California As The Canary Of Collapse
This past year, California has been dealing with power outages deliberately done to prevent wild fires. Community leaders, business people and ordinary citizens are getting a preview of the Future in Collapse.
"Joe Fatula left the Bay Area in 2017 wanting to settle down in the mountains somewhere quiet. He chose Colfax, a small town rich with Gold Country history, and became mayor last year with the goal of boosting business on Main Street.
But his sanctuary turned apocalyptic in October. Every gas station, grocery store and restaurant closed due to massive power shutoffs as part of the state's efforts to avoid a major wildfire. The mayor found himself loaning out his personal pickup truck and RV, which have built-in generators, to the town's 2,000 residents as they scrambled to save food in their refrigerators, charge their phones and find a way to stay warm.
At all levels of government — from state officials to small-town mayors — California leaders are in uncharted territory, and scrambling to adjust their plans and operations to the realities of regular disruption. For now, their only answer to calamitous wildfires is shutting off power to millions of residents in advance, which residents now lament as a man-made disaster. Mike McGuire, the state senator representing the Santa Rosa area devastated by fires in 2017, said California is “the canary in the coal mine" as climate change threatens to upend life across the world."