« If Alabama...Arizona? | Main | The winter of our discontent »

December 19, 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Air brakes off. Check.

Throttle. Check.

Auto breaking system. Off.

"Wait, what?"

Auto breaking system off. Don't worry, I got it.

80 MPH through 30 MPH curve.


Rogue, if you would please, give me three reasons why the human species deserves to continue to exist.

We have circumvented Darwin and now it is survival of the STUPIDEST. The dinosaurs had a good run. We've had a good run. Mother nature says, " it's time folks. You need to die.

At least let us leave with our heads held high.

Rogue, Arizona's power-brokers, as you've mentioned before, are only in it for the short-term buck. They'll be out of town before it gets "impossible," because money is their true "god."

"Impossible" will likely be year-round living in Arizona becomes difficult. It will become a lot less attractive when there aren't the necessary service workers to "keep up" the infrastructure and maintain the roads and greenery. They will increasingly migrate away when their tolerance for the excessive heat outstrips their capabilities.

This is coming more quickly than most realize because average temperature are on an upward parabola. When that first long power outage happens in the summer, real estate values will plummet like a rock. The panic won't be pretty.

Bradley,how long have you lived in AZ?

Bradley, cat got your tongue?

Yeah, it's scary. I've read a number of climate projections, not just summaries, and I don't see how this city makes it out of this century...at best. When you've tried to make this a better place, it's discouraging.

AzReb, Funny you should ask. I lived there from 2009-2016. I moved back North because I found Arizona very stultifying and mind-numbing. I also felt an intense pressure to conform to being some kind of "macho" man--which I've always felt was a "put-on."

Your moniker is interesting because, at one of my employments, I was called a "rebel" by one of the locals for wanting to be treated fairly. I responded, "Imagine that...a proud Northerner being called a 'rebel' in a Southern state." Being called a rebel was more of a warning than anything admiring or complimentary. I think was just a bit(?) too interested in enjoying life and (to my perception) not so willing to be a servile drone to my employer--kind of "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." I really needed to be back in a place where a non-conformist wasn't seen as a "threat," a commie-pinko, or a traitor (again, my perception). Being in a big, loud, boisterous city surrounded by a bunch of different ethnicities and customs is much more my style. Matthew Sweet said it best with, "I let the world surround me, 'cause I saw no real harm."

I wished it had been different out there in AZ, but I really had no idea of how entrenched the macho conformism and worship of work and business is out there. I think it left very little room for self expression that was "different."

Does my critique jibe with what you've seen. Or am I too pejorative?

AzReb, after about 2010, I began to question quite a lot about AZ. This included the incessant boosterism, the value of complete devotion to "work," and the constant liberal-bashing. When I started listening to KJZZ, I got a very different perspective. I also heard about Jon Talton. Listening to him, it seemed he was reasonable, and yet, it also seemed he was quite literally run out of town for his "questioning." THAT raised my hackles, and I came to realize that many Republicans liked THEIR freedom, but HATED others expressing views that weren't "approved." I like diversity, equality, and fairness, but the more I looked, the less I saw those things happening in Arizona. Toward 2015-2016, it became almost suffocating to realize I didn't belong there. To this day, I think had I stayed, it would have taken years off of my life.

AzReb, How long have you lived in AZ?

Bradley, I'll answer your question first, then I'll add a few thoughts after.

Being as my family has been traced back to the early 1600's in the AZ/NM/Northern Mexico area (We sort of pre-date all modern borders) and as cal likes to point out, I may have had past lives in the area in the form of my Spanish and Apache heritage.

So the answer is, forever.

Therefore, you can imagine when you grow up using an outhouse, riding ponies bareback, playing out in the desert from dawn to dusk without a worry in the world, eating fruit right in the orchard, drinking water right from the river or stream:you get a little tired hearing about how tough things are here is AZ. I'll give you a more modern response in a few minutes.

Bradley, I've been thinking and let me answer you by pointing out the things that have flip flopped in AZ during my lifetime that have left me and the state of AZ out of sorts and by all appearances to the outside world out of our minds.

The last item will relate to Jon's writing above.

My extended family across NM/AZ/CA were all republican when I was growing up. Then the parties switched positions. The values of the people didn't change. The parties just switched values. So now, all my family are democrats. I was a lone wolf. When the parties switched places, I called bullshit, I went independent.

AZ used to be all about the five C's. Copper, cattle, citrus, cotton and climate. We were very comfortable and proud of those C's. Now they are small c's, insignificant. Climate is now a boogey man.

We were a state of pioneer families. shared histories. Shared respect. We got buried by the Midwesterners. They're not nice people. This isn't their home. They treat it as such.

Believe it or not, during the first half century of my life we used to get rain and snow. Lot's of it. Like clockwork. We are twenty years into a terrible drought, with no end in sight. (see Jon's words above)

I commend you on your rebel tag. Makes me like you.

AzReb, It is my feeling that the power brokers in AZ, being concerned only with the very near short-term (and their profits within that time frame), had virtually zero interest in diverting some of those deified profits to something like sustainability and "stewardship.". The longer they ignored the creeping issue of "consequences" and nature's "comeuppance," the less resources they had to potentially mitigate climate change, so I'm guessing they collectively said, "to hell with it." And we are well on our way to that "hell."

