Free Range Free Chat

Monday. It’s Monday. The last Monday in March of 2022, and welcome to our free chat, Free Range. This is an open forum, all topics all the time, within the bounds of reason and civility, because it’s way to early for grouchy 😉.

Free Range has an environmental bent, a focus on the planet and all that’s in, on, under, around and beyond, so I guess you could say that on Monday’s Free Range, we go prepositional — and since everything comprises “environment” we concern ourselves with a massive Western drought and a heavy wildfire season, a pandemic and a war, all connected with fire from fossil fuels — oil, natural gas, coal — Is it time to “put it out” before nothing is left but the ashes. . . . .?

I know. Old Song. But nobody said it better. . . .

In a World on Fire, Stop Burning Things: The truth is new and counterintuitive: we have the technology necessary to rapidly ditch fossil fuels. 

On the last day of February, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its most dire report yet. Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, . . . . described the document as “an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership,” and added that “the world’s biggest polluters are guilty of arson of our only home.”

Then, just a few hours later, at the opening of a rare emergency special session of the U.N. General Assembly, he catalogued the horrors of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and declared, “Enough is enough.” Citing Putin’s declaration of a nuclear alert, the war could, Guterres said, turn into an atomic conflict, “with potentially disastrous implications for us all.”

From Reconsidering Thoreau in a Burning World ‹ Literary Hub (

What unites these two crises is combustion. Burning fossil fuel has driven the temperature of the planet ever higher, melting most of the sea ice in the summer Arctic, bending the jet stream, and slowing the Gulf Stream. And selling fossil fuel has given Putin both the money to equip an army (oil and gas account for sixty per cent of Russia’s export earnings) and the power to intimidate Europe by threatening to turn off its supply. Fossil fuel has been the dominant factor on the planet for centuries, and so far nothing has been able to profoundly alter that.

Further sanctions, energy market disruptions and cyberwarfare could reach Americans seemingly far removed from the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Here, Russian army tanks are loaded onto trains to move them back to their permanent base after drills in Russia.

After Putin invaded, the American Petroleum Institute insisted that our best way out of the predicament was to pump more oil. The climate talks in Glasgow last fall, which John Kerry, the U.S. envoy, had called the “last best hope” for the Earth, provided mostly vague promises about going “net-zero by 2050”; it was a festival of obscurantism, euphemism, and greenwashing, which the young climate activist Greta Thunberg summed up as “blah, blah, blah.” Even people trying to pay attention can’t really keep track of what should be the most compelling battle in human history.

For Solutions, Check out the source: The New Yorker A long read but worth it, because there are solutions.. . . .

And feel free to tell chat about what’s on your minds this Monday– I know I’m continuing to put one foot in front of the other, an accomplishment really, made easier by the News Views Community. Happy Monday all…..