To govern is to forsee, to quote Simone de Beauvoir. It is an adage that others have uses and is entirely correct: like in agriculture, what's important in government is not rhetoric but being ready for what's to come. The coronavirus was national news for weeks before a single politician in California has a public plan. The President pushed it aside as a marginal event, not forseeing death, a potential recession, etc. Who is thinking about the fact that we are almost in wildfire season, which will also impact lives, economy, etc, as we wait on a coronavirus vaccine scheduled for a year.
Let's not forget that what is native to California is an ecosystem that burns naturally.
Let's not forget that what is native to California is an ecosystem that burns naturally. Unlike for the natives, such as the Tongva, who controlled this burning, contemporary California society is not only afraid of it and in its way. Fires cost billions of dollars in damage, and cause a diminishing of confidence in California as being land for one's wellbeing. In other words, fire this year would be interpreted as an apocalypse by this population and would certainly mean massive hysteria.
The chances for devastating fire are high. In ancient Chinese mythology, it was, and still is, understood that Changxi, god, has twelve daughters and each of them is a month of the year. For reasons tied to climate change, how we build, what we build, and government that does not actually know how to urbanize a biome or ecosystem without causing devastation, some of these daughters might as well be devastators for the mean time. Tie this into the fact that the coronavirus is going to cost us a lot of money and then so will the fire: you get the picture.
There is still solidarity, friendship, conversation, and action; all of which can help us in our fight to stay healthy, sane, and committed to justly settling California. Tagore, the Bengali poet, says it best with "you must make this loss good to me, my love". This isn't the last pandemic and the wildfires are coming: we must assemble and redefine government's priorities through our assembly. Only then will we be willing to forsee devastation, and not profit.