Fire Blanketed Lahaina in Toxic Debris. Where Can They Put It? – the New York Times

Search and Rescue Soldiers and Airmen attached to Hawaii National Guard's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and high-yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) unit assisted Maui County and State officials in the search and recovery efforts of Lahaina, August 10, 2023. (by Master Sgt. Andrew Jackson, courtesy of Hawaii National Guard, CC BY 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

Crews are sending thousands of truckloads of debris to a temporary disposal site (in Olowalu)..The coast of Olowalu is popular with snorkelers and filled with abundant sea life. In 2017, the coral reef offshore became a focal point for protection by the nonprofit Mission Blue, which advocates to protect the ocean. The organization said the reef acts as a sort of nursery to enhance reefs on other islands nearby. It also supports a large population of manta rays. “It’s environmentally precious,” said Tom Gruber, an adviser to Mission Blue. “It’s like Yosemite. You wouldn’t put a toxic waste dump upstream of Yosemite…”

As Development Alters Greek Islands’ Nature and Culture, Locals Push Back – the New York Times

The City of Fira, - Santorini, Greece - at Dusk © 2023 D Shrestha Ross

As a proliferation of pools threatens some water supplies and housing costs skyrocket, people of the Cycladic islands say the Aegean islands’ character is being lost to real-estate homogenization…“It’s very easy to talk about sustainable development, but all they actually do is approve new investments,” said Ioannis Spilanis, a former general secretary for island policy at Greece’s shipping ministry and now head of the Aegean Sustainable Tourism Observatory…

The Prescience of Octavia Butler

Octavia E. Butler Tribute NYC, June 5, 2006 (by Houari B. CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED via Flickr).

The effects of climate change are reshaping America. Those with sufficient resources retreat inside protected communities. Those with even greater resources finance an exploratory Mars mission, presumably in an attempt to one day escape Earth’s destabilization. In the political realm, a populist presidential candidate denounces claims made by scientists, promising the electorate that he’s going to “return us to the glory, wealth, and order of the twentieth century.” This is life in 2024…Or at least it’s life in 2024 as imagined by the writer Octavia Butler 31 years ago…

The Visions of Octavia Butler | Interactive – the New York Times

Quilt of Octavia Butler by Bisa Butler (no relation) at the National Portrait Gallery, November 28, 2023 (by romanlily CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED via Flickr)

(Octavia) Butler was not a climate scientist, a political pundit, or a Silicon Valley technologist…Somehow she knew this time would come. The smoke-choked air from fire gone wild, the cresting rivers and rising seas, the sweltering heat and receding lakes, the melting away of civil society and political stability, the light-year leaps in artificial intelligence—(she) foresaw them all…