Friday, June 17, 2011

Fire, Fire, Burning Bright

Fire, fire, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
With all due apologize to the late Mr. Blake- see end of post for correct version.

Last year it was Russia's turn, after having the hottest recorded July in 130 years, there forests and peat marshes went up like tinder.  In Georgia the Okefenokee Swamp is again burning, and North Carolina's swamps keep catching fire.  Our local fires went east to help with some swamp fires a couple of years ago.  The fun thing about when a swamp dries out and catches fire is that it burns underground.  They can see the smoke coming up out of the ground and the earth gets hot.  Dante no dobut would hve been impressed.
How the West Was Lost  The American West in Flames
Chip Ward, Tom’s Dispatch
As for the humans in this drama, I can tell you from personal experience that thousands of people in Arizona and New Mexico are living in fear. A forest fire is a monster you can see. It looks over your shoulder 24 hours a day for days on end. You pack your most precious possessions, gather necessary documents, and point your car or truck toward the road for a quick get-away. If you have a trailer, you load and hitch it. If you have pets or large animals like a horse, cattle, or sheep, you think of how you’re going to get them to safety. If you have elderly neighbors or family in the area, you check on them.
And as you wait, watch, and worry, you choke on smoke, rub itching eyes, and sneeze fitfully. After a couple of days of that omnipresent smoke, almost everyone you meet has a headache. You know that when it is over, even if you’re among the lucky ones whose homes still stand, you will witness and share in the suffering of neighbors and mourn the loss of cherished places, of shaded streams and flowered meadows, grand vistas, and the lost aroma of the deep woods.
Cue the Inferno
These past few years, mega-fires in the West have become ever more routine. Though their estimates and measurements may vary, the experts who study these phenomena all agree that wildfires today are bigger, last longer, and are more frequent. A big fire used to burn perhaps 30 square miles. Today, wildfires regularly scorch 150-square-mile areas.
Global warming, global weirding, climate change -- whatever you prefer to call it -- is not just happening in some distant, melting Arctic land out of a storybook. It is not just burning up far-away Russia. It’s here now.
The seas have warmed, ice caps are melting, and the old reliable ocean currents and atmospheric jet streams are jumping their tracks. The harbingers of a warming planet and the abruptly shifting weather patterns that result vary across the American landscape. Along the vast Mississippi River drainage in the heartland of America, epic floods, like our wildfires in the West, are becoming more frequent. In the Gulf states, it’s monster hurricanes and in the Midwest, swarms of killer tornadoes signal that things have changed. In the East it’s those killer heat waves and record-breaking blizzards.
But in the West, we just burn.
The Tiger
William Blake

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TIGER, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder and what art
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand and what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears,
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did He smile His work to see?
Did He who made the lamb make thee?
Tiger, tiger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Lisa at Real Club Cancun said...

Here in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico we have suffered from out of control fires in the low jungle that covers this area. It has been unusually warm and dry and, well, on fire.

russell1200 said...

Yes your in the news: