I know most people refer to the fires raging up and down the West coast as wildfires, but they are actually climate fires. Humans are the reason so much is being destroyed. Humans are the reason so many animals are being killed. Humans are the reason the air is so terrible. Humans are the reason the landscape will never be the same.
The following facts should be kept in mind:
- At least 10 Oregonians have so far lost their lives to the fires.
- Dozens of Oregonians are missing as a result of the fires.
- The state believes the fires will be a mass fatality event.
- Hundreds of homes have been destroyed in Oregon.
- Roughly 40,000 Oregonians have been ordered to evacuate their homes.
- Officials don’t know when the level three evacuations will be lifted, allowing people to return home.
- The Riverside and Beachie Creek fires, the largest fires in the state, could burn until late October.
- So far, neither of those fires has been at all contained.
- The Portland area has regularly experienced the worst air quality in the world over the last few days.
- Four hours, the Air Quality Index was over 500, the highest point on the scale.
- The Air Quality Index has been above the hazardous level for days.
- California and Washington are experiencing their own historic fires.
As I have been reading reports on the fires and watching coverage on television, I have been unable to let go of the reality that neither political party is interested in ensuring we have clean air and water. Republicans, as we know, have no issue killing people and destroying air, land, and water to make a few dollars. But Democrats aren’t much better. Democrats refuse to consider a solution that approaches the scope of the problem and they are so afraid of labor unions that they won’t begin a discussion on the benefits to labor of solutions to our climate crisis.
As the West coast literally burns, we have to face the reality that none of our current leaders care about us or our planet. Simply voting for those who say they care but really don’t will accomplish nothing. Our world is being destroyed and Democrats are talking about Donald Trump’s tweets.
I’m more disillusioned with politics than I would have once thought possible. Honestly, things feel kind of hopeless. There is no leader on the ballot. There is no one with moral courage on the ballot. There is no one on the ballot who will even try to solve the serious problems we face.