Climate Fires Foreshadow Earth’s Future


Ryder Yarbrough

During the month of September of 2020, students of North Creek High School, and Washington inhabitants alike, were hit unexpectedly by a smoky warning from Mother Nature.

Massive fires surged across the West Coast, and the effects were devastating. A 1-year-old boy was tragically killed, and his parents severely burned, as they tried to outrun the Cold Springs fire in Okanogan. Countless houses have been turned to ash, and many other lives have already been lost.

“These are not just wildfires, these are climate fires,” said Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee. He strongly argues that these fires are directly related to climate change, and his points can’t be ignored. 

“More acres burned yesterday than in 12 years of the last entire fire seasons in the state of Washington,” said Inslee, during a press conference on September 8. 

The effects of these massive fires spread for miles, engulfing even the North Creek campus in hazardous smoke. Like many others, I had to stay locked inside for days. If climate change wasn’t affecting your life before, it is now.

Climate change is one of the next big problems in every human’s future, so it is crucial to educate students while we still have a fighting chance.

It is quite apparent to most people at this point that climate change is a problem, however, many still do not realize the effects. Some may argue that there is little to no correlation between the recent fires and climate change. Although I wish this was the case, research and science clearly show otherwise. 

“It is way too late to be debating this,” said Inslee. “This is not a debate. The time for excuses, for denial, for downplaying this. Those days are over.” A problem as dangerous as these fires deserve more optimistic cooperative action and fewer arguments.

I expect the majority of people that will read this article are about as young as I am. We feel that there is not much we can do with our minuscule influence and resources. In a perfect world, I would suggest that everyone switch to renewable energy, and live life with as little carbon emissions as possible, and everyone would follow. However, that is quite literally impossible in today’s world. 

Two things I can confidently suggest doing are to bring up the conversation of saving our planet with as many others as possible, and to support those who are taking action. Staying focused on the idea that climate change is real, and happening as you read this will have benefits over time.

Also, North Creek now has an Environmental Action Club led by science teacher Claire Farr and several students. The club’s main focus this year has been that small changes make a big difference.

Currently, the club is launching projects to spread awareness, and clean up our environment. They argue that even as a teenager, you can always do something that leads to a greater end result. If you would like to learn more about this amazing club, you can follow their Instagram account (@northcreek_eac), or contact Farr.

I believe if more communities across the United States developed and supported clubs like this one, more students could stay educated and use their resources to force positive environmental change.

These fires were not the beginning and they will not be the end of what is to come regarding our planets declining health. Our planet desperately needs our help, and that all begins with you. Do some research, support those like North Creek’s Environmental Action Club, and contribute however you can to save every inhabitant of this world.