Ojo Caliente

by wjw on November 21, 2007

I’ve been watching a forest fire all day. The Ojo Peak fire has been roaring away on the southern end of the Manzano chain, producing huge clouds of white smoke. The fire is on the peak of the mountain and it’s very difficult for firefighters to get to.

But more astonishing is the fact we’re having a forest fire at the end of November. And furthermore on top of a mountain, where it’s colder than my area. The fire season usually ends in July. I think I can safely say that we’re not used to this.

We’ve had a very warm and dry autumn. The last rain was, I think, very early in September. The leaves have turned but most haven’t fallen. We’ve only had a very few nights where it’s got below freezing, and those were over a month ago.

By now, the mountains north of here should be white with snow. Thanksgiving is usually the day when Taos Ski Valley opens, but they haven’t had a drop of snow. Until a few days ago, they couldn’t even make snow, because it didn’t get below freezing even at night and the snow would have melted.

In the meantime, the Kentucky legislature held a hearing on global warming and forgot to invite scientists.

“Well, I mean, where are we going to get scientists?” Gooch asked. “We’re limited here in Kentucky to what we can do. I don’t know how we’d necessarily get scientists to come here.”

The scientists are just a few miles away, Mr. Gooch. In that thing called a university, which you in the legislature fund.

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