Tag Archives: Climate Change Comedy Show

homo erectus-electus-ejectus

Driving to the End of the World

Still floating about in the isolation chamber. Coordinates are by latitude and longitude found by spelling out the word weird, clicking your heels twice, hoping your inner wicked witch doesn’t spit on you in a big box store, no mask-no admission denial rage.

There is a spectrum of reactions to the hellacious reality the world has been forced into by bat cave craving carnivorous culinary outliers. Anthony Bourdain may have performed a disservice to our species by nudging the curious to eat from the forbidden fruits and bats of Asia.

As earth rushes headlong toward billions more inhabitants there is this sense that within our species lurks a self-destruction seed. Adolph may not have been a one off.

Sunflowers

I am a creature of the infinitesimal, working class, lunch bucket, card carrying-bus transferring-shop steward protecting endangered species. My kind is the $600 a week quitters’ slime. John Maynard Keynes would recognize the austerity obsessive Republicans as the kind that would double down on a recession and make it the mother of all depressions because they see bootstraps, belly dancers and deli trays in their version of how an economy works.

Regulation you can believe in

This summer I’ve been threading my way back and forth through the Western slope. A vast area surrounding Grand Junction, Colorado is running 2.5 degrees centigrade hotter now than a century ago.  “Heating begets drying, and then drying further begets heating, farmers once growing between 350 and 400 tons of hay; in 2018, raised 30 or 40.” Quote from Washington Post.

I can speak with civility to a farmer running an irrigation pivot. I know about pushing yields with nitrogen, spraying for broadleaf, or if water or electricity given their costs makes growing a hay crop even pencil out.

In the before times, before the virus, we were all too busy to give the climate emergency much if any of our attention. Scientists have been trying to warn that if we don’t like the pandemic then we are sure to just hate the living snot out of the climate change crisis.

Today for fear of being killed by an invisible pathogen you no longer have to imagine what it is like to not be able to go outside.

I’ve thrown my hopes in on science coming up with a vaccine. I’d like some semblance of day to day life back. I’m with the crowd that believes whatever the new normal turns out to be it will not resemble anything like the old normal. Our world, our economy, our challenges are just too steep for us to play dumb about the climate fight we have on our hands.

Meeting of the Minds

We’ll keep rolling out more renewables, expand battery storage, electrify our transportation systems, figure out how to make steel without burning fossil fuels, repower our aircraft, retrofit heat pumps in every single building in the world, pay a living wage, scrap this employer based health care insurance fiasco, vaccinate every last stubborn one of us, send our kids to school, graduate more engineers, figure out how to grow more nutritious fruits and vegetables and stop this crime against the living that goes by the name factory farming animals.

I kind of think a no good rotten stinking stubborn human being of any kind, color or gender will enjoy the challenge of deploying a 21st Century energy system that future generations will thrive upon.

Joe Biden said, “Climate change poses an existential threat to our future,”

Squares up with what I know.

Some yesteryear type replies, “What’s your climate change solution that doesn’t include taxation and socialism?”

That’s got the stench of Rupert Murdoch and Mr. Charles Koch smeared all over the doubts and fears of the can do spirit we once possessed.

Cline curing sonic therapy

Doing nothing might work if you got cheating on your mind but given the corner we’ve backed ourselves into we’ll just have to figure things out. It’s called doing something about the pickle we are in. Miss Patsy Cline had seen her share of cheating closeup, and put it this way, “Don’t leave me here in a world, filled with dreams that might have been…”

Spaceship Earth Protector

Arms and Feet

Democratic Party: 44.9 million votes Republican Party: 32.9 million votes

There was a lot on last nights ballot and nothing was more important than taking back the House.

About my Spaceship Earth Protector Credentials. I am an artist. I’m a creative. I was a success. I bought houses, had kids, got married-divorced-married, I’ve made money, spent money, had cars and have had headaches. Same as millions of other spouses out there I  love my wife.

Maybe you’re unclear about how it feels to watch a Republican majority get their can of whoop-ass out and kick the living daylights out of the National Endowment for the Arts? Maybe insincere budget cutting hysterics doesn’t bother you. You see zeroing me out makes me want to zero you out. People don’t roll over in Tombstone and Californian’s from Oakland do not play possum with anti-government libertarian program bashers.

Now about the crown jewels of our democracy. Social Security needs to have its cap on taxable income raised. We need more revenue not less. Medicare works fine Medicare for All would work better. Private health insurance is an insurance program to nowhere. Pre-existing conditions and bankruptcy need to be eradicated from this earth same as stubbornness or willful stupidity.

