Visiting winter in the Topa Topas after the fire

Though it’s been three months since the Thomas Fire, those of us in the burn zone can still see the blackness on the burned hillsides all around Ojai, all the way up to the ridge of our local mountains, the Topa Topas. Every winter for twenty-five years I have gone up to our mountains afterContinue reading “Visiting winter in the Topa Topas after the fire”

Home versus the Mountain

One of the acknowledged great non-fiction pieces of our time is John McPhee’s Los Angeles Against the Mountains, from l988, an uncanny and alarming foreshadowing of the disaster in Montecito this month. It’s one of those astonishingly thorough and appalling pieces of writing, almost beyond journalismn, and to my mind can hardly be overpraised (butContinue reading “Home versus the Mountain”

December 8th in Ojai, CA 2017

Picture from a photographer, Stuart Palley, who in the last couple of years has found a calling in documenting wildfire and the crews that fight it. The Thomas Fire has been an overwhelming event, plus it ate my office (and musician friend Taylor‘s studio and barn). Did publish a story about the start of theContinue reading “December 8th in Ojai, CA 2017”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Not an optimist. Not on Twitter

The writer, journalist, and thinker Ta-Nehisi Coates has been embroiled in controversy for years now. Seemingly his every move attracts controversy, (for reasons mysterious to small-town hick yours truly). Near as I can tell Coates has not been doing anything another prominent and successful writer wouldn’t like to do, such as moving to Paris forContinue reading “Ta-Nehisi Coates: Not an optimist. Not on Twitter”

TEN EXCELLENT CLIMATE STORIES/LINKS

A New York Times primer on the 17 biggest questions people ask about climate change: A New York magazine story about climate change and the dangers of extreme heat. http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans.html A Vanity Fair article about climate change and the danger of extreme heat. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/06/extreme-heat-global-warming A Scientific American story about the great California megaflood. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/atmospheric-rivers-california-megaflood-lessons-from-forgotten-catastrophe/ AContinue reading “TEN EXCELLENT CLIMATE STORIES/LINKS”

In Ojai, global warming + summer = heat. But how much?

A week ago New York magazine published a blockbuster climate change story. Here’s the annotated/footnoted version. Highly recommended, because the writer — David Wallace-Wells — finds a way to bring home the urgency, using current science. It’s very simple, really. Instead of focusing on what will happen next year, or next decade, or by 2040,Continue reading “In Ojai, global warming + summer = heat. But how much?”

Garrison Keiller on the piousness of climate activists

Humorists and contrarians so often seem to drink from the same well, as Garrison Keiller did this week in mocking Trump, Trump supporters, climate activists, Europeans, the Chinese, smokers, and himself in a column this week. No sensuous pleasure can compare to the thrill of righteousness, and when the poor schlump [Trump] stood in theContinue reading “Garrison Keiller on the piousness of climate activists”

Trump cites MIT climate study: MIT objects

Yesterday President Trump announced he is exiting the United States from the climate deal that the Obama administration pulled together against all odds with 190 nations from around the world. Trump justified the abrogation of the deal for several reasons, and cited an MIT study: Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, withContinue reading “Trump cites MIT climate study: MIT objects”