Emma’s Climate Story


Emma Fogel


San Francisco, CA 94110

How are you sensing climate change?

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 for the morning. I racked my brain, trying to figure out what could have happened. Was I getting sick and accidentally slept through the day? No, my phone clearly said it was still morning. Was there a time change? No, it wasn’t the right time of year for that. I walked over to my front door, opened it, and saw that the sky was bright orange, almost like a hazy sunset. I began to realize what had happened: smoke from a nearby forest fire was distorting the sun’s rays, making it appear as though it was dusk. I had lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 6 years at that point, and I had never seen anything quite like it. Granted, increasingly severe droughts have contributed to more intense fires each year, but this was a different kind of dystopian scene that I had not previously encountered. I was scared, and I was angry. I knew that even though this was the height of the pandemic, I wouldn’t be able to go outside for some time due to the terrible air quality. It was and is devastating to think about how this place that I love is becoming increasingly unlivable due to human activity.

How do these changes make you feel?

These changes make me feel an overwhelming mixture of emotions, including scared, angry, and sad.




San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

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