Bryce’s Climate Story


Bryce Van Derveer


Colorado Springs, CO 80906

How are you sensing climate change?

Growing up in Colorado Springs, I’ve always experienced drought. It was normal to my eyes, I knew no different, but I remember 2012 feeling different. It was a particularly dry spring and summer that year and there were routing warnings about fire safety throughout the community, even on the pinboards at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which I was attending that June day. I recall pointing out a small-looking column of smoke out to the NW, a fair ways away. It wasn’t uncommon to have small fires throughout the summer, so we weren’t very worried at the time, even finishing our zoo trip. Needless to say, this fire became huge, forcing myself and many of my neighbors to flee. The Waldo Canyon fire went on to take 2 lives and burn more than 18,000 acres of woods and developments west of my hometown. Though the fire was deemed to be human-caused, its believed that the excessive dryness and unusually high winds that season were responsible for its growth, and the inevitable charring of a beloved stretch of the mountainside.

How do these changes make you feel?

I was and still am saddened by the burn scars. I had a lot of anxiety this last September during the Mckenzie River Holiday Farm fire, fleeing almost immediately upon hearing the news, despite not being in any immediate danger. Knowing that drought had a hand in both of these frightening events is heartbreaking. An Environmental Ethics class I’m in has helped inform my love of the mountains. The land is owed its own standing, and watching it burn was really difficult.




Colorado Springs, CO

Ikym’s Story

Through my health and home.

Emma’s Story

Holding infant-me, my parents huddled on the kitchen floor in order to avoid the windows. Because of the raging hurricanes in the summer of 2004…

Rachel’s Story

Ohio was home for the first eighteen years of my life. Since leaving it, however, it has become refuge.

Emma’s Story

When I awoke on the morning of September 9, 2020. I was extremely confused. My bedroom was almost completely dark, which was, of course, very unusual…

Nic’s Story

I was born in France but barely ever lived there. However every winter I go back there to celebrate Christmas…

Tristan’s Story

My family has a cabin in Kentucky. When my dad was growing up, they would do the usual drive…

Anastasiia’s Story

The weather discrepancies during the same season throughout years.

Carolina’s Story

A few days after arriving in Portugal from Brazil for a one-year study period, I experienced a small…

Alejandro’s Story

Bogotá used to be much colder, and with constant rain (volume and frequency)…

Denise’s Story

There is a big water scarcity problem in my city.

Browse All Stories