This is not only endemic to AZ, because this mentality shows up across America, because, in capitalism, money and profits are much, much more important than human life or the condition of the planet.

I strongly believe that man as a species, and Americans as a nationality, think they can have it all. And, in the law of unintended consequences, be careful what you wish for. You might get it "all," but that "all" may contain many thing that you may not find desirable. Isaac Newton said best: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

Mother Nature's "reaction" will likely be mind-blowing....

Nihilism: a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility .

As we all know, life sucks. The wrong people always seem to win elections because the wrong people keep voting for them. And they're all idiots!

Here's a thought: vote as if reality (as described by scientists, empiricists, and historians) matter more than the chest-thumping certitudes of right-wing propagandists. So, instead of contributing to the ongoing destruction of the biosphere you model the kind of citizenship necessary for constructive action.

I know: I 'm a libtard living in Portland. Enuf said! On second thought, let's burn everything down anyway because.....er.....Malthus! Out-of-staters! Mormons!

Soleri, normally, I would call you out as one of the rats who left the sinking ship, the USS Arizona. However, time is proving your move to be the correct one. Trumpism is taking over the AZ population.

Blind, rabid patriotism is hard to take.

Blind, rabid , anti-Christian evangelicals are hard to take.

Purposely choosing ignorance over education and knowledge is heartbreaking to watch.

In a lifetime a thousand years ago, due to a century long drought I had to move from southern Az to Colorado. Colorado is beckoning again during this drought. Farmington NM or Durango, CO may be my new home.

Wherever you go, there you are.

Trumpism happens when people choose a non-existent good over the "lesser evil". In your case, writing in Bernie Sanders' name for president in a starkly binary election.

We've gone round and round on climate denialism, all the Randian bullshit you love, and the perfidy of pragmatism. But it's really, really pointless to complain how stupid other people are when you're more interested in being right than being effective. You have to vote for the team that takes science seriously. You can't simply decide your "common sense" outweighs the collective wisdom of experts because we all hate know-it-alls. At some point, reality will bite us very hard on our collective ass. The chomping isn't just isolated to Arizona, either. Much of the Pacific Northwest looked like a hellscape last summer.

The difficulty of democracy is that we need just enough wisdom to take partial steps in a vaguely right direction without deciding it's just too complicated to understand. Democrats are infinitely better, in this way, than Republican nihilists and Bernie's unicorn chasers. We don't have much time left, of course, but the alternative to an impending disaster isn't moving to Durango, or anywhere for that matter. It's behaving as if the future and the lives of your grandchildren matter. Take just enough care in your public life that you put their interests above your own immediate gratification.

Lots of Arizona bashing goes on here, while oftentimes it's not about anything unique going on there. I was in the Pacific Northwest this summer and, aside from the coast, it was a nightmare, the smoke was ubiquitous, I had difficulty breathing, my clothes smelled like I had sat by a campfire for two days, and you couldn't see a half mile at times. I could barely see the shoreline of Crater Lake, much less see across it. My Uber driver in Portland related how we had missed the "bad smoke event" of some weeks earlier where Portland was apparently socked in for days from fires in BC.

So AZ isn't the only place that will be at the effect of climate change, and in fact it may be less disruptive in a desert that has thrived in spite of heat and drought for millennia.

DoggieCombover, Yes, the desert may thrive, but most of us Americans aren't biologically suited to working--or living--in excessive heat of the kind global warming predicts for Phoenix. This argument probably doesn't apply to the aboriginal Southwesterners (Mexicans, and the various Native American tribes indigenous to the Sonoran Desert), but they are far less financially invested in Arizona.

I guess what I am trying to say is man has screwed the planet, and now the planet is going to start to screw man.

The desert will not thrive when Arizona is past population overshoot. And higher temps and less rain could kill the unique ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert.

Reading "How the Right Lost It's Mind" by Charlie Sykes,former conservative talk show host.Shows how Trump is not conservative and is going about turning the conservative movement into a Alt Right wing that supports Trump as the binary choice for the racialist right.Excellent read on how Trump turned Hillary into the devil and persuaded the conservative right and Evangelicans into accepting him and his shenanigans .Seeing what he has done to the groups above,climate change believers should be scared as hell.While this man is power hungry,he understands the American public as few do.

Rogue Columnist, But once man has vacated the Sonoran Desert, the ecosystem might have a chance to adapt. With man still around, that "chance" is dramatically lessened.

Mike Doughty, I have a sneaking suspicion that global warming (let's just drop the euphemistic and PC "climate change" term), being on a dramatically ascending parabola, will make a lot of willfully ignorant conservatives look like arrogant fools in a short time. They are just looking to have their profit-taking "time in the sun" last a bit longer. Trouble is, the tsunami of cascading effects is piling up....

