More on my fiction writing

« Growth and its discontents | Main | Economy update »

June 30, 2019


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

Trump and the HEAT

I agree Jon the asphalt kings have won FOR NOW.
However late last nite when I got home in the desert near the Superstitions there was a toad cooling its feet in my bird bath. And about midnight it rained for about 30 minutes. Today I have watched the ground squirrels, doves, cactus wrens and other birds fight it out over the bird feed.
And a cottontail showed up and took a long drink.
"Laws change, people die, the land remains"
Abe Lincoln
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread." Cactus ED Abbey

Yes, the heat does suck, but this summer (by recent standards) doesn't seem quite as bad (I work outdoors), and the spring was nice. Some interesting stuff on the internet on Jet Stream location and how it changes high pressure in the area to manipulate Monsoon flow and temperatures.

Nice picture.

"As long as old men sit and talk about the weather.

Forever and ever, Amen."


I mentioned this to cal and Petro:
Re: Democrat debates

The last time I saw this many turkeys in one place was at Basha's one week before Thanksgiving.


Remember everything we learned in civics about the three branches of government? Well, you can throw those lessons out with the trash. Only one branch now.


We've had nagging issues in this country which were past "fine-tuning". They are now being addressed with a sledge hammer wielded by a gorilla. Worth a try. I was tired of the fine-tuning.

Yes Ruben, the nagging issue of native tribes in the path of European mass migration to the Americans was also “addressed” with a sledge hammer. The current administration’s gorilla sledgehammer policy remains at this point a reality television show with much chaos and no constructive change. You do however express a perfect example of Arizonan mind.

We lived on Phoenix for 35 years...1982 to 2017. We traded winters in Chicago for sunshine and jobs after college. I agree with you. The weather HAS changed dramatically! And, the air quality, something rarely talked about, is extremely unhealthy. Newly retired, we are now traveling around the country looking at where to settle down for the next chapter of our lives. Unfortunately, there is NO paradise, otherwise everyone would live there!

Keep in mind Ruben is of those indigenous folks that got ran over by filthy Europeans.
"Arizona mind" like Denise the real smart folks left and went to places like Portland and Seattle.
People that come here from Iowa and Minnesota come for the warm winters while the Arizona government is at the mercy of the Utah mindset.

“In real life, frogs jump out before water gets too hot. In the nineteenth-century experiment that apparently generated the idea, however, a frog was boiled to death-but its brain had been removed beforehand. Which was humane and, in the present context, makes the metaphor more apt.”
A quote in Fantasyland by Kurt Anderson
We seem to be the frogs in the “gradually warming pot oblivious to our doom.”
Required reading.
Thanks Petro for bring this book to my attention.

As Europeans suffer the heat of climate change
From a column by British free lance writer Jonathon Cook after Mark Field, the British government minister who assaulted a climate change activist last week, grabbing her by the neck and violently marching her out of a City of London dinner while all the hundreds of other wealthy diners watched either impassively or approvingly.

"Late Waking to Emergency
We are now facing a climate emergency – or rather some of us are finally and very belatedly waking up to a climate emergency that has been many decades in the making. We have come to it so late because the wealth elite represented at the City of London dinner have used the key power structures at their disposal – the political and media establishments – to deceive us, to keep us sleepwalking towards oblivion as they have carried on plundering the planet, destroying the biosphere, and stashing away their inordinate wealth.

The state-corporate media has not only downplayed climate change but is still doing so, as credibly as it can manage given the relentless scientific evidence that human society is hurtling towards an abyss."

The recent bit in the news about the cyber warriors playing around with other countries power grids got me to thinking.
I can’t help but think of this in the context of a widespread, long-lasting summertime power outage in metro Phoenix.
I got your 21st Century WMD right here.

Phoenix Power outage NOW

I have always believed that if did not get really hot here
in the summers, everyone and their cousin would move
here. I think the high temps scare some of the potential transplants away.
That being said, I do find the humidity in late July
and August much more uncomfortable that I remember
it from my childhood. I grew up in a home which
only had an evaporated cooler on the roof, which are
notorious for not working well in higher humidity
But do not remember suffering.

