I read the stories on the Russian peat fires, the ones that have been choking Moscow, and I’m just astonished. I can’t believe a society could so thoroughly misunderstand their soils, especially their peat soils. Did they never consider what would happen over years of mis-using them? Didn’t they have scientists to tell them how draining peat soils for decades would combine with the effects of climate change, causing ahistoric calamities? Where were their leaders to point out in advance the size of the risk they were taking on, and urging them to take precautions before the conflagration hit? How were their villagers willing to live right on the edge of the potential disaster, willfully blind to the high possibility of instantaneous life-threatening change? Those poor people, realizing that now that their system has collapsed, they’ll have to fight the on-going effects for years and dedicate substantial water resources to the problem. How horrible for them. Thank god things like that only happen in backwards poorly-governed oligarchys and kleptocracies.