Fires occur naturally and California’s ecosystems have evolved with (and benefited from) this natural process for millennia. However, as we learned here, these fires are getting increasingly larger, more dangerous and harder to control due to climate change. I wanted to know more so read a few articles on the topic:
“What’s remarkable is that these fires are very explosive and they’re growing so quickly,” Crystal Kolden, a fire scientist at UC Merced, told the Guardian. Fires across the state are “becoming more frequent and more extreme with climate change”, she noted.
“I planted the Red Baron (tree) for the climate we once had. That climate is no more. My neighborhood has already warmed by more than 2 degrees Celsius since the preindustrial period—twice the global average. In my short time as a Californian, I’ve seen a years-long drought. I’ve evacuated my home as a wildfire closed in. I’ve lived through unprecedented heat waves.“
““Pray as if everything depended on God; act as if everything depended on you.””
Lives are being tragically lost, and homes are being destroyed, but there are other issues as well. People hundreds of miles away are being advised to stay inside because the air quality is so awful. However some don’t have electricity (fossil fuel infrastructures struggle to work in hot and dry climates) and are suffering in high temperatures with no ability to open their windows or turn on their air conditioning. Many are being forced to flee the area, especially those with respiratory issues such as asthma. However, due to Covid, this need is further complicated; it’s not as easy to stay with a friend or house people in a community center. Animals and their habitats are also perishing.
“What’s happening in California has a name: climate change. It doesn’t have to be this way. A better world is possible. For all of us, for all of our children, and even for our trees.”
So what can we do? Keep working to make changes in our lives and habits. Vote for people who believe in climate change and want to support cleaner energy and protect our environment. In the meantime, donate to your favorite charity and assist Californians. – Rachel