The fires burning in Northern and Southern California right now are catastrophic and heartbreaking. The entire city of Paradise is devastated. Malibu is in flames. An eerie smoke rests over the Bay Area, leaving an ominous orange light and thick air through which kids are walking to school in masks. The scariest thing of all may be that due to the ever-worsening trend of climate change, this is fast becoming the new normal. While fearmongering is rarely helpful, in this case our biggest worries may become a reality.
The fact that the EPA, our government’s foremost legislative body responsible for stemming the tide of impending environmental catastrophes, was recently run by Scott Pruitt, a man who made it his mission in a past lobbying career to essentially dismantle its very foundations, should frighten every American. (Fun fact: while his former position is still officially unfilled, it’s being quasi-filled by Andrew Wheeler, an under-the-radar man with a gobble similar to Mitch McConnell’s who’s quietly and incrementally advancing the interests of the fossil-fuel industry.)
While Californians are pushing back on the White House’s sins against good ol’ Mother Nature, the sobering, unholy facts still remain: our seas are rising; our air is warming; and our flora and fauna are disappearing. The damage has been done—we’re now in crisis-management mode.
The Golden State will, unfortunately, be host to the effects of our eco-conscious shortcomings, a few of which might surprise you.