Hazy Days Are Here Again
by C.A. Matthews
Hazy days are here again—Smoky skies and tears to lendThe environment is screwed my friend!Hazy days are here again!(*Sung to the tune of Happy Days Are Here Again)
If you don’t think it's possible to write an article incorporating a climate catastrophe story along with the opening bell of an alternative party presidential run story, then you have another thing coming to you! It’s also includes poorly written filks of old tunes as segues. (Sorry about that, but they just seem to fit.)
In the news climate-wise, people in New York City were forced to give up breathing this past week due to particulate pollution caused by Canadian wildfires. The Air Quality Index (AQI) in parts of Brooklyn reached 484 — nearly double San Francisco’s highest hourly reading during California’s 2020 fire season. And it wasn’t just New Yorkers who were gasping for air. The smoky haze and micro-particulate clouds covered skies from Illinois to Ohio to Pennsylvania to South Carolina to New York State to Maine… In fact, just about everybody east of the Mississippi experienced horrible air quality indices this week.
It’s also pure coincidence that my garden in Northwest Ohio hasn’t seen a speck of rain in over 21 days—setting a dry spell record that is unheard of in the Midwest since the “Dust Bowl” era of the 1930s. The brown, hazy skies and dry winds that smell like a permanent bonfire have only caused me to reach for my emergency inhaler a dozen times this week.
Well, who doesn’t need to quit breathing from time to time? The tears streaming down my face from my smoke-irritated eyes can go a long ways in filling our bone-dry rain barrels, too.
you’re thinking I’m being facetious, think again. Between the
millions who are still suffering from the lasting effects of COVID-19
and this recent air quality disaster, who knows just how many
Americans have or will suffer a debilitating illness that could
disable them for life? The time to take action to eliminate
the use of fossil fuels and other polluting methods to generate power
isn’t today—it was yesterday. In fact:
A new study by 50 leading scientists conducted to supplement the “information gap” between Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports said global greenhouse gas emissions have soared to a record high and are threatening to push our planet into “unprecedented” global heating.
Which leads me to the next story…
Oh, hazy day! Oh, hazy day!When Cornel West… came to show us the way!(*Sung to the tune of Oh, Happy Day)
|Cornel West at BGSU in 2017
This next story is one that has captured the focus of many a leftist thinker. Dr. Cornel West, academic, philosopher, and former Bernie Sanders delegate to the DNC, has announced that he is running for the presidency in 2024. The biggest controversy at the start of his candidacy is that Dr. West has stated he is running as a People’s Party (MPP) candidate. He’s not running as a Green Party candidate or as an independent but as a candidate for an alternative party that barely exists.
To say this has caused an explosion of conversation and cursing in online forums where Lefties hang out is an understatement. Dr. West’s decision to go with the MPP is being questioned on several levels. Does he realize that the MPP doesn’t have ballot access (or even statewide organizations) in more than a handful of states? Would he be open to becoming a “fusion candidate” that several left-leaning alternative parties such as the Green Party US would be glad to nominate, thus giving him broader ballot access and more experienced organizers? Chris Hedges has said he’d speak to his good friend about switching to the Green Party. Could we see a West/Hedges 2024 ticket? We’ll see.
UPDATE: Chris Hedges did talk to Dr. West and he has decided to run as a Green after all! The West campaign website doesn't reflect this recent change in Dr. West's plans yet, so please be patient.
It’s early days so Dr. West has time to change his mind about running, or he could simply switch his choice in a party and run in one with less controversy attached to it. The MPP has fallen apart (in spite of its auspicious start with West, Nina Turner, Paula Jean Swearingen and other big names supporting it) because of sexual harassment and financial misuse charges brought against its current chair and founder Nick Brana. One would hope Dr. West would address the harassment mess and that Brana would step down so West could run without being associated with any nasty business.
Dr. West is a decent and compassionate human being. He might
actually believe the voting public will look past the inadequacies of
the People’s Party and concentrate on his message. One
that proves true, but for now… The
discussions and debates continue online. (UPDATE: Even with Chris Hedges talking Cornel West into running as a Green, things are still relatively up in the air and the discussions are ongoing. You're not going to please everyone, in other words!)
|West posing with friends in 2017 (photo by author)
To draw these seemingly radically different stories together—hazy, polluted skies and Cornel West running for office—I’d like to posit that only a presidential candidate of Dr. West’s moral caliber would do anything worthwhile to end the reign of the fossil fuels oligarchs and help put our ailing planet back on a path toward wholeness.
