The Fire Next Time

Colorado is burning, again. That’s not news. Maybe I should switch to posting about when Colorado is not burning. That would be news since in the last month there’s never been more than two or three days when there wasn’t a fire somewhere.

Three more fires in the southern part of the state this morning, hundreds of acres so far. One is called the Boy Scout Camp Fire, because that’s close to where it started. Do you still really want to argue about Global Warming? Even Exxon has put that horse out to pasture. I think what most people don’t get is the effect of global warming. If the planet is two degrees warmer, so what? Every place is two degrees, on average, warmer than before, which is hardly enough to notice. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. What it means is, ultimately, there will be a two degree change in the surface temperature of the ocean. El Nino changes, and La Nina changes. That changes weather patterns all over the planet. It melts the polar icecaps, floods the Midwest and Northeast and Mississippi Valley and makes them colder, and Texas, the Southwest, and the West, i.e., Colorado, get hotter and drier. Colorado catches on fire while Ohio drowns.

Remember the tornadoes from a couple of weeks ago that destroyed a significant part of Moore, Oklahoma, and other places.? Those, like Hurricane Katrina that took out New Orleans, and Sandy, that beat on New York not long ago, came from the African desert. It is hotter there, the air gets heated, and crosses the Atlantic where it wreaks havoc on North America. Don’t blame Moammar Ghadafi. He’s dead. Blame greenhouse gases.

We need to make an editorial revision to the Bible. The Bible says God said next time he will not destroy the world by flood, he will destroy it by fire. Get this to the revision committee. It’s both. Maybe James Baldwin, were he still alive, would want to change the title of his book. The Fire and the Flood Next Time. Get out your GPS, and pick your poison.

Dogs: the rescued becomes the rescuer

We are in day three of the Black Forest fire north of Colorado Springs, and something amazing has been happening. People are caring for each other and helping each other, friends and total strangers. I’ve seen it before, in the aftermath of 9/11, during the blackout that shut down the Northeast a few years ago, and after natural disasters. But this is Colorado, and the thing that has really stood out is the devotion of people to their animals, and vice-versa.

One couple owns five dogs, one of them a retriever mix named Maisie, a rescue dog they got five years ago. Don Scheer had been alerted the fire was close to his house and tried to reach his wife, Sandy, by landline and cellphone, without success. He knew she was planning to take a nap, and finally decided to drive to their house to find her.

Before he got there, flames engulfed the back deck and the roof. Sandy was still asleep. Maisie went to the glass door outside Sandy’s bedroom and started barking. Finally, Sandy heard her and woke up. She saw what was happening, gathered the dogs and went out to the driveway where their two cars were parked. One of them was already on fire. She got herself and the dogs into the other as her husband was arriving home. As she pulled away, the entire structure went up in flames behind her. Maisie, the rescue dog, literally saved Sandy’s life. Another minute or two and it would have been too late. Cast your bread on the water… Or, in this case, a dog biscuit. It is kindness repaid.

They lost everything except their own lives and their dogs. Later Don said, “I am really happy right now.” Perspective, I believe, is a big part of happiness.

Is Colorado burning?

You better believe it. Fires on three sides of Colorado Springs, major fire in Black Forest, over 8,000 acres burned. And it’s not even Juneteenth, yet. It’s going to get worse. Much worse. Cheyenne Mountain through the smoke haze. The valley smells like barbecue.