Not the Obligatory Spencer Post

Satellite-derived fire sites today. (click image for higher resolution.)

Sorry if I’m not in the thick of the soap opera this week.

We are kind of sliding into a full blown catastrophe around these parts. It seems not quite timely to be playing paranoids and nerds right now.


  1. Yes to Pangolin's remark. Attention to a number of details moves odds in favor of survival. Spark arresting metal cloth in eave vents or (better) roof-wall transitions that don't trap heat, covering windows with metal shutters, (many homes apparently ignite inside first, depending on what's just behind windows), keeping flammable garden accessories and plantings away from the house, etc. Once you're aware of these things they seem like plain common sense, difficult to forget. On the other hand, this episode is a hint at what happens to places that are relatively marginal for human habitation, should conditions change for the worse just a little bit. In the case of Texas we're trading energy for space, as anybody who has noticed the universal ambient tinnitus of air conditioning compressor noise in the wee hours of the morning in Houston can attest. "Straining to stay comfortable" is the phrase that comes to mind. How hard do we want to work for that?We're told that the equation of cost for space in Texas is due for a change; whatever the balance of causes, this summer in Texas ought to be considered a teachable moment in terms of our approach to maintaining our presence there.

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