Hothouse Earth Is Merely the Beginning of the End

by Ezra Buckley on September 2, 2018

Not the end of the planet, but maybe the end of its human inhabitants

A 747 Global Airtanker makes a drop in front of advancing flames from a wildfire Thursday, August 2nd, 2018, in Lakeport, California. Kent Porter /The Press Democrat/AP

“Our future,” scientist James Lovelock has written, “is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail.”

I thought about Lovelock the other day as I drove across Idaho, watching plumes from a forest fire rise in the distance. My mom and two of my kids were texting me about their experience driving through Redding, the city in Northern California where a “firenado” had devastated the region and accelerated a wildfire that killed six people. Not far away, in Mendocino, the largest fire in California history was burning an area the size of Los Angeles.


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