My PSA on Climate Change

This week my husband and I went to Yosemite to get out of the city for a few days. At the time we arrived there was one active burning fire a few miles from our hotel. Within 2 days a new fire had started a few hundred feet from our hotel forcing us to emergency evacuate (yes, it was terrifying). Currently the fire has spread to over 5,000 acres, many of the historic sites are under threat as well as thousands of years old groves of giant sequoia trees. 

Right now there are forest fires actively burning in many parts of California. Go here to see areas currently burning: (I just counted 30). Meanwhile in another part of the US (Houston) they are seeing a different effect of global warming (more severe storms, rising sea levels).

Since the 1970s, forest fires happen 5 times more often, burn 6 times the land, and last 5 times longer. Fire season is longer. In 2015, 10 million acres burned in the US (an area the size of Switzerland).

90% of wildfires are started by humans, the remaining 10% are from natural causes like lightning. The cause isn’t the issue, its the longevity and intensity of the fires.

The Nitty Gritty:
Fossil fuels contain carbon. When fossil fuels are burned (aka cars, electricity, power plants), they create carbon dioxide (CO2). When carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere it traps heat from the sun. A little bit of carbon dioxide is ok because it keeps our earth warm, but a lot of it makes the earth too warm. And a warmer earth means more fires, melting ice caps, rising sea levels. Longer winters and longer periods of drought. CO2 in the ocean causes the ocean to be more acidic killing ocean life.

Stick with me, I have a point (and it's totally okay if you have to go back and re-read that, I know it's confusing)...

Trees trap and absorb carbon from the atmosphere. So, when a tree falls from a fire, more carbon stays in the air and climate change continues to get harder and harder to combat. Let’s not forget to mention that trees release oxygen back into the air…so we need them if we want to survive as a species.

Now ask yourself, “What can I do?” (This is the question I ask myself daily). So I came up with a few things to get you started:

1. Vote. Vote for politicians that not only acknowledge climate change is real but are willing to actively take a stand against it.
2. Reduce your own carbon footprint in your daily life. Use less energy, drive a more energy efficient car (ask yourself do you really need a gas guzzler?). Turn off lights when you don’t need them, take public transit, ride a bike, run your a/c and heater less (open a window instead when you can), waste less food (many foods last past their expiration date!), eat less meat and grow your own food (if you live in an area where you can), put solar panels on your roof, and take fewer plane rides (cutting back on 1-2 plane rides a year can save as much emissions as all your other actions combined).
3. Plant trees!

This is not us versus the politicians. This is about preserving our planet for future generations to come. So if we want our children and our children’s children to have life, we better all start giving a damn.


 This was taken from our hotel as we were evacuating a few days ago.

This was taken from our hotel as we were evacuating a few days ago.