Friday, December 30, 2016

Went through a year's worth of newspaper clippings on wildfires. Most of them had the same content--global warming is kicking our ass. But once I've said that, I'm not sure there is much more to say.

Most experts figure about half the increase in fires is due to climate change, and half to weather cycles.

Some interesting facts. 14% of homes in Oregon are in jeopardy from wildfires. There are 66 million dead trees in California. There are 70 million acres that are in danger. Every degree of temperature increase creates more lightning storms; rinse and repeat.

I inserted these facts and others throughout the manuscript.

Interestingly, there isn't a single policy where there aren't two sides fighting it out, which is part of the problem. Everyone sues everyone and nothing gets done.

But they can always do another study.

Today I'm thinking about writing a new scene, to include the Yarnell Fire. A movie is coming out next year called "Granite Mountain" which is about this disaster. It's the only new scene I'm contemplating writing in this draft, and it's to bring to life some of the dry facts of the chapter immediately proceeding and immediately after.

There is a great book here somewhere, and I'm clawing my way toward it. I challenged myself with this book and that's a good thing. But I may have overreached my skill level. I really wanted to get across the danger and size and the pathos of it all.

I'm not done yet. I'll just keep at it until I can't think of anything more to do.


Dave Cline said...

(Don't think this made it through earlier this afternoon)

Some random aspects of climate change that may affect forest fires:

The loss of Arctic Ice alters the path of the jet stream which may tend to dry or wet northern hemisphere locales more than others. This is still theoretical but there is science to back it up.

Oddly enough, the increased CO2 (400ppm+ now), is actually benefiting the taiga forests. Siberian and Canadian forests are expanding because of the higher temp and increased CO2. This evidence is contentious however, too.

New species of trees are moving north.

New species of insects are moving north.

New species of fungus and disease are moving north.

"North" also means higher altitudes.

Firefighters are becoming internationalized. Specialists may work in Siberia, Australia, Canada... where-ever they are needed. This may also put a squeeze on the availability of forces to fight local fires. If many fighters are called upon to put out fires in Finland or Argentina... They won't be available to fight the Fires of the Djinn.

Duncan McGeary said...

I'm trying to find the line between a thriller and putting in facts. Looking to Crichton as a model. But yeah, the whole thing is fascinating.

I know that I'll get slammed by some reviewers for being "political" but so be it.

Dave Cline said...

In this day and age, peanut butter is political; hayfever is political, roasted marshmallows are political (I assume ol' Muhammad's buddies toast a few in 'Terror by Fire').