September 9th, 2020 by Johnna Crider
California is on fire. Those living near the affected areas have seen drastic color changes in the skies as well as ash falling on everything. Images of the fires are making national news, and the photos flooding in are apocalyptic at best. Such as this one below taken by redditor RavenRosie — a UPS truck against a crimson sky.
Does anyone — and by anyone, I mean those in power, such as our president and the politicians in charge of policies that affect our climate — care about what’s happening to the US West Coast, which is literally on fire right now?
I think we all know the answer to that–it’s a resounding no. They don’t care.
Bruh Oregon really on fire right now…. this ain’t photoshop either!!! 😳🤯 pic.twitter.com/9Xwqd0ohPr
— Louisiana ⚜️ Boy (@FlyAir4) September 8, 2020
People really don’t know what to do right now. Everyone on the Embarcadero is stopping to record the sky and chit chatting in a way I haven’t seen since pre-pandemic @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/ueKQ4g7WTD
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) September 9, 2020
Some joked about the photo above — that they didn’t know UPS delivered to hell. Humor is something we often use to cope with trauma so that we can better process it. Having been so focused on trying to raise awareness about what’s going on here in Louisiana (hurricane aftermath), these photos coming in have made me so grateful that I am not living on the West Coast.
I can’t imagine living through a “fire season” every year. However, one natural disaster isn’t “better” or “worse” than the other — they are all horrifying and devastating in their own ways. America is burning and freezing at the same time — during the summer, no less. Yes, freezing. In Colorado, it snowed after an intense heatwave, right in between big fires also harming the state. Colorado had fires, too.
This map is sooooo 2020! pic.twitter.com/PBy1ttvfcw
— Sean Mitchell (@seanmmitchell) September 7, 2020
— Matt Zieger (@mattzieger) September 9, 2020
It seems that as America burns, freezes, and endures hurricanes that leave thousands without power during intense heat, there is a message. Many think it’s the apocalypse. In fact, #Apocalypse2020 is trending on Twitter as I write this.
I had a conversation with my neighbor last night. We spoke of the fires in California, the snow in Colorado, and the continued aftermath in Louisiana. We even spoke of the “sandstorm” in Iowa as I call it. It’s like a land hurricane, not a tornado. We know the causes of these events are related to climate change.
From clear crisp skies, due to less driving & pandemic sheltering, to burning ash hazes from extreme heat/ fires.
What drastic changes in months — #Firestorm2020 #CaliforniaFires pic.twitter.com/xin5jBNUmA
— K10✨✌️😘 (@Kristennetten) September 9, 2020
However, many of those in power — many politicians who have the funds and the power to make decisions — choose not to help. Instead, they continue to support the fossil fuel industries that are milking this planet dry until there is nothing left but flames, storms, and suffering.
And even the ones who supposedly support climate change awareness are too busy using their platform to start Twitter fights with Elon Musk to care about what’s happening on this topic. They are too hung up over the fact that he is a billionaire (all in stock) to care about the fires ravaging the West Coast. They refuse to acknowledge that Elon Musk and Amazon both donated to help with hurricane relief here in my state. Those acts go against the narratives they are pushing to their fan bases.
People like Elon Musk and companies like Amazon are doing much to provide disaster relief. There are nonprofits that are dependent on their funds and donations to help those in need.
In all honestly, people like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos shouldn’t have to clean up the messes that dirty politicians make while doing their backroom dealings with the fossil fuel industry.
For those not near Colorado we are surrounded by wildfires. The Cameron Peak fire exploded last night over 34k acres. Air quality is dangerous. My husband is on oxygen ,I have asthma. I can not breathe. My dog sneezing. It isn’t safe to go outside,it’s raining ash(cont.) pic.twitter.com/IrVyVxP7U9
— Madison McFarland (@MADELWELL) September 6, 2020
Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos are very powerful movers and shakers of their own industries, but they are not the ones in charge of running this country. Instead, we have a reality television star running our nation and making states compete against one another for aid and support. Instead of being the United States of America, we are a nation of states competing against one another for things like basic civil rights, FEMA aid, and even media attention. Those states that don’t “win” are “fired.”
The fact that Lake Charles in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura is still not a major topic of the national media is also disturbing. This crisis has been going on for 13 days now. True, we are not on fire, but in a normal America, states with natural disasters don’t have to compete for help. In Trump’s America, we do. I guess my state got fired.
It’s not just the United States burning and suffering from hurricane flooding and destruction.
The World Is Burning and Drowning, Simultaneously
The Amazon rainforest is also on fire. While we Americans are dealing with crises here at home, satellite data show that fires in the Amazon are spreading into untouched forest and that these fires will most likely have reached a 10-year high as of last month. In Brazil, there were a reported 8,373 fires in its part of the rainforest for the first 7 days of this month. This is more than twice the number of fires from last year, and 27% of these major fires are in virgin forest.
In China, there has been severe flooding going on, and a recent typhoon (another name for hurricane) has made the flooding even worse. Xinhua reported that the flood that has overtaken northeast China was typhoon-induced rainfall and that 23 rivers have seen floods running above the warning level.
Talking about all of these matters, my neighbor told me that it’s like a big competition — who has the most money, value, and assets wins. It’s all about the greed of the few who will never have to endure being displaced by a natural disaster or climate change.
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