EVERYONE HAS A CLIMATE CHANGE STORY
Stories and photographs of humans living with climate change
I check the apps all the time. Sometimes when I want to go out, I see that the air quality is too bad and I think, maybe I shouldn't go running today.
I came from a community that was more impoverished. They didn't really have the privilege to care about the environment. So when I took an introduction class in college, I actually didn't realize this is a thing. I was like, what is CO2? How is it impacting us? Why doesn't anyone know about it? That's why I decided to go into it, to try to educate people as much as I can, to help with their decision-making, but I am still early in my career. This is my first year at school.
I think companies and corporations actually want to make this change. If temperatures were to rise two degrees, how would that impact all their assets? There are financial incentives to deal with the problem. That's why a lot of companies this year have decided to make all of these neutrality and net-zero goals. It does make sense. On the coast of California, on the coast of Florida -- if sea level is actually going to rise, they’re going to lose billions.
I was hiking yesterday in Wildcat Canyon and someone started a fire in the brush. Some other hikers and I put it out with our water bottles. One of the other hikers saw the guy start it. Luckily, the police caught the arsonist because one of the hikers was able to give a good description and he was still in the park.
I am so glad we were there. I have three little kids and we live just a few miles from there and with the drought, any little fire could get really big really quickly.
I’m getting ready to go to bed, the rest of the family’s asleep, and I get this major waft of smoke smell coming in through the windows. We’d had a fire on the hill a few years ago so there’s the immediate panic of, okay, this feels like it is very close. This is not just smoke coming from the fires up north.
I checked it out on my phone and saw that yes, there was this fire happening up on our hill. I had to kind of spring into action to collect some belongings and get my family safely out. Fortunately, we had a place that we could go to in Fairfax for the night, and even more fortunately, these great local firefighters were able to get it contained and under control in a matter of hours.
Up there in San Rafael, we just voted to put resources into preparing the area, clearing out underbrush, doing what we could preemptively. I think that helped too because there wasn’t as much fuel to be burned.
A lot of us had to be evacuated that night. It was definitely a bit of a wake-up call.
Back in South Africa, we had literally no water. We had to do blanket wash. There was just no water for months. [Here] it's nice not having to worry about taking a bath and drink. I drink a lot of water and I drink from the tap. I'm a nanny and I try to get the kids to be more aware. I'm just amazed because [since I’ve been here], I haven't seen that much rain. I've seen [only] a handful of rain. I'm surprised that the water hasn't gone off yet.
WE ARE BUILDING A BANK OF CLIMATE CHANGE STORIES TOLD BY THE HUMANS WHO LIVE WITH IT EVERY DAY HERE IN THE BAY AREA
Each one of us here in the Bay has a climate change story. Reach out and tell us yours, talk to your community about climate change, and join the local climate movement with our partners at 350BayArea.org
STORIES BUILD COMMUNITY
With this initiative, our goal is to collect the many variations of the climate change story we are living with here in the Bay Area. Toxic air, wildfire evacuations, unlivable heat - our daily lives are changing and we need to hear each other's stories.
BUILDING A MOVEMENT
We are poised here in the Bay to build a climate movement and makes change in our region and beyond. Humans of the Bay is proud to be partnereed with 350 Bay Area, a visionary organization that is building a local climate movement which has the power to shape our community's, our nation's, and our world's future. We believe that the first step is telling our stories and hearing each other's stories - not of what we fear might happen years from now - but what is happening right now.
WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? TALK ABOUT IT AND TAKE ACTION.
The most important first step you can take as an individual is to talk about climate change. Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. We will build a movement as diverse and varied as our community - but only by joining hands with each other.
We can solve the climate emergency but only if we act together as one.