Hotter than ever

The week was yet another one where the weather was smoky as…well, a Californian summer day.

Other worthwhile mentions go to fumy, fuliginous, sooty, ashy, heated


Fire may be licking at our heels, but wrapping a cold, wet washcloth around your neck is one way to physically cool down.

Hint: click on the words in teal to open articles in a new tab.

Camp Fire, 1880
Winslow Homer

California Has Always Had Fires, Environmental Alarmism Makes Them Worse Than Necessary

By Michael Shellenberger

“The same mechanism that caused the orange sky is what could destroy agriculture in the wake of a thermonuclear war: particulate matter from burned wood blocking parts of the light spectrum from reaching the ground.”

“Within half a century, scientists realized that fire suppression was a mistake. “By the 1960s when we realized it was a problem,” said Keeley. “Vast amount of fuels had accumulated for 50 or more years. The fires became far bigger than what could easily be handled.”

“Historians agree. “But by putting out every fire,” noted Timothy Egan, who wrote a book on the Big Burn, ‘they created the greatest wildfires.’”

Cow plaque ca. 1479–1458 B.C. New Kingdom

Cattle might be secret weapon in fight against wildfires, experts say. Here’s how

By Katie Camero

“The team concluded that without cattle grazing, there would be “hundreds to thousands” of additional pounds of fine fuels per acre of land, which could lead to “larger and more severe fires.”

“Beef cattle can be found grazing in every California county, according to the researchers, except San Francisco.”

“There’s also room for more cows to join the feast. The team learned that 1.8 million beef cattle grazed California lands in 2017, yet the number of cows there today “are only about 57% of their peak numbers in the 1980s.”

An Old Woman Burning Papers
mid-18th–early 19th century
Nicolai Abraham Abildgaard


By Alejandra Borunda

“A heating up planet has driven huge increases in wildfire area burned over the past few decades.”

“In all, the western fire season has extended by at least 84 days since the 1970s. Cal Fire, California’s fire protection service, has said publicly that it no longer considers there to be a wildfire “season,” because the season is now the entire year.”

“The very character of the fires has also changed, growing larger and more intense, and that in turn can accelerate future fire risk. Even plants that need fire to propagate, like many high-elevation conifers, are now often finding themselves in fires more intense and powerful than they’re adapted for, says Scott Stephens, a forest ecologist and fire expert at the University of California, Berkeley.”

An Eruption of Vesuvius, 1824
Johan Christian Dahl

These Changes Are Needed Amid Worsening Wildfires, Experts Say

By Brad Plumer and John Schwartz

“The blazes scorching the West highlight the urgency of rethinking fire management policies, as climate change threatens to make things worse.”

“Millions of Americans are moving into wildfire-prone areas outside of cities, and communities often resist restrictions on development.”

“One major reason that wildfires are becoming increasingly costly is that more Americans are moving to areas outside of cities near forests, known as the wildland-urban interface.”

Curfew Hour, 1882, oil on wood
Albert Pinkham Ryder

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That’s all, folks! Hasta la proxima.

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