I stayed up last night shopping for an air filtration mask for my 3-year-old because we’re experiencing hazardous air quality here in Sacramento, CA.
California is on fire, and there’s nowhere to escape for a breath of fresh air. The Camp Fire is reportedly the deadliest wildfire in the United States in a century.
In Northern California, it has caused unhealthy air for most of the region for the better part of a week now. As soon as you step outside, it looks like fog, but it’s smoke pollution. It smells and feels terrible to breathe. Today, the situation escalated with particle levels (PM 2.5) above 300, triggering a hazardous air warning.
That means we need to stay inside and close our doors and windows to avoid irreversible damage to our lungs or triggering an immediate respiratory issue.
Schools are closed. Children haven’t been able to play outdoors all week, and now they’re getting cabin fever.
I called my grandma to check in on her and reminded her to stay indoors. She lives even further away from the fire in Fremont, CA, but that area is also under an “unhealthy air” advisory. She told me how difficult it is to breathe and how she started wheezing this morning when she left the house for her doctor’s appointment.
As we are rearranging our schedules and researching what we can do to protect ourselves, dozens of people have died. Hundreds more remain unaccounted for as rescue teams and firefighters continue their battle against the Camp Fire in Butte County. Meanwhile, in Southern California, over 500 homes and other structures were destroyed by the Woolsey Fire this week.
The cost of pollution adds up for everyone, and it costs too damn much. This is a moment to raise our voices, as mothers, fathers, young people, grandparents, health workers, emergency personnel, and people experiencing the costs of climate pollution in our daily lives.
Will you share your story? If you’re being affected by pollution where you live, your story has power. Whether it’s wildfires, power plants, or transportation pollution, all of these affect our health and wealth. Record a video or write to us to share your story.
Climate change is making the fires worse. The average wildfire season is now 78 days longer than in 1970, and drier conditions are making fires harder to put out.
All too often, the media coverage fails to acknowledge the role climate change plays in major disasters, from wildfires in the West to more frequent and severe hurricanes in the Gulf Coast. We need to hold this administration accountable on climate action.
As a mother, what’s happening now is infuriating, and I feel compelled to share. Thank you for letting me share my climate cost story. I hope you’ll speak up now and share your own story using #MyClimateCost.
Our stories have power. By raising our voices together, we can rewrite the narrative and inspire the change we need to see in our communities and the world.
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