Gary. Thats one reason i have a generator and solar on my home on wheels.
I am no scientist but maybe the humidity has worsened as a result of higher ground temperatures?

Dante vs Hagglund

Eternity: How serious are you about the planet earth when you dream of “Streets flowing of milk and honey” (MLK).” When you get to have your own heaven and reign as a god, given you have met the necessary requirements set down by one of your fellow brethren.

“Once we seriously consider the consequences of existence without end, the prospect is not only horrifying but meaningless. An eternity based on what Louise Gluck calls “absence of change” would not be a rescue from anything but an end of everything meaningful.
And to rest in peace is not to be fulfilled: It is to be dead.”
Partially taken from New Yorker magazine article by James Wood on the book, “This Life” by Martin Hagglund.

Note, MLK quote was about his concern for things here on the planet and its people.

Too many of the newbies (although I’m not native, I call dibs after living here for 51 years of my life) don’t know what it was like. I remember being able to play outside and go barefoot in the summer, play league outdoor volleyball at night at churches when in high school, college and beyond and in general, be able to LIVE here during the summers.

Maybe I’m just getting cranky in my old age, but it’s different now.

it's 7 million sweaty bodies different

"A city is an anachronism we be better off without." Clifford Simak.

Back to the caves with a few goats before the current authoritarian dictatorial narcissistic fascistic jerks set off the bomb.

Off-topic, but interesting - Michael Lacey's ("New Times") battle with the Feds over his online "blue" classifieds site:

Growing up in Maryvale in the '70s meant walking to school. And that meant, on quite a few mornings, putting on a coat, mittens, a scarf, and a beanie. But the most important thing?: shoes with a slick sole, so you could get to school and "ice skate" on the frost-covered playground.

Fast-forward forty-odd years. Driving down Union Hills on New Years morning there might be one tree that's changed colors, two if there's been a cold snap. The mulberry in my childhood backyard would shed its leaves every season, which meant it was time for the bare branches to be trimmed. Now most trees keep their leaves for every holiday on the calendar..

Friends from other places have told me that we're lucky here, in that we don't have any disasters. No earthquakes, no hurricanes, none of that business. I've always corrected them by insisting that we certainly do have disasters, but that they move in slow motion, and most people don't notice we're having one until we're three or four years in.

I wonder when more people will start noticing...

Good article. The big question it poses is conspicuously lacking an answer: what now should be done?

I appreciated Rogue making clear that most of Phoenix's temperature increases are local warming, so the solutions would have to be local as well. Of course none of them would be easy.

Limit growth by law? - as if that would be politically possible
A Phoenix "Manhattan Project" to increase the amount of grass, trees and bushes? - perhaps feasible but I assume (because I have no idea the actual numbers) that it would require a huge increase in water consumption. Isn't water sourcing already a big problem for our massive city in the desert?
Bring back agriculture? - sounds nice but even more impossible politically than limiting growth because it would have to replace existing concrete and buildings to be meaningful. Has any significant population center ever "reagrarianized" voluntarily?

I agree that the Phoenix heat island is a big problem, but we tend to be long on complaining but short on solutions. Even if climate change were to be addressed nationally and internationally to the satisfaction of Rogue and most of his readers, that wouldn't solve Phoenix's problem. The heat island would still exist and get worse the bigger the metropolis gets.

I have for some time been interested in debating some of the good commenters here on the general topic of climate change. Anyone who knows my occasional posts here would not be surprised that I am a contrarian around here on this subject, as on many. I just have never brought it up before. I would love to get into what I believe are the many good reasons to be skeptical of catastrophic climate change, but I am on vacation with my family and won't have much time to post for a few days. Besides, Rogue is so passionate on this subject, he may be tempted to delete my posts anyway.

Skepticism is a good thing.
Denial is a whole different thing.
Just for fun pick up a copy of
The End of Ice by Dahr Jamail.
Enjoy your family vacation and may the future provide similar experiences for your children and grand children.

