Originally published, September 8, 2020, at 10:16 am.
September 8, 2020, 10:52 pm:
Because my mother lives near the Walbridge Fire, I was discussing her situation with a friend via SMS. My friend finds the intensity of these fires surprising but is further irritated with our delusional raging narcissist-in-chief for denying climate change.
The trouble always with this sort of talk is that Donald Trump is more a symptom of the problem than the problem itself. I explained (typos and capitalization failures are due to voice dictation):
I think people often fail to understand why I oppose Joe Biden, a neoliberal, as vociferously as I do Donald Trump. But this is the very sort of neoliberal failure that enables the Republicans and an authoritarian populist backlash. It’s a huge—I think the largest—part of the story of why Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 and why Biden may well lose in 2020.
The way things are going, I might well still be driving for Uber and Lyft in 2030—I’ll be 71 years old at that point, but I have no hope of retirement.
Meanwhile, both Uber and Lyft have now poured over $180 million dollars into their campaign for California’s Proposition 22, which would undo AB 5 and its mandate that drivers be treated as employees rather than continuing to misclassify them as “independent contractors.”
I just updated my Pixel 4 XL to Android 11. I’d seen that accessing the screenshot function would be different and I was completely failing to understand how to do this. The secret is the open apps button—that’s the square button at bottom right. Tap it and towards the bottom of the screen, there are two options: Screenshot and Select. I haven’t tried it, but the latter apparently allows you to select the area covered by your screenshot. You can also get a screenshot by holding down the power and volume down buttons simultaneously but I’m really lousy at pushing two buttons simultaneously.
California has broken its record for most acres burned in a single year after wildfires scorch more than 2 million acres. The view from space this morning shows the state completely blanketed in smoke pic.twitter.com/r5rL59h4N7
— Jon Passantino (@passantino) September 7, 2020
On a brighter note, the evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted for some areas threatened by the Walbridge Fire (figure 2).
So it’s been a couple weeks since I last paid serious attention to the Walbridge Fire. The notifications on my phone have indicated a protracted diminishing of evacuation orders to evacuation warnings to less than that. It wasn’t quite an all-clear, but even with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office announcing a new evacuation order for an area southwest of Healdsburg this morning (figure 1), the fire had seemed mostly out.
Fig. 1. Screenshot of Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, as of September 8, 2020, at 3:33 am EDT (12:33 am PDT).
The order covers some rugged terrain, but terrain that’s a lot more accessible than a lot that’s burned—you can see the perimeter as a line in red (figure 1). I gather it’s been really hot in California and I saw red flag warnings go up for the weekend, so I guess this isn’t really a surprise.
Fig. 2. Screenshot of Sonoma County Fire Incident Map, as of September 8, 2020, at 10:44 pm EDT (7:44 pm PDT).
Rosa Brooks, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Washington Post, September 3, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/09/03/trump-stay-in-office/
Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber pledges to shift to ‘100 percent’ electric vehicles by 2030,” Verge, September 8, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/8/21427196/uber-promise-100-percent-electric-vehicle-ev-2030
Michael Hiltzik, “Uber and Lyft just made their campaign to keep exploiting workers the costliest in history,” Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-09-08/uber-lyft-most-expensive-initiative
- Andrew J. Hawkins, “Uber pledges to shift to ‘100 percent’ electric vehicles by 2030,” Verge, September 8, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/8/21427196/uber-promise-100-percent-electric-vehicle-ev-2030↩
- Andrew J. Hawkins, “Lyft vows ‘100 percent’ of its vehicles will be electric by 2030,” Verge, June 17, 2020, https://www.theverge.com/2020/6/17/21294040/lyft-electric-vehicle-ev-100-percent-2030↩
- David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/↩
- Michael Hiltzik, “Uber and Lyft just made their campaign to keep exploiting workers the costliest in history,” Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-09-08/uber-lyft-most-expensive-initiative↩