Opinon: Our country in peril

Earlier this week President Donald J. Trump visited McClellan Park, the site of a former airbase, just outside Sacramento, according to KYVU Fox TV Channel 2.

He was visibly appalled by the devastation that was once California’s beautiful forests. He came to California to console the victims of the raging wildfires that have burned and destroyed forests, homes, businesses and innocent lives.

He came to get votes. He needs to attract constituents from California that usually vote for liberal candidates. Many of his supporters turned out to greet him.

The wildfires that have burned thousands of acres and destroyed thousands of lives can be attributed to decades of poor forest management. In the 1980s and 1990s, environmental groups convinced like-minded judges to rule in favor of eliminating logging and many other forms of forest management. Climate change is also blamed by some for contributing to the cause of the wildfires.

The blame game in the middle of a crisis is rarely productive. After the fires are contained is time to point fingers and assign blame. Those responsible should be severely punished for the catastrophic wildfires, turning California into a wasteland of charred branches and piles of ashes. The blame is so massive there is enough to go around. What matters is to stop repeating the same actions and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein is credited with saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Ben Franklin also might have said that first, according to the History Channel. It doesn’t matter who said it first. The statement makes sense and is a champion for changing tactics.

The ash and pollution choking the former “Golden State,” is being compared to nuclear winter. Nuclear winter is a period of cold and darkness in the aftermath of a nuclear bomb detonation. The atmosphere in California is not quite as severe as a true nuclear winter, but it is close.

Leave it to diet-conscious California to experience what might be called nuclear winter-lite.

People with respiratory issues and other such ailments are suffering from increased shortness of breath, irregular heart rhythms, fatigue and other maladies. The inability to breathe properly is tiring enough, add to that the poor quality of the available air and the bad situation becomes critical.

This planet is already dealing with a Coronavirus pandemic. Add to that poor air quality and it spells disaster with the potential to kill millions all by itself.

Firefighters and other first responders are the actual superheroes who put their own lives and their families on hold while performing their jobs. They continue to staff hospitals, trauma centers, evacuation sites and refugee shelters. The crews of Cal Fire join fellow firefighters to battle California wildfires that are less than 20 percent contained and have already burned more than 22 million acres as of this writing.

The United States owes a huge debt of gratitude to all its first-responders as they battle a hell-storm of fire, bad air quality and the ongoing threat of COVID-19.

In other parts of the country, tropical storms are flooding states. If the rain from those episodes could be redirected to all the wildfires in the country both problems could be improved.

Meanwhile, the cold and flu season is rapidly approaching and the CDC reports that in the six-month 2019 flu season there were some 24 to 62 thousand flu deaths. All these reports contain numbers that are difficult to fathom.

The word apocalypse is bandied about on social media and information sites on the Internet. We are advised to put our houses in order and to get right with the Lord as the threat of imminent death is a reality.

We’ve got the smoke, bring on the mirrors to help us see a brighter future if we can just survive the present.

Stay kind to one another as we struggle through these faith trying times.

Be safe and enjoy the weekend.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.