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Dreamed 2013/9/14 by Wayan

Scorched map of central USA from the Mississippi to the Rockies; dream image by Wayan.

I'm in a huge campground with no true tents, just open-walled booths--their roofs offer the only shade. Endless booths, and each one represents a different Plains tribe. If it's a powwow, it's a weird and formal one--the booths are carefully arranged to reflect the tribe's territories. It's like a living map of Native America east of the Rockies. No, wait, several booths represent Federal bureaucracies! As if they too are tribes. So strange. Is this some kind of treaty convention or continental council?

All the tribespeople wear big fuzzy yellow-orange blankets. I'm told they symbolize the dry late-summer prairie grass.

An Oklahoman or West Texan chief--he sounds Apache, but I don't know what group--gives a well-attended talk at his booth. He's projected what climate change will mean on the prairie, and it's alarming: more warming and drought in the north than south, and so many more fires from lightning strikes that all the northern high plains will burn annually. And it'll spread south steadily till every house from the Mississippi to the Rockies and Canada to Mexico will be under permanent siege!

Since this camp is a living map, that means a fire will soon sweep the booths and burn all those yellow blankets standing for groundcover. We'd better be on open ground and toss off the blankets fast...

Most of the tribespeople take his warning seriously. but the few white Republicans present pooh-pooh the chief's projections. "Just more liberal propaganda." Really? I run the Apache guy's calculations too, and they look right. But nobody listens to me. However, the staffers at the Bureau of Indian Affairs booth ALSO check his numbers, and they too think his projection's pretty sound.

Never thought I'd be cheering those BIA guys, but...

FEMA, the disaster agency, runs a quick projection. "If we take strong steps NOW the results will be costly but tolerable. Inaction? The best case is billions annually, the worst case is... zero. Not zero losses, zero economy. Whole states just get abandoned."

Not the new Dust Bowl that some of us feared. A Fire Bowl.


Because it looks like the deniers will go on, regardless of facts--till they build the Firebowl.

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