Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)

The Thomas Fire began about five miles from our home near Thomas Aquinas College near Santa Paula on the night of December 4, 2017, a date Upper Ojai will never forget. In a bad twist of fate documented in my story in the Santa Barbara Independent a couple of weeks later, an electric transformer atContinue reading “Thomas Fire (one year ago tonight)”

Black Friday climate assessment: Katherine Hayhoe vs. Donald Trump on The World

The extraordinary Fourth National Climate Assessment, released by thirteen federal agencies coordinated by the US Global Change Research Program, established by Congress decades ago, came out last Friday. On the day after Thanksgiving, the notorious Black Friday. For some reason. Ironically, if this excellent interview and breaking news segment on the assessment on The WorldContinue reading “Black Friday climate assessment: Katherine Hayhoe vs. Donald Trump on The World”

a poem from the late Paradise

Please Excuse the Smoke Awakenings [from a Paradise resident and poet named Krystalynn Martin] November 16, 2018 A poem I wrote the other night while grieving the loss of my hometown of Paradise: I’m sorry – Please excuse the smoke. It’s just the dreams and hopes of 27 thousand yesterdays. It’s just the minuscule evidence ofContinue reading “a poem from the late Paradise”

2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests”

This is an actual headline on the homepage of the Washington Post this evening. To explain the misleading: Prez Trump said that the President of Finland told him that Finland had many forests but no problem with forest fires. “He called it a forest nation,” Trump said, “and they spent a lot of time onContinue reading “2018 headline: “Finland’s president denies telling Trump that his country rakes its forests””

The New Dark Ages: the poetry of global warming

Poets have been thinking quite a lot about global warming in recent years: here’s a recent example worth remembering. Will post more as I find them. The New Dark Ages Thunderstorms stir me up— the stillness right before the first close tremor, the pond shivering at the height of summer, the field full-blown, going toContinue reading “The New Dark Ages: the poetry of global warming”

The Blob is back: Will the RRR return? What about drought in CA?

This decade, the worst drought in California’s recorded history happened in large part due to a formidable ridge of high pressure off the shores of the Pacific Northwest in 2012 that persisted for years in the winter months. This bumped the winter jetstream that brings us low pressure systems and precipitation to the north and awayContinue reading “The Blob is back: Will the RRR return? What about drought in CA?”

Climate change polarizes an election in Ojai

Ojai, California is a little town with a lot of big opinions. This fall an election between a long-standing incumbent and a self-educated water wonk has stirred up a good deal of controversy. Here’s my attempt to report on the issues for the Ventura County Reporter. My focus was to give the candidates a chanceContinue reading “Climate change polarizes an election in Ojai”

What’s wrong with reality? (Red Desert)

It’s not a coincidence, surely, that Monica Vitti in the Italian movie poster for Michelangelo Antonioni’s classic Red Desert, from l964, assumes the position of the tormented man on the bridge in The Scream by Edvard Munch.  Most of Antonioni’s movies seem to begin with a beautiful woman, usually Monica Vitti, rushing from the social sceneContinue reading “What’s wrong with reality? (Red Desert)”

Dirt: People of the PCT (Oregon 2018)

This is Dirt, with whom I briefly crossed paths at about mile TK on the PCT. We had a short but interesting conversation that’s still very alive for me. Our brief dialogue touched on two or three or so topics, but seemed full of the immense uncertainty of human life. Quite possibly I might neverContinue reading “Dirt: People of the PCT (Oregon 2018)”