‘Everything is Burning Around Us’ — You Just Can’t Normalize Gatlinburg’s Freakish Fall Firestorm


There’s nothing normal about what happened to Gatlinburg, Tennessee on Monday.

Sitting at the epicenter of a freakish fall warmth and drought, the scores of fires that raged throughout the southeast into late November had, until recently, spared this sleepy tourist town resting on the slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains. But as winds roared out of the south at up to 87 miles per hour ahead of an approaching cold front on the 28th, the little city’s luck ran out.


(Fire on the mountains near Gatlinburg captured in this photo by a local resident. Image source: Twitter.)

Somewhere, a spark lit. And the bone-dry hillsides filled with ready fuels combined with hurricane force gusts to do the rest. By early evening, the skies over Gatlinburg had been painted orange. Ash and embers were carried aloft by the winds. And all around the city, mountains caught fire and…

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5 thoughts on “‘Everything is Burning Around Us’ — You Just Can’t Normalize Gatlinburg’s Freakish Fall Firestorm

  1. Have we already reached tipping points of too much greenhouse gases, too much destruction of land and water, too much encroachment on the wild and wildlife, too much destruction of biodiversity, too much population growth, too much plunder of resources, too much failure to act with appropriate speed and resolve to change the way we live? The Earth is not infinite in resources, infinite in resilience to assault, to abuse. It is astounding that a major party is denying climate change, making it a political issue rather than a science issue.

    RWith a Trump-GOP we are apparently going to be going in exactly the wrong direction.

    We need aliens to save us from ourselves, or to save Earth from us: Like Klaatu (alien) in the movie said to Helen (scientist) in The Day the Eart Stood Still, Keanu Reeves and Jennifer Connelly, “I have come here to save the Earth from you. If you live, the Earth dies. If you die, the Earth lives.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Earth_Stood_Still_(2008_film)

  2. Relation between overpopulation of humans, climate change, Poaching:

    Years of Living Dangerously: Road to Extinction
    National Geographic

    Fiesta Warinwa from the African Wildlife Foundation explains to Aasif Mandvi how climate change is killing off some of Africa’s great animals. _Years of Living Dangerously: Road to Extinction_ airs tonight, Nov. 30, at 10/9c on National Geographic. Read the full story

    • Thank you for your insightful comments, I agree with you 100%. Personally, I think we have reached the tipping point. We are just not seeing it all unravel, because it is still happening too slowly for some people to notice. I have read many articles about the destruction of ecologically vital resources like rain forests. In every article, at the root of it all was the exploding human population. This is a trend that will never stop or get better. The corporations and governments will not allow it. It is in their interest to keep the population increasing. After all if it weren’t for more people needing more stuff how would the corporations survive and prosper? The governments also take part in encouraging people to have more kids and bigger families. I think we have doomed the earth, and all animals. I wish it were different.

  3. It is bad enough that Climate Change is now worsening every week….soon we will have an Alt. Right (Neo Nazi) Regime made up of Billionaires from Wall Street, who will make Hilary look like an angel. None of these Trump cronies care about Climate Change, and Trump, of course, thinks (I use this word loosely) it is a hoax.

    Hang on tight. It is going to be a hellish 4-8 years–probably decades longer, due to the Supreme Court changes, the increasing Alt. Right agenda of privatization of just about everything, besides an even more Militarized Police State. Many of these horrendous policy changes will not just go away when Trump is no longer around.

    And, forget any “environmental or animal rights.” Reports indicate that many wild animal populations just hanging on now, will be gone. Say good-by to the ESA, EPA and probably CITES, to name just a few.

    Idiotic Americans have gotten what they voted for.


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