Today's smoke will blow away.

Much of the eastern seaboard is blanketed with thick, billowing smoke, either from Canadian wildfires or from Hell's welcome for Pat Robertson. The haze blocks the sun, ruins the weekend, and makes breathing difficult. Almost certainly, it will kill people — mostly the weak, the old, the emphysematic.

The headline says, "New York City had plans to deal with climate change — but they didn't involve wildfire smoke." Even the experts didn't see this coming:

"Wildfires were not really a scenario, in all honesty, that I recall us specifically contemplating," said Daniel Kass, who was New York City's deputy commissioner for environmental health from 2009 to 2016.

That's the nature of messing with nature — you don't know what'll happen. Earth's climate is a worldwide mix of infinite elements, including oodles of factors nobody quite understands. As it gets ceaselessly worse, the widely-predicted aspects of global warming will bump into the factors nobody knows, with new and always unpleasant results.

The only rule of climate change is, the climate changes. Today's clouds of smoke will blow away, but something else unexpected or unprecedented is coming, and something else after that.

Already, spring, summer, winter, and fall are not what they were in an old man's memory, and the changes are still coming. The changes will not stop. 

Some humans, perhaps many, will survive the endless storms and catastrophes, droughts, floods, famines, and disease, but humanity won't.

When simply surviving takes more and more effort, the living will have less and less time for silly things like art and science, reading, writing, 'rithmetic, or falling in love.

When the weather is always worse than it used to be, when every tomorrow brings a new disaster, do you imagine there'll still be stand-up comedy in comfortable nightclubs, pro baseball on cable TV, bookstores and libraries and restaurants, hot and cold running water, and electricity reliably wired to keep your air conditioning and internet running?

In the future that today's children will see, the lives we're leading now won't be possible. If anyone remembers the week when several states were breathing smoke, it'll be a quaint, happy memory of a better time.  


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