Alas, Arizona will have become a lost cause by the time its Latino population decides to join the rest of us and vote in elections. And that's too bad because Arizona could (have) be(en) a pretty progressive and independent minded state. But it's not. It's become a bargain basement version of one of the states in the REAL south. It yearns to be Mississippi or Alabama. And, after living here since the early 70s, I think we probably ought to just let it do that. It, alas, deserves it.

Even Christmas Day has been getting warmer and dryer,


I vote for moving the growth up to Prescott and the Chino Valley. Problem ... no major Interstate.

Or, Bend, Oregon. Plenty of water and land. Again, no major Interstate, unless I-11 goes through there, which Bend and the state of Oregon would fight.

Reno ... more water than AZ.


Scottsdale is running out of land and Tempe is landlocked. Maybe Bill Gates will do something with his land in the west valley.

Marana / Oro Valley, land is cheaper.

Vegas, better, but water is an issue.

I neglected to mention Carlsbad, California with it's desalinization plant but they're running out of land in their Airpark, unless San Diego county wants to allow more growth in the area where the Oceanside fire was. They're already building homes along I-15 just south of Temecula. San Marcos could expand but right now, the 78 and new 76 are clogged. The new 76 unfortunately cannot be 6 lanes everywhere and has to accommodate stop lights, with terrible accidents from people speeding to 65 and then not seeing the lights, and rear ending folks. Overall, Vegas is cooler than Phoenix for half the year, and has more wind so maybe the heat wouldn't deter businesses as much. I don't know.

Which is worse: climate change or the 7 million people now living in AZ? Utah and California and Nevada have been making noises over Colorado River water. I think the Colorado Compact might be coming under attack in the near future.

AzReb, I wanted to thank you for bringing up something that might be very pertinent to Arizona's "craziness." I know hordes on Midwesterners moved here to retire. There was also a "white flight" in many of those cities in response to "integration." I'm guessing that "exodus" didn't stop at the suburbs.

Is it possible that many of these "snowbirds" and transplants brought with them their conservative, and often bigoted, politics with them? Did this have an impact on AZ politics to this day?

Could anyone comment, including you, AzReb, Rogue Columnist, and anyone else who has lived in Arizona for a while?


If you read my stuff, you know I reference the Big Sort, where people of similar viewpoints are increasingly clustering together. White Midwesterners were also drawn to Phoenix in the 1960s because it was a heavily Anglo city — and had a surfeit of separate school districts (a holdover from farm days). This made busing for desegregation less likely. In recent decades, the ethnic and class separation has been exacerbated by sprawl.

Rogue Columnist, Thanks. I felt Phoenix had a relatively intolerant undercurrent from about a year after I arrived there. I also knew the Midwestern transplants had a significant presence and obvious impact on local politics. I just hadn't made the connection that many of the former Midwesterners kept and expanded their intolerance and bigotry after arriving in Arizona--and how those attitudes weighed significantly on the Phoenix political landscape.

Another factor is the LDS Church, which is very politically powerful and rightward leaning. The Mormon appreciation for education, the arts and infrastructure seen in Salt Lake City is not found in the East Valley LDS, which is very reactionary and nativist.

I have been here long enough to remember when a republican could not get elected to dog catcher. The CAP allowed the mass migration of reactionary midwest republicans and screwed AZ forever.

Ah, you guys are STILL at it, huh? Same old, same old bigoted blasts at white Mid-westerners, etc. Same old laundry list of hate.
Well, happy Christmas anyway.

dudas just for U, love.


Holocene extinction. The Holocene extinction, otherwise referred to as the sixth extinction or Anthropocene extinction, is the ongoing extinction event of species during the present Holocene epoch, mainly due to human activity.

The seventh mass extinction: Human-caused events contribute to a fatal consequence


Quote: Joe Friday, "Just the facts"
I did forget to credit Del Webb and Sun City.
mea cula

I was born in 1948. There were two billion humans living on planet Earth. Today it's seven and a half billion.

I think it's safe to say there was no conspiracy to overwhelm the planet with the mammalian equivalent of kudzu. "Progress" was happening and we all went along for the ride. Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, deserves a special mention here. So do the shock troops of the health-care industrial complex for eradicating small pox and other checks on human overpopulation.

It's haunting to see the vast tides of human misery washing up on the Mediterranean coast and the Bay of Bengal. Closer to home, it's especially troubling to see California burning in December. Surely, a line has been crossed when tony Malibu is as unsafe as Watts.

Human progress is crashing onto some very hard rocks. Democracies worldwide are declining. In the US, life expectancy has declined for the second year in a row. The opioid epidemic is now pushing into the black community. Donald Trump is our bonkers president, the climate has become dangerous, and truth itself is now broken. It almost seems as if life itself is now a runaway holiday hit: USA: The Final Reckoning.

If this Christmas Eve seems forlorn, it's partly because the skies are smoky and flaming and partly because we're emotionally exhausted from a cascade of social failings, broken politics, and a declining trust in institutions and each other. Something has shifted and there's a sense it may be permanent. If so, we won't fix it with blame. Keep talking but temper the shouting. We're all responsible but guilt-tripping does no good. Be kind, take care, and connect. We're all in this together.

I have always said that we are "screwing our selves out of a lace to stand"

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz