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Fired Up

The California Camp Fire has led to the loss of countless lives and homes, proving to be one of the worst natural disasters to have hurt California. It is a sign that now, more than ever, we have to step up against the dangers of climate change instead of ignoring our self created environmental problems.

By Guru Ramanathan


The recent California wildfires, dubbed the Camp Fire, has been the most dangerous natural disaster to hit the coast of California. Countless lives were lost in the raging embers and the story only escalated to pop headlines once it was revealed that several actors and filmmakers lost their homes in the fires as well. The pictures and videos that are spreading online are ghastly, depicting an apocalyptic landscape that makes one question if it can even be called a part of California anymore. The blazing inferno should certainly be a call sign that perhaps, after all, there are greater natural forces at play in our environment that have been too long ignored.

And in response to this tragedy, while families are in terror and even the upper elite are left with no place to run, what is the response from higher authorities but a strict denial of such an issue. Blame is directed at federal funding, at the first responders, at the people who are trying to escape calamity.

When the world is burning, is all we are meant to do hide in the comfort of our unaffected habitats? I’m certain the people of California, especially the Hollywood elite whose houses were destroyed or the several innocent lives taken in the fire, thought their own homes were safe from danger when they first bought it. It’s reasonable that once one is personally affected by a disaster the perception of the issue suddenly changes and they are all the more driven to stop it. It sounds blatantly selfish but it’s also human nature.

But we have come to a point where climate change cannot be denied because, as we have seen, doing so is only hurting us and taking lives. We have to stop worrying about the implications of what such radical shifts in industries, or everyday life, could mean for right now and think about the future. It is not easy to convince an entire world, especially one that is getting its information from conflicting sources — or, there are sects of the world that are not being informed whatsoever — to change but the California fires are but one example of many that indicate that the time to move forward is now.

The California fires present a real issue: the world, our own home, is burning and when it goes down it will take us with it. We have to be our own salvation just as we are currently our own devastation.