My reasoning? The duopolists take millions of dollars yearly from capitalists who don’t care about the health of the people or our Earth. (I suppose these rich types expect a ticket on Musk’s or Bezos’ rocket to their “Elysium” in space once they’ve destroyed our world.) Leftists candidates like Dr. West would more than likely put the fates of the poor and working classes before the billionaires’ bank accounts.
During a Cornel West administration, we’d probably see action taken to convert our energy grid from dirty to clean energy sources, along with punitive measures taken against capitalists who don’t cooperate in these lifesaving measures. That’s why it’s imperative those who care about their lungs, their family members’ lungs, and the health of the entire planet leave the duopolists’ ranks and join with independent thinkers to destroy the corrupt, planet-killing system currently in power.
With cleaner skies, the end of wars for oil, health care for all guaranteed, civil rights assured for the people, we’ll be singing:
Roll out those non-hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer!
(*And you thought I was done with the filks? That’s what a lack of clean air gets you. Bwahaha!)
Related Articles and Links of Interest:
Our first meeting in person with Cornel West was back in 2017 at a lecture he gave at Bowling Green State University: https://bernie2016.blogspot.com/2017/01/justice-is-what-love-looks-like-in.html
Cornel West Discusses His Presidential Campaign https://www.blackagendareport.com/cornel-west-discusses-his-presidential-campaign
Cornel West 2024 website: https://www.cornelwest24.com/
Sabby Sabs: Cornel West Joins... (video) https://www.youtube.com/live/xH434-Ze5Jk
NYC Officials Knew Wildfire Smoke Was Coming But Did Little to Protect Residents https://truthout.org/articles/nyc-officials-knew-wildfire-smoke-was-coming-but-did-little-to-protect-residents/
New York City Skyrockets To World’s Most Polluted City
Deadly wildfire smoke spreads across much of northeast US
New York Reports Worst Air Quality in the World as Smoke Creeps Along the Coast https://scheerpost.com/2023/06/08/new-york-reports-worst-air-quality-in-the-world-as-smoke-creeps-along-the-coast/
As New York Skies Darken, Delivery Workers Help Each Other
Over 115 million across US and Canada choked by smoke as massive wildfires burn out of control https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/06/08/misv-j08.html
Canada’s wildfire season off to record start, with fires burning in the East, West and Far North https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/06/06/zrbv-j06.html
Requiem for Our Species https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/requiem-for-our-species
Norfolk Southern seeks to have lawsuits dismissed over derailment, toxic chemical spill in East Palestine, Ohio
Julian Assange Dangerously Close to Extradition Following High Court Rejection of Appeal https://scheerpost.com/2023/06/08/uk-julian-assange-dangerously-close-to-extradition-following-high-court-rejection-of-appeal/
Cornel West: Running for President, Ending Ukraine War & Taking on “Corporate Duopoly” of Dems & GOP (video)
Hurting the Democratic Party is essential for revolutionaries, & voting Cornel West is our best way to do this
Dr. Cornel West Announces He is Running for President https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/dr-cornel-west-announces-he-is-running
BRICS New Development Bank de-dollarizing, adding Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe as members https://geopoliticaleconomy.substack.com/p/brics-new-development-bank-dollar-expansion
The war in Ukraine and the fight over raw materials
Patrick Lawrence: First There Were Neo-Nazis, Then There Were No Nazis, Then There Were https://scheerpost.com/2023/06/06/patrick-lawrence-first-there-were-neo-nazis-then-there-were-no-nazis-then-there-were/
FBI helps Ukraine censor Twitter users and obtain their info, including journalists https://thegrayzone.com/2023/06/07/fbi-ukraine-twitter-users-including-journalists/
Durham ignores Clinton role, and new holes, in Russian hacking allegation https://mate.substack.com/p/john-durham-ignores-clinton-role
Journalism at War https://www.scottritterextra.com/p/journalism-at-war
High Court Denies Assange Right To Appeal
Twitter Files Extra: How the World’s ‘No-Kidding Decision Makers’ Got Organized https://scheerpost.com/2023/06/07/twitter-files-extra-how-the-worlds-no-kidding-decision-makers-got-organized/
Senate Bill Calls for Investigation Into Indian Boarding Schools
New Anti-transgender Laws Will Hurt Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Religious Expression https://scheerpost.com/2023/06/07/new-anti-transgender-laws-will-hurt-indigenous-peoples-rights-and-religious-expression/
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