Just Be
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2020-09-17 17:17:08

    Eventually the men let her pass on to her friend’s place. On her return journey, she was stopped again. She said she saw two Multnomah county sheriff’s office (MCSO) cruisers stopped by the roadblock, and an officer talking with one of the people running it. She said the deputies did nothing to intervene in the illegal stop.

    Another local resident, who asked not to be named due to safety concerns, said she had been stopped on Friday evening in a similar fashion on Louden. She said she saw an MCSO cruiser driving in her direction, away from a second roadblock structure 50 yards ahead, leading her to assume that police were aware of the vigilante activities.

    this shit is coming all our ways soon — I don’t have a plan for this... I’m loathe to comply (if vigi’s were to block my neighborhood say... to keep others out) but I have no plan at all - no idea how to react

    It would also require a moratorium on new construction, as well as post-fire rebuilding in endangered woodlands. A majority of new housing in California over the last 20 years has been built, profitably but insanely, in high-fire-risk areas. “Exurbanization,” much of it white flight from California’s human diversity, everywhere promotes the botanical counter-revolution. But residents usually don’t see the grass for the forest.

    How should we think about what is happening? In the late 1940s the ruins of Berlin became a laboratory where natural scientists studied plant succession in the wake of three years of firebombing. Their expectation was that the original vegetation of the region—oak woodlands and their shrubs—would soon reestablish itself. To their horror this was not the case. Instead escaped exotics, some of them rare garden plants, established themselves as the new dominants.

    The botanists continued their studies until the last bomb sites were cleared in the 1980s. The persistence of this dead-zone vegetation and the failure of the plants of the Pomeranian woodlands to reestablish themselves prompted a debate about ‘Nature II.’ The contention was that the extreme heat of incendiaries and the pulverization of brick structures had created a new soil type that invited colonization by rugged plants such as “tree of heaven” (Ailanthus) that had evolved on the moraines of Pleistocene ice sheets. An all-out nuclear war, they warned, might reproduce these conditions on a vast scale. (For more about this, see my book Dead Cities.)

    Fire in the Anthropocene has become the physical equivalent of nuclear war. In the aftermath of Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in early 2009, Australian scientists calculated that their released energy equaled the explosion of 1,500 Hiroshima-sized bombs. Even greater energy has produced the pyrocumulus plumes that for weeks have towered over Northern California. The toxic orange fog that has shrouded the Bay Area for weeks is our regional version of nuclear winter.

    A new, profoundly sinister nature is rapidly emerging from our fire rubble at the expense of landscapes we once considered sacred. Our imaginations can barely encompass the speed or scale of the catastrophe.