Nobody ever questions why we live on Earth.
We are born here and grow up here. We live here and die here. It's simply our domain, the ground that all of our life’s challenges and triumphs stand on. It merely seems irrelevant when compared to all of the stress and hardship humans go through every day.
However, Earth is not something we can disregard. It needs care; it needs maintaining. It needs to be treated like anything tactile that we own. Except it’s not treated that way.
In late December of 2021, my cousin and his fiancee, who live in Colorado, had to evacuate their home because of horrific wildfires that burned 1,000 homes. Climate change has set record drought and high temperatures to the Front Range, temperatures reaching the highest they have been since the early 1960s. After visiting the remains of houses affected by the blaze, President Joe Biden stated, “We can’t ignore reality.”
On September 9th, 2020, residents of San Francisco woke up, not to a blue-skied, idyllic, sunny day, but a deep orange glow blanketing the sky. No, it was the color of rust. Across the state and the Pacific Northwest, almost 500,000 acres were ablaze, and some of that smoke converged over the Bay Area, mixing with the city's fog. Here in Massachusetts, all we got was a light haze.
Additionally, starting in June 2019 and peaking around early 2020, bushfires blazed across Australia, and burned more than 9,300 buildings and burned more than 46 million acres of land. These fires were historic, and they impacted Australians more than the COVID-19 pandemic, which followed later that year.
It hurts to see climate change become more visible year after year, with at least 650 casualties in the US due to climate-related disasters just in 2021. As someone who lives in the Northeast, climate change does not affect my life to the point where my life is at risk. Though it feels so helpless being one of 8 billion people on this earth. I firmly believe that if we all do our part, 8 billion of us, there will be positive changes in our environment.
To view more information go to ‘We can’t ignore reality’: Colorado fires highlight urgency of US climate legislation and California’s 2020 fire siege