I know Dailykos is a political website, and I most certainly am a political animal, but sometimes you get a shot of perspective that causes politics to take a back seat for awhile.
Yesterday, just before 8:00AM, a fire started in the foothills of northern Colorado, about 15 miles west of the city of Fort Collins. Since about 2004, much of the west has been in an historic drought. We've had a couple years of normal or above normal precipitation, then we go right back to drought. This past March, our wettest month, we had 0" precipitation. Since then, we've had just over 1" of precipitation.
In our changing climate, extremes are the new normal. The winters, here in Colorado, just don't get cold enough to kill the pine beetles, and now they've decimated our beautiful forests. In the area I live in, maybe 90% of the pine trees have died, and are ready to burn like they were made of gasoline. Did I mention how much I hate Global Warming denialists?
More, and pictures of the fire, below the fold.
Where I live, it seems like Global Warming has intensified the effects of ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation). In the El Nino year of 2010, we had over 17 feet of snow, with three storms of 2 1/2 feet, 3 feet, and in April, 3 1/2 feet. This year, in a La Nina year, we barely had 2 feet of snow, with this horrendous drought condition starting at the beginning of the year.
This is what's happening in my area, but I'll bet just about everyone reading this can report very, very, weird weather in their area. From floods to droughts to warm winters to cold winters to too much snow to who knows what, the climate is changing and it's hurting in ways we've just begun to realize.
Now let me put the political spin on this very bad situation. We know the Republican denialists are not going to do a thing to try and stop the rapidly decaying climate situation that we all face. And we Democrats have some party cleaning to do (too many blue dogs), and we need a lot more Democrats throughout the country, if we want to leave a livable environment to our children. The next person who says, I'm so bummed out about Wisconsin, or Obama, or the Democrats, that I'm not going to vote or help out in the next election, I'm going to harass and scream at every post like that until Kos kicks me out.
So here is what has been happening in my neck of the woods over the past 24 hours. There's another large fire to my north in Wyoming that I can see smoke from, and numerous other fires in Colorado.
This picture is looking out my back door from about 30 miles away:
This picture is from a friend who lives in Fort Collins and was taken a couple of hours ago.
The rest of these were taken yesterday and posted in the Denver Post.