Jane’s Climate Story
Eugene Oregon, 97402
How are you sensing climate change?
I personally experienced the effects of climate change through a dramatic wildfire season last summer (2020). I remember being out with my partner at a restaurant when the smoke hit. When we went in for food, the sky was a light grey-blue, definitely smoky, but nothing to be too concerned about. When we came out of the restaurant, it was dark orange, and ash falling from the sky had coated our car. The next few weeks were a scramble to tape up windows, tie filters to box fans, coordinate with loved ones, and wake up every morning to a blood-red sunrise. I worked as a full time cashier, and people would yell at me for allowing ash to coat the groceries I was bagging. I remember working in the check stand while the sky was raining thick ash, billowing in the doors every time someone walked in. Around the area, reports started coming in of armed bands of rural folks stopping cars full of POC under the suspicion that they were ANTIFA, who were rumored by the far-right to have started all the wildfires in the state. I worked with a local organization to provide mutual aid supply distribution, and saw many far-right activists using the chaos and confusion of people fleeing the hills to propagandize their organizations (like the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, etc).
How do these changes make you feel?
Now I look forward to September with a little bit of dread, and anxiety. I have spent the last year learning more about armed self defense, how to treat traumatic wounds (including gunshot wounds) and creating programs of food security and material resource distribution. I fear the skies filling up with smoke again, but I also fear the reactionary right-wing political takeovers that happen amidst chaos and confusion. Environmental ethics leads me to consider the danger of fascist political movements among the chaos of climate change, and how I can use my own personal ethic to countermand the effect fascism has on my community. The only thing that reassures me is surrounding myself with people that realize the danger of fascism in the context of climate change, and learning how to keep myself and others safe.
Eugene Oregon, 97402
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