Editorial: Wake Up And Smell The Fires

We are no strangers to California wildfires, but one of the most recent ones, which has been deemed California’s largest single wildfire, hits home more than most.

According to CNN, the El Dorado Fire in San Bernardino County was sparked by a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used at a gender reveal party. If this isn’t any indication of just how much of an impact each individuals has on one another and the planet, then we’re afraid to see what else there is to show for it. 

Knowing that one party, with the innocent intentions of celebrating an exciting event, can result in over 19,000 acres burned just goes to show the monumental consequences that can result from ignorance and lack of regard for the planet.

It was not only terrifying, but also appalling to learn that the hazy skies looming ominously over Connecticut the last few days was actually to be attributed to the smoke that made its way 3,000 plus miles across the country from the western wildfires.

If the world doesn’t “wake up and smell the fires” soon then the chance to take action will slip by us. In fact, the new “Climate Clock” in New York City stresses the importance of this. It is saddening to think about how Manhattan’s Metronome’s digital clock, which once told time, now tells our remaining time to alter our impact on climate change.

Will we need more than a 62-foot-wide, 15-digit electronic clock for us to wake up and take action?

When will we realize we are not invincible, nor is our planet and its resources? 

When will we realize that if we want any chance of growing old on this planet we must immediately begin to combat climate change?

For over 4.5 billion years, it has protected us. It has given us life, a place to live, and a place to sustain our needs. Unfortunately, we have not taken good care of the house that has given us life.

Many things are happening to our earth, including the wildfires across Western states. Let us start questioning ourselves; isn’t this proof enough for us that we have taken advantage our earth to the extent where it is exhausted?

California Governor Gavin Newsom told CNBC the worst is yet to come if people do not consider what the earth demands of them.

“California, folks, is America fast forward. What we’re experiencing right here is coming to communities across the United States of America unless we get our act together on climate change,” Newsom said.

While some might say the fire happening from afar in California or Arizona has no impact in their lives – it sure it impacts every human being because this is our earth. Maya Angelou once said, “We need joy as we need air. We need love as we need water. We need each other as we need the earth we share.” We are the inheritors of the earth, and each of us has a role in preserving it.

The magnitude of the fire may not impact you, wherever you are in Connecticut. However, it has taken lives, destroyed communities, and has caused what could be hundreds of billions of dollars in damage. The impact it has created is a message to all of us that we must come together to combat climate change – if we do not work together and hold hands in unity, climate change will take over the place we all call home.