The Overwhelming Reality of Climate Change: Oregon is Burning
August 3, 2021
When you love someone or some place, you take a risk. You take a risk that that person or place – can be hurt or can be lost. Oregon is burning, and there are wildfires near the farm. My family member is up there and so far things are contained, but they are ready to leave if need be. We have insurance. We have money. We can rebuild if need be. But the threat of the forest fires caused by lightening strikes, is a stark reminder that no where is safe. We’ve lived through many wildfires in Southern California. And the Oregon farm, seeing pictures of the forest fires in the distance is numbingly familiar.
I have no regrets in buying the farm, and we are committed to it. But given the deer and fox and all the eagles we know abound on that parcel of land, it reminds me that the earth is sick. Climate change is happening. It’s almost two years since I started this journey of becoming an environmental activist, and there is still much to do. The fire fighters are there, and Oregon will burn and the fires will be put out. What can I do? I need to keep on keeping on and do what I can in my little corner of southern california to help activate more climate and health advocates. I need to keep on finishing climate projects , and starting new ones. I’m good at finishing meaningful projects and that is what I will do. I keep on keeping on.
Our paper is published that was a six month labor of love. I sent out two emails to other fellow climate and health advocates and our other partners, and received heart-warming replies . What I’ve realized is that my strength is to bring people together and connect us in bonds of personal, professional and creative relationships that put the earth at the center. Here is the “scientific paper” which is actually a narrative. It’s meant to tell our story and pull at your heart strings, under the guise of a scientific paper. As a History of Science concentrator at Crimson University Magma Cum Laude – thank you very much – I always knew the agency that comes with scientific writing. Science is politics. Politics is culture. Science always has an agenda. And my agenda is the earth. Here is the link to the article. Please click if you have time. The number of downloads and abstract views actually do help! https://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol12/iss1/1/
So this morning, I got up and started again – fighting for the earth. In my heart I worry about our hometown of San Diego and our farm in Oregon. But the only way to save them both, is to look at things holistically. Think of the entire community and ecosystem and know that small and big actions all make a difference. So this is what I have done this morning.
Rewild Mission Bay Coalition – We have been working to join the Rewild Mission Bay Coalition. San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air officially joined, and we have submitted a requeset for AAP-CA3 to join. The former is easy, because it’s just us friends who advocate together (almost 40 people strong) but the latter is harder because it’s more official official. Both are important. But the emails have been sent, and the pediatrician climate and health advocates are deployed. One of our young pediatricians is going to get two Rewild caps! That is so cool! I was going to ask for a cap, but I’m trying to be a minimalist. It’s really important to rewild mission bay because with storm water surges, we need the natural wetland to buffer for us. It’s also a native shorebird habitat and sequesters carbon. It also provides recreational activity in nature for children to improve child health including child mental health.
HMO Green Team – Today I will do work work and that actually does include climate work. I am the Green Team MD lead, and today I will reply to emails and start team building. I will network within our very large HMO and try to figure things out. We can fight climate change from within the big HMO machine.
Air Keepers Program – I know all the pieces are there. The Frost lab at UCSD within world famous scientists. The middle school science teachers and the elementary school nurses. I’ve looked up PM2.5 monitors and how much they cost. I have the pediatricians who want to help. I know where the grant money is. I know they did this up in Montana, and I need to send an email to ask how they do it – and then copy and paste it here. I just have to sit down and do it and figure it out. I know this sounds vague but I’ll explain more later. Just a lot of ideas bouncing around my brain this morning.
It’s hard these days. Coworkers are very sick. Parents have passed away. The stresses of the world effect doctors as well, and then it’s compounded by the emotional burden we absorb from our patients. But the earth and nature gives us strength, and with that strength we can try to heal her. There is really no other option. Oregon is burning. The bunker is burning. There is no place safe from climate change.