Solar energy will prove to be a net positive for Phoenix in the future. Water will/should be sold as the commodity it is. Climate change is happening and, while a lot of it may be human caused, technology will be our salvation, both in carbon sequestration and clean energy development. The education of our next generation is the most effective way to a better future, out energies should be directed toward that goal.

Joe, good post. May our children prolong the life of the planet and ensure them a safe future.
I am somewhat skeptical of Technology as a savior of a large population (30 billion?) but maybe for the 5000 bankers

I got my Still suit in the closet for that day.

Cal and Cactus ED from Arrakis

I always get a laugh whenever there are discussions about the weather and heat here. The absurd focus on a number on the thermometer, OMG the first 100 degree day!! 110!! All flogged into a frenzy by the media who piously remind us to "wear sunscreen and stay hydrated." Duh...

I teed off to play "championship golf"--Jon uses that as an epithet almost--at noon on Sunday, I believe the official high was about 110 (measured by the way at the hottest, driest place in the metro area, PHX airport, surrounded by hundreds of acres of asphalt and concrete.) We walked 18 holes and it was downright pleasant compared to doing the same thing in Minneapolis or Washington DC at 85-90 degrees, two places I'm very familiar with.

The worst air quality in the U.S. I've experienced in my life was in Oregon a couple of years ago, fires were widespread and you could barely see the surface of Crater Lake, much less across it. That will pretty much be the norm it seems as climate change tilts towards longer and hotter fire seasons.

We live in a hot desert by the way.

Jon7190, would love to hear how you have arrived at "skepticism" about climate change, perhaps Rogue can set up that discussion?

Dog. You are correct its the desert.
The Great Sonoran Desert.
Whats left of it!
I start to notice the heat at 118.
But with water and proper clothing walking is a good thing. Although i never developed a thing about chasing little white balls around on grass or sand.
But i have cooked eggs on concrete.
And summer allows me to have thousands less neighbors. At least 300 in the immediate vicinty.

As a native of Phoenix for the past 62 years most of us have paid attention the changes in our environment as our city has now become a mega-metropolis. Our once pristine desert has been flattened with concrete and asphalt making for a “heat island” that continues to expand causing our temperatures to continue to rise. Many of us have lobbied for restrictions on the growth of our city but money speaks louder that common sense.
I was enjoying the article and it’s content until you had to ruin it with the political rhetoric at the end. Not sure why that had to be added since it didn’t pertain to the ongoing subject matter but apparently you are one of those in our society that will find a way to bring politics into EVERYTHING that has to be discussed. I thought about reading some of your other works but I’m sure they are filled with political rambling I could begin to be interested in!

Vince, I agree Jon could have dropped this comment from the piece.
"Much could be written about the traitor Trump and the depressing Democratic debates, but I'll pass for now."

A friend of mine commented that they found this article a bit rambling for Jon.
I advised my friend, keep in mind Jon just flew into the Heat Sink from Seattle and likely is a bit rattled with the intensity of the sun.

But regardless I will always read Jon and consider him a friend. I read a lot of stuff that I don't agree with but feel its necessary to do so.

PS. Did Sunnyslope name a street after your family?

Suggested Non Political readings

Apoliticism is apathy or antipathy towards all political affiliations.[1] Being apolitical can also refer to situations in which people take an unbiased position in regard to political matters.[2] The Collins Dictionary defines apolitical as "politically neutral; without political attitudes, content, or bias".[3]

And I keep moving deeper into the desert.
Ajo looks better everyday.

The Five Seasons of the Sonoran Desert

The monsoon winds have picked up and I sense a Haboob on the rise. The clouds are coming and the mountain is of ever changing colors. I have encountered a few Dust Devils on the road and soon the tumbleweeds will roll. So far I have not felt the quakes threatening Yuma with a seaport.
The birds are enjoying my bird bath and the ground squirrels and rabbits seem in excellent moods as they jump around like small children at play.

