Jalen’s Story




Eugene, Oregon

How are you sensing climate change?

I have sensed climate change most recently through wildfires.
I can see them creeping up around Eugene, making the sun a bright, vampire red.
I can hear the way the news and the community talks about the fires. Their discussions wrought with fear and helplessness.
I can feel the ash on my skin on especially bad days. The heat makes my arms sticky, and they cover with dark flakes.
I can taste the air that I breathe, and it tastes like heat and smoke.
I can smell the fires nearby, creeping closer and closer to me.
It’s only a matter of time.

How do these changes make you feel?

They make me feel helpless to the strength of heat, wind, and oil companies. I know that when a fire comes, there’s nothing I can do but revert to survivalist instincts. Using an ethic of care framework to analyze the situation, our ability to care for our environment isn’t possible when we are forced to make survival decisions, rather than environmental ones. To fully utilize our human instinct of caring, we have to do the action before the emergency comes to fruition.




Eugene, OR USA

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