Fire, fire, everywhere.
We're watching the climate crisis play out not just in California, but across the world. Plus, a little good news.
A boat motors by as the Bidwell Bar Bridge is surrounded by fire in Lake Oroville during the Bear fire in Oroville, California on September 9, 2020.
This terror isn’t just playing out in our backyards. Your Twitter feed may be saturated with photos of orange skies in California and Oregon, but unprecedented, fossil-fueled wildfire is wreaking havoc on humans across the globe.
(And yes, these wildfires are fossil-fueled. Fossil fuels cause climate change; climate change causes more intense wildfires. This isn’t rocket science. It’s climate science.)
A quick scan of Getty Images shows the magnitude of the crisis we’re dealing with. Type in “wildfire,” and you won’t just get photos of The San Francisco Bay Bridge seemingly superimposed in hell. You’ll get photos of Brazil, Greece, Argentina, Indonesia, and Bulgaria, all of which have been dealing with chaotic wildfire over the last month, during one of the hottest years—if not the hottest year—in recorded history.
Here are just a few examples.
A fire destroyed Greece's largest Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, on September 9, 2020. Greek authorities on September 10 were racing to shelter thousands of asylum seekers left homeless on Lesbos after the island's main migrant camp was gutted by back-to-back fires, which destroyed the official part of the camp housing 4,000 people. Another 8,000 lived in tents and makeshift shacks around the perimeter and many were badly damaged. Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
A wildfire is currently raging in Athens, Greece, too. In this photo, firefighters work to put out a wildfire in Anavyssos, south of Athens, on September 9, 2020. Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images.
Out of control forest fire burns the area of the Brazilian Pantanal in rural Pocone, Mato Grosso, Brazil, on August 19, 2020 in the largest fire ever recorded in the rich biome. The Brazilian Pantanal—one of the largest tropical floodplains in the world—has been suffering since the end of July with the worst wildfires in its registered history. More than 12 percent, or 16,500 square kilometers (almost the size of Kuwait) has already been burned, and the situation may get better only in October, when it's expected to rain. Photo by Gustavo Basso/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
An elderly farmer who set fire to rainforest around his property walks away as the fire approaches their house in an area of Amazon rainforest, south of Novo Progresso in Para state, Brazil, on August 15, 2020. Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images.
Wildfires burn in Casa Grande on August 26, 2020, in Cordoba, Argentina. Wildfires, fueled by wind and droughts, are raging Argentina's Cordoba province, threatening to destroy homes and forcing evacuations in some areas. Photo by Sebastian Salguero/Getty Images.
Significant damage was inflicted by the fires in Bulgaria in the Haskovo region, which destroyed more than 100,000 acres of forests, agricultural land, dry grass, and burned several agricultural buildings and houses in the village of Filipovtsi, located on the Bulgarian-Turkish border. Six storks were rescued at a wildlife rescue center that is currently recovering. Photo taken August 15, 2020 by Hristo Rusev/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
Firefighters extinguish a forest fire that grabbed a chicken coop in Ogan Ilir Regency, South Sumatra, Monday, August 31, 2020. Photo by Sigit Prasetya/NurPhoto via Getty Images.
A bit of good news to follow the bad
Climate change sucks. It has sucked, this week, particularly bad. But I do have a little bit of good news: yesterday was HEATED’s one year anniversary. We have been officially trying to combat this suck for an entire freakin’ year.
On Monday, I’ll be sending out a longer newsletter laying out our biggest accomplishments in that span of time. (Sorry paid subscribers, I know I said I’d do it today, but it’s taking me a little while).
For now, I’m just going to send you part of the note I sent paid subscribers yesterday, in the hopes that it might brighten up your day just a bit.
When I quit my job at The New Republic last year to start this thing, I had no idea if it would work. “It’s a risk,” I wrote in my journal last summer. “But nothing good has ever happened in my career that wasn’t risky.”
More than 200 articles and 30,000 subscribers later, the risk has paid off. HEATED has become a model publication for other journalists seeking freedom and stability, and a forced to be reckoned with in the climate world.
We have interviewed powerful figures like Al Gore and John Kerry and Greta Thunberg; exposed wrongdoing and hypocrisy from corporations and politicians; and become a leader in making the connections between the coronavirus and climate change.
Most importantly, we’re making an impact. Activists groups have used our reporting to start national campaigns. Senators like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have used our stories to push for policy change. We got Tim Ryan kicked off the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge.
I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done this year. I couldn’t be prouder of you all for making it happen.
Our little community is making a difference, one newsletter at a time. You can help it continue to thrive by becoming a paid subscriber today.
Have a good weekend!
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Stay hydrated, eat plants, break a sweat, and have a great day!