still unborn, then we would also do well to remember that we are not being murdered by a criminal mastermind, or by an unstoppable force.

The dark future we fear is not a certainty or a punishment from God. If this administration is anything, it is a low-level thug. Its president is a cowardly simulation of a man, who talks of torture and rape when dealing with those weaker than him, but who mutters and acquiesces the moment he meets any resistance. Bolsonaro has no human kindness or empathy, but he does have weaknesses: press those wounds and they will bleed. The time for our horror is long gone; now is the time for fury.

Julia Blunck is a Brazilian writer who has contributed to the Guardian and Prospect

"...reprehensible lying communist..."


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
2 Replies
Last post January 16, 2013, 11:02:26 PM
by Petty Tyrant
The Future

Started by JRM « 1 2 3 4 » The Kitchen Sink

49 Replies
Last post January 12, 2014, 09:11:36 AM
by JRM
0 Replies
Last post June 02, 2016, 02:56:54 PM
by Pepe Escobar