All posts tagged: natural environment

Living Through the End of California

Living Through the End of California

[ad_1] In his 1998 book, Ecology of Fear, Mike Davis, the late California muckraker and self-proclaimed Marxist environmentalist, made the case for “letting Malibu burn.” He pointed out that the city of Los Angeles devoted more resources to dealing with the wildfires that rage in the wealthy enclave of Malibu than to the ones that break out in downtown tenements. And yet, Malibu’s very design ensures the return of fire. “The Malibu nouveaux riches built higher and higher in the mountain chamise with scant regard for the inevitable fiery consequences,” he writes. Why not return to the wisdom of native Californians, who knew that small, controlled fires were necessary for preventing bigger ones? I was in Los Angeles on one of the occasions when Malibu burned, in the 2018 Woolsey Fire. More than 30 miles away, in West Hollywood, not knowing any better, I went about my day, like everybody else, walking, shopping, doing errands, even as white ash fell onto our heads, as gently as snow. I thought about that day as I read …

Libya’s Unnatural Disaster – The Atlantic

Libya’s Unnatural Disaster – The Atlantic

[ad_1] Footage and eyewitness accounts have conveyed harrowing scenes from the storm-struck Libyan town of Derna: overflowing morgues and mass burials, rescuers digging through mud with their bare hands to recover bodies, a corpse hanging from a streetlight, the cries of trapped children. Two aging dams to Derna’s south collapsed under the pressure of Storm Daniel, sending an estimated 30 million cubic meters of water down a river valley that runs through the city’s center and erasing entire neighborhoods. Some 11,300 people are currently believed dead—a number that could double in the days ahead. An estimated 38,000 residents have been displaced. Libya has seen no shortage of suffering and misery since the 2011 revolution that toppled its longtime dictator, Muammar Qaddafi. Yet Storm Daniel promises to be a singular event. Already, Libyan commentators inside the country and out are pointing to the apocalyptic loss of life in Derna as the product not simply of a natural disaster, but of Libya’s divided and ineffectual governance. The west of the country is run by the internationally recognized …