Saturday, October 1, 2022

Happy End Of The World!

We've got an interesting year going so far. Please believe me, I'm completely sincere: I want to prove to you that I'm serious in the worst way.

What could be more interesting than the end of the world? Some of us will not be around for the final gasp, but the process has well and truly begun, that much is for sure. We might as well enjoy it.

Bill Mahar is impressed by the fact that insurance companies will no longer write fire insurance policies for California properties. There was a time when I owned a home in California, and, unless my memory is playing tricks on me, my mortgage required me to keep in place a policy of fire insurance. It really seems like the interconnected web of requirements inflicted on us by our various bureaucracies is breaking down, as some of them change their rules, some transform into other forms of business, and some just say, “hell no,” and carefully transfer all risk to their loyal customers. This is done, of course, in ways that are totally legal. Even if new legislation is required. “Just tell us what you want” echos through the halls of state and federal legislatures all over the country.

There's so much to choose from! Where to begin! The fires are scary. I've seen those things up close. When the hot cores of the fires turn that intense red/orange color, that tells you that the fire is up around 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. That kind of fire makes it's own winds to carry it to more flammable materials. The fire has taken on a life of its own.

Floods can really ruin your day. Take Florida, please.

Public officials are quick to point out that whatever just swept your town away like a dust mot was a rare event. I actually heard some clown down in Florida say that Hurricane Ian was a “500 year storm.” He immediately shifted to the idea of building back the lost houses. These public officials can always be trusted to work for the corporate interests. Anything but admit that the climate of the world is changing in many ways, none for the better. I hate to break it to those people listening to these corporate shills, but even though the last storm of this magnitude came through many years ago, the next one will be coming to Florida within a year or two. This is the new normal.

Flood insurance? Problematic, I think, at this point.

I hear a lot about this idea of rebuilding. That burnt to a crisp town north of Los Angeles where every building was destroyed, hey! Let's build it back! Then they build the same kind of houses, with wooden frames, flammable furniture, and wood-shake roofs. Same kind of fire will burn it all off next time too. It's the same song and dance in hurricane territory where the wind and water will be back faster than a bad penny. Let's build it back! Same crap houses that'll have the same stupid roofs blown off, houses built on the ground, so they can fill up with water again, and get washed away again.

Does anyone else think that this is a stupid plan? I happen to think that it is a complete failure of the imagination.

The worlds of engineering and architecture are choked with great ideas for work-arounds where bad weather is such a menace. Out in tornado ally I've seen lots of houses that were built into the ground. They looked like that Teletubbie house on TV. From a distance, it appears as a grassy knoll. No roof to blow off, and it's all tornado proof. It's easy enough to do the same in fire areas. Engineer some solutions! Floods and high winds will be tough, but putting some talented people to work on new designs might be a good idea. Certainly no one has lifted a finger to prevent the weather situation from getting worse year by year. We had better learn how to live with it, and all of the old designs have been rendered unsuitable for this new world of ours.

It wouldn't be my blog if I didn't mention politics on the way out. Remember about twenty-five years ago when pundits were talking up the bright future of the BRIC countries? That would be Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Sure enough, they did all show signs of progress over the years, showed interest in becoming important parts of the global economy. Now they are all presenting at the clinic with problems that are beyond the ability of our political philosophies to deal with. Brazil is going fascist and destroying the Amazon rain forest; Russia has taken off the mask and shown us the fascist/ gangster reality, threatening to use nuclear weapons; India wants to prove that it is a Hindu country even at the expense of expelling 140 million Muslim citizens whose families have been Indian for hundreds of years; and China has put about a million Uyghurs into labor camps where they are learning to be more Chinese if they know what's good for them. So no, I don't think those four countries are excited about building a prosperous future for our world.

In the meantime, the entire playhouse is collapsing. What fun! Happy End of the World!

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