August 24, 2020:
There's a gazebo on the coast at Asilomar. I've come here many times on picnics with friends or on dates. Today I'm alone, with a pizza delivered by DoorDash and a KN95 mask that arrived via Amazon. Where the isolation is now physical, not just emotional, and the entire world has joined me in exile.
If I go for a walk I can see the fires in the mountains around Santa Cruz. From here I can smell the smoke of the fires east and south of Monterey. These are different. I grew up in San Diego where huge blazes in the east lit the sky orange and rained ash carried on hundred-degree Santa Ana winds. Or the canyon burned east of our apartment. I've been in Santa Barbara when the hills burned right down to the backyards of the northern-most houses. These are different.
These are the norm, now. No longer disastrous aberrations like acts of God. They're the everyday, and they're acts of Mankind, consequences of our unjust, exploitative, murderous economic system whose logic finds it unprofitable to clean up after itself. So that now the world is trying to clean up after us.
The dynamic — the dialectic — the logic of evolution — points inarguably toward runaway greenhouse effect. The scenario should be familiar, now that Venus is better understood. Habitable almost two billion years, with saltwater oceans and temperate climate thanks to ubiquitous cloud cover. Destroyed by runaway greenhouse, when the sun warmed, or simultaneous vulcanism erupted around the planet. Until the oceans evaporated, adding water vapor to the greenhouse, and the cycle became unstoppable. That's our future. 600 degree surface temperatures and huge storms of sulphuric acid: hell on earth. Caused by greed, and the rationalization of greed as in some way beneficial.
Capitalism isn't merely sociopathic. It's anthropopathic. Because of it your grandchildren are all going to die.