March 27, 2022

A fire nearly burned South Boulder, last night. Two photos hit home.

It’s laughable, only we feel like crying.

Authorities are looking for information about what caused this latest frightening, devastating fire.

But the cause is clear: climate crisis. Us. Fuel companies. How we vote, and public policy re climate. When all it takes is a spark in the dead of winter to burn 1,000 homes, the cause isn’t a spark. It’s the greater, deeper, in-front-of-our-nose context: what made a single spark so potentially powerful.

What the #NCARFire—just last night, burning in view of all of Boulder, above 1200 folks’ homes, only a few months after December fires (December!) burned 1,000 plus homes here—reminds us:

There is no away.

There is no safe.

Michelle and I were in Vermont, and Boston, this summer—and the air was toxic from fires all the way from Oregon, Washington. Forests throughout New England are in drought, not just here in West. Bugs that don’t freeze anymore are eating up forests there. Lyme disease is a new thing, from ticks that no longer freeze, robbing much of the US of a safe enjoyment of nature. We used to run through the fields and forests in Vermont—no longer.

Toxic oceans, dead coral, over-built cheap developments while the rich build McMansions.

Fire season, so quickly normalized, wasn’t a thing here in Boulder even 10 years ago.

Heat islands, single-use plastic directly fuels our climate crisis, and yet most of us don’t change our habits or vote.

Online armchair generals talk about moving to Great Lakes or other “climate refuge,” but there will be no safe if food systems collapse, fish are gone (we’re overfishing, fishing babies before they grow up & mate), glaciers melt (water source for billions in Asia), and bugs continue to kill 100,000s of much-needed mature trees.

Meanwhile we drive to eat a factory-farmed burger instead of biking/walking/bus to eat vegan or cooking simple wholesome affordable real food at home like my mom did (raised me alone, poor, and yet our life was healthy, simple, rich), we all wear plastic pants and socks and shirts and jackets and coats and hats, our homes are half-plastic, we buy crap furniture from overseas instead of quality-built antiques or reuse right here, we fly repeatedly without offsetting, we consume enough for 10 earths, we regularly support downright evil colonialist companies like Nestle, Coke, Amazon, Chiquita, we’re cynical or even nihilistic about politics instead of jumping in…

…yet we only have one, this miraculous wondrous creation perfectly tuned to our vulnerable life, & all that we care about.

This is our chance to live like the movies we watch on our couch at night: to save the world. It doesn’t take a white man in a suit with a gun, it takes us, me and mine and she and him and them and y’all and, you.


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Waylon Lewis  |  Contribution: 1,510,860