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Apocalypse Now: Heat, Floods, Mudslides, and more

Wildfires: Deaths in Moscow have doubled to an average of 700 people a day as the Russia capital is engulfed by poisonous smog from wildfires caused by a sweltering heat wave.

Floods in Europe: Days of flooding have killed at least 11 people in central Europe and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses across Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic.

Floods in Pakistan: Millions suffer floods’ havoc, U.N. officials say. The number of people suffering….now exceeds 13 million, more than the combined total of…the 2004 tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Mudslides in China: 1100 are missing as floods, landslides and misery rise. …hundreds died from landslides caused by heavy rain…Flooding in China has killed more than 1100 people this year…across 28 provinces and regions.

Flash Floods in Kashmir: The death toll…in the remote desert mountainsides in Indian-controlled Kashmir rose to 140…police said Monday.

Floods in North Korea: Some 10,000 people were sheltering in public buildings in the border city of Sinuju…due to flooding, the Red Cross said Monday.

All these headlines and paragraphs are from the first two pages of today’s San Francisco Chronicle. Yes, that’s right: the first two pages! ( in the print version; this links to their website so you might have to hunt.) I’m almost afraid to turn another page. When I read all this I thought, How can anyone deny a connection? I also wondered why my radio, tuned to NPR, wasn’t sending out the news of apocolypse now.

I switched to KPFA, and much to my relief, Amy Goodman and guests on Democracy Now were talking about the weather. (The Weather Channel is probably the most relevant tv news of the times.) One guest said straight out, This is the beginning. Another talked about the dismal failure of the Copenhagen Conference, and the refusal of the United States and other countries to take the necessary steps to stop this rush to planetary destruction.

I’ve said this before: Doris Lessing’s book, The Adventures of Mara and Dann, envisions a world that looks very much like what we’re seeing right now and what we can surely imagine coming down the pike.


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