After the second worst fire season ever recorded, we are now facing unprecedented disastrous storms in California. I was watching reports last night from various local Bay Area news stations. In one segment, a reporter casually mentioned that police would be doing extra patrols to prevent looting. The same thing happened in Louisiana. Don’t let them loot, they said, as their streets became rivers.
And that tells you everything you need to know about the society we’ve created.
We are living through extraordinary ecological catastrophe, and our priority is protecting private multi-million-dollar corporations from so-called “looters” — as if these people are not taking what was rightfully theirs to begin with after suffering through decades of corporate wage theft and manufactured generational poverty, which was enabled by their so-called “representatives”.
It’s especially frustrating to me, living on the edge of the toilet bowel that we call Silicon Valley where infinite streams of money flow from the urethras of venture capitalists so that they can ride dildo-shaped rockets erupting with pollutants into low Earth orbit, and mass produce prepubescent millionaires who are fixated on creating juicers and bluetooth-powered salt shakers. Presumably, because climate change is not a hard enough problem for them to try to solve.
Yet, despite all of these rich geniuses investing in so many other very intelligent (but less rich) geniuses who all graduated from the same university, we can’t manage to house everyone in the Bay Area, where some 30,000 people live on the street. Nor can we overcome the complex task of hiring highly skilled, unemployed firefighters because they were incarcerated the last time they worked as firefighters for $1/hour as part of the state’s sustainable prison labor program. If a wildfire were about to engulf my house, I certainly would not tolerate an ex-felon putting it out.
On the other coast, we have one group of geriatric politicians suffering from late-stage dementia who outright deny their own reality of oscillating between the poles of extreme weather conditions and another group of geriatric politicians with high-functioning Alzheimer’s who acknowledge the existence of the actually-happening-right-now climate catastrophe but are so preoccupied with litigating obtuse procedural rules that they can’t be bothered to form a consensus within their own party to do something about it. None of them, in fact, are equipped to do much of anything except trip over their own velcro-strapped orthopedic shoes and facilitate the financial crimes we collectively call “the free market” while pretending that we have a functioning healthcare system in the midst of a global pandemic.
But, I digress.
The important thing is that no one wades through waist-deep water to steal food to feed their family. As a society, we cannot tolerate that type of moral degradation. Nor shall we bear the inconvenient burden of pondering what drove someone to steal at all. Only once these more pressing issues are addressed can we afford to consider how to alleviate environmental destruction.
Looking on the bright side, as I do, this is the first time I’ve seen a good rain in at least a year. Recording-breaking floods and landslides have officially brought an end to fire season in Northern California! Isn’t that nice? It’s time to celebrate!