The skies in northern California right now can best be described as burnt sienna, or something that you’d expect to find swirled in the whipped cream of your pumpkin spice latte.
Or, if you’ve seen Total Recall (the original, with Ah-nold and Sharon Stone), it looks just like the surface of Mars, and you’ll … recall … that Schwarzennegger’s eyes were popping out of his head as he nearly suffocated in the oxygen-less atmosphere.
Seems like a great setting to play two, if you’re Martian Ernie Banks. This is what Oakland’s Alameda County Stadium looked like on Wednesday morning, where the A’s are scheduled to play the Houston Astros.
But! Not to worry! Ash pouring into the sky from the August Complex (the area encompassing 37 fires that started on Aug. 17), near Mendocino National Park in California, has blanketed the area with an apocalyptic view — but meteorologists are saying it’s safe.
“The marine layer is a stable area of air that does not rise, and so we’re continually pumping in cleaner air from over the ocean,” according to ABC7’s Mike Nico.
Call me a skeptic, but that sounds a lot like when Christine Todd Whitman, then head of the EPA, assured New Yorkers that the air at Ground Zero was safe in the days following the 9/11 attacks.
“I am glad to reassure the people of New York and Washington, D.C., that their air is safe to breathe and their water is safe to drink,” she said.
Of course, it wasn’t safe, and hundreds of people developed respiratory ailments and died from working at the pile.
More recently, of course, we have the president saying that coronavirus would one day disappear, “like a miracle.”
There are still four months left in 2020, so the planet and its denizens still have plenty of time to find new and horrifying ways to kill us.