Want more? Let’s follow Seattle’s lead and raise the minimum wage. I’m zeroing out objections until the minority that votes to keep the working stiffs pinned down as paupers read the University of Washington study just published. I’ll summarize for those who missed the real news. Seattle’s economy has never employed more people, never started more successful new businesses. Never!!!! Transactional relationships don’t have to be an authoritarian head trip fake out. We can actually lift all boats!

Water Poster

Agriculture Wants All the Water

You’ll find me afterhours dancing until dawn with my wife at the local Vegan Speak-Easy. I’m getting hammered on hibiscus tea celebrating the one hundred plus women heading to Washington to slap some sense into the heads of the men that voted to strip access to women’s-reproductive-health-care. If we are going to defund anything it is the freaking subsidies for the oil industry. Any tax cuts for the middle class must be paid for by tax increases on corporations. We have way too many stingy capitalists. Put those white collar criminals in jail and let the pot smokers out.

We’re going to need to get the Chamber of Commerce to seek forgiveness for their mischief. Much has been made of our immigration crisis and much less would have been made of this had we insisted every employer verify their workers citizenship. No proof then no work. That simple. If the employer cheats they get deported. End of story. We don’t need no stinking wall. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against this. People we are a nation of immigrants! Come on we can get this right.

goldfish pond

Islands in the Sky, Sidewalks Brimming with Fish

First of all, last of all, and most import of all we need to get to work on the world’s existentially most urgent crisis. No more time to waste trying to curry favor from a Crown Prince MBS of Saudi Arabia who prefers chopping his critics into little disposable pieces. Barbarism isn’t policy.

We keep the eye on the prize. That eye and that prize will be doing something every single day about halting the rise of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Climate change can be addressed but the threat it poses to humanity, this very real threat cannot be ignored. The problem isn’t going away, and a hotter world won’t suddenly make nice, but it will provide chaos, crisis and a stinking unfixable hot mess.

Let’s get all those fine women to the House and let’s go!

Edited Red Star

 

Overtaken By Wildfire

Lake Four

Outline Interrupted

Plotting my novel I set a date in September 2015 to attend the dirt oval races at the Calistoga Fairgrounds. The motorcycle races were canceled and the fairgrounds instead were transformed into an emergency evacuation shelter for the victims of the Valley Fire. On September 12, 2015 the fire erupted burning 70 thousand acres, destroying 1955 structures and killing 4.

The outline to my novel changed from the Napa County Board of Supervisors and the political machine funded by Big Agriculture to wildfires and the impact climate change was having America’s premier wine growing regions.

Napa County One

Bedrock of Civilization… An Engaged Citizen

I completed the outline and in November 2015 began the first draft of the manuscript. At the same time the County Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission for Napa County was facing increasing pressure to roll back approvals for further expansion. Nearly 100,000 oak trees had been slated for removal to make way for three new hillside developments. Real estate prices continued spiraling higher. American and international oligarchs had turned their attentions to Napa and opened their checkbooks. The citizens were no match for the well funded international consortium of investors and agents that had descended upon the valley to pick over what few parcels remained. Protest was listened to and then ignored. The industry would not be stopped.

After five years of persistent drought Sacramento’s state legislator finally muscled through a new water meter law. In the next two decades we’d finally know how much groundwater was being pumped from the wells across the state.

great-tree.jpg

This Tree from Space…Looks like Toast

I continued writing my fictional account while real world events leaped beyond what I might have imagined. Trump is elected. The United States withdraws from the Paris Climate Accord. Voter suppression visits Napa County. An initiative is disallowed placement on the ballot for November’s election. Suspicious behaviors and curious interlocking interests between judges, county officials and most powerful winegrowers in the county derail the citizens efforts to protect the county’s natural resources.

I continue writing a novel focused on the local business and political players unchecked expansion up into the hillsides. By now the draft is nearing completion. It is the summer of 2017 some 8 months later. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria devastate everything in their paths.

We have an apartment in the Los Angeles Arts District. For a post Labor Day getaway weekend we go to Ojai in Ventura County. We hike three trails over three different days. The week after the Northern California Firestorm burns 245 thousand acres, kills 44, hospitalizes 185, and destroys 8900 structures.

happy hikers

Things Not to Do During Fire Season

My wife and I decide hiking in fire steep fire prone canyons might no longer be a safe or smart activity. We rethink the defensible perimeters of our two Northern California homes.