Meanwhile as I embraced the quiet Sonoran desert (since all them thar Canadians, soil bankers and winter visitors are gone) things got pretty chilly in DC for the 4th. But I see its heating up again with wannabe revolutionists.
Its almost siesta time for me, so I will set down my Camus reader and get some shut eye.
Hasta la vista gringos

Siesta is over.
Sun allgeries? Read Robert Macfarlane’s mind before falling asleep in a chamber deep in the catacombs beneath Paris. In his new book Underland: A Deep Time Journey.

For those of us who spend our days thinking about life on the surface, his new book is brimming with surprises. Macfarlane visits a laboratory in a giant potash mine underneath the North Sea where physicists are looking for evidence of dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up a big chunk of our universe. They hope to find evidence of “ghost particles” in one of the quietest places on Earth, insulated from the noise of above ground life.

TALK about HOT. Now that Epstein is in custody in Dark New York and not Shovel Sunshine Florida will Trump and Acosta be able to work another deal for their fellow traveling pervert?

There are winners and losers in all things and climate change will be no different. The losses to date have not been severe or consistent enough to spur major action.

Man is an adaptable and resilient creature. It's going to be interesting to see how it all plays out. Will we reach a tipping point of major investment in emissions reductions, or will governments/societies continue to decide that they'd rather accept and put up with the capricious, changed climate, rather than retard world economic growth to reduce emissions?

It'll be an economic calculus in the end.

I liked your front-page link to the Farallon Islands mouse-poisoning plan. It reminded me of how the climate-change debate ideally would go -- e.g., everyone acknowledging an obvious problem and then arguing interminably about the best way to deal with it.

Whereas in the climate change debate, many people have no interest in observed data. Even if we ignore all projections since it's hard to predict something that has no historical analog, the historical record of *what's actually happened so far* ought to be a convincing proof that man is impacting the climate significantly and continually. If we could at least agree on that, then maybe we could start discussing what we wanted to do as a nation.

It's pretty hard to legislate mouse poisoning if half the citizens refuse to acknowledge the mouse exists.

Mark, i quit most Fiction about 68 but currently i am re reading City by Clifford Simak. The edition that has the last chapter as Epilog.
Every year i re read it
at least parts of it.
I am not sure why but maybe its because the dogs sit around the campfire and debate whether man ever existed. Be happy to loan you a 2004 Centennial copy.

Mark, an opinion:

The Heat is on but I walked about 9 AM and it was pleasant. So far a nice June early July Summer.

A link courtesy Cal:

I am certainly witnessing the end of Arizona as I knew it. I was a kid and teen here in the 50s and 60s.

In 1959 the U.S. Forest Service saw fit to erect a large explanatory sign on the road to the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery detailing the Roberts Mesa Fire, which they regarded as so significant that it merited this kind of public display. The size of the Roberts Mesa Fire? 5000 acres. Would not make the evening news today.

I was appalled by the Dude Fire of 1990, which scorched the heart of the Rim Country -- at 28,000 acres a half-of-a-magnitude-of-order bigger than the Roberts Mesa Fire.

The oughts brought another order-of-magnitude jump with the Rodeo-Chedeski Fire. We had now entered the entire-stand-clearing phase of wildfire in Arizona, with forests being effectively cleared from entire mountain ranges in the Catalinas, Chiricahuas, Mazatzals, and Whites.

Vast fires also now appeared regularly on the Sonoran Desert, carried by exotic grasses introduced for cattle-grazing, and this unique biome, never having evolved with wildfire, cannot adapt. The desert comes back as a weird grassland without its signature saguaros.

All the while temperature record after temperature record falls and Phoenix can no longer cool off at night. Cool spring ends earlier. Summer heat persists to Halloween.

And also all the while, a several-million-strong army of careless outdoor recreationists with no concept of stewardship descends upon the deserts and forests with dirt bikes and quads, tearing up the landscape, raising clouds of dust, and scattering plastic and feces because they think it is their God-given right to do so.

The human presence in our desert and dry forest, with effects both intentional and unintended, is something our fragile home cannot bear. It is buckling under the assault.

The Arizona I knew is fast disappearing. It is heart breaking.

But Arizona the sociopolitical entity was never about stewardship, was it?

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.)