|Gila National Forest, New Mexico, May 25, 2012|
For the second year running, a wildfire in the forests of New Mexico has become the largest ever in the history of the state. The Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex, the firefighters call this year's epic foreshadowing of Wyrmwood. It has burned an area of the state larger than New York City and shows no sign of slowing down. The entire American West faces another inferno summer of horizon spanning flame, with record forest fires expected as the region enters a period of long-term drought.
Meanwhile, government officials and business leaders, near from the smoke or far, routinely assume that disappearing water supplies, incinerated ecosystems, and accelerating climate change will naturally fail to hinder their plans for indefinite expansion of cities, commerce, and population.
Congress, for its part, stands ready to implement budget cuts that will shrink national firefighting resources in the face of drastic increases in fires. Funding for carrier battle groups, counter-insurgency troops, and drone armadas may or may not be subject to cuts of their own.
The lead story on Yahoo News declares: "Diff'rent Strokes star to divorce." Young amateur baseball players in towns gutted by WalMart prepare for the major league draft. Superheroes on screens made of silver save New York from an alien armada thousands of times before the weekend is done. And, we are told by the grave intoning of a foreign policy web site, that Obama's drone war has not gone far enough.
Toward Bethlehem, to be born.