Activists in Napa County after evacuating Calistoga return. The hillsides of what are identified as wildfire zones, has altered the politics of the well funded possible. Everyone and everything was under reconsideration.

By strange quirk of coincidence while the state’s drought had been broken there remained one length of coastline south of Santa Maria and north of Oxnard that the storms had passed by. Maybe next year, the fire season was winding down, it was the end of the year crews had finished their work and disbursed back across the landscape.

I missed my deadline. I’d hoped to bring the novel to a close by November of 2017. I still had the last chapter to complete.

writers desk

Pleading for the Powerful and Connected to Help

Then, on December 4th a fire broke out 48 miles east of Santa Barbara. A month later a fire that had started in Santa Paula burned through 281 thousand acres and before finally being brought under control menaced the city of Santa Barbara and wrought untold destruction to Montecito.

The novel I had outlined in 2015 was completed by the end of 2017. My editor and I finished our developmental and copy edits. I sent the manuscript out to my trusted core of preview readers prior to sending it out to acquisition editors.

There were problems, many problems, my fourth novel was not ready for prime time.

I was preparing the sailboat in San Francisco for this summers roundtrip to Santa Catalina Island. I am in the midst of this seasons sailing now. There wasn’t sufficient time to prepare the boat and repair the manuscript. By February the decision was made. Put the novel in a drawer.

In the last two weeks I finally opened the drawer. I’ve not written a word. I am reading.

Initially I’d imagined a pastoral piece, spiced and drenched in culinary cleverness. A sendup to our foodie’s in Northern California. I’d accommodated the ongoing drought and hadn’t anticipated the relentless wildfires.

Last weeks fires in Redding were awful enough. Now, today the Mendocino Complex Fire has surpassed total acreage burned of any fire in the states history. 283 thousand acres burned.

My story describes the fictional fate of just 2500 acres, a place the size of two and a half Golden Gate Parks. The Valley Fire, Northern California Firestorm, Thomas Fire, Carr Fire and Mendocino Complex Fire together describe an area of very near one million acres.

dulcet tones

A Passage Only Half Complete

We are in the midst of the hottest week of the summer in Los Angeles in a world that is breaking records for the hottest summer ever in Europe. My characters in my novel are ordinary. They care about the world they live in but the written characters possess no tangible influence on the levers located at the seat of power in the county government offices. Keeping pace with the changing climate, trying to make sense of the chaos back in our nations capital, trying to explain the threats pressing down on one small wine growing region in all the world has somehow and in most all ways been touched by the out of control global forces. Humanity and the uncontrollable nature of wildfire are this seasons outsized forces pleading with us to wake up and change. Whether we like it or not, whether we want to or not, changing the way we organize ourselves on this fragile planet is coming. I’m writing about that change now.

Edited Red Star

March 15, 2018 Mesquite Trees

The Edible Sonoran Desert for Buskers

“The wanderlust in the heart of a street performer is curiosity writ by beat up truck and a one dollar tip.” Polished prose is under construction. And that of course is one of the tasks being attended to at this website. You’ll notice my farcical comedy Hot Spring Honeymoon is here and on offer. One reader wrote, ” I could pick up the book at anytime and feel like I was in a desert town or on the mountain…”

Mesquite
Mesquite driveway into the Oak Bar Ranch

Hibiscus tea drinking has become all the rage in our household. Two quart jar filled with cold water, two teabags and one squeezed lemon before bedtime. Remove teabags in morning and sip your day away on the Godzilla of antioxidants. The African hibiscus flower will cure virtually everything other than stupid and stubborn for which there remains no cure.

Many offseason’s have been thermally ensconced upon the Sonoran Desert. I’m an admirer of the mesquite tree. The bean pods are are edible when ground into flour. I’ve ordered mine and will add to my eclectic breakfast cake batter. Just coming back to read about the results of this edible experiment has got to keep you awake nights tossing and turning wondering what in the name of busking does a mesquite flavored breakfast cake have to do with good health and happiness? Let’s find out together.

Mesquite Five
The Famous Lost Marbles

We’ll turn finally to reading more Norman Mailer while breaking a sweat on my treadmill. After one hour of that fun I’ll turn my attention to handstands and then finish off with a walk along the LA River.

Sea level rise versus see level rise. One has to do with climate change and the other has to do with looking over shoulders, fences or through periscopes. See level rise… come on people work with me…these are the jokes… or come back tomorrow for more and find out what else the Novel Juggler is up to.

Edited Red Star