What Does Climate Change Look Like?

Take a peek out my window.

Helen Cassidy Page
Sep 11, 2020 · 6 min read
Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

Updating this in solidarity with the people in Texas. Trust me, I feel your pain.

ll make this one short and sweet. I’m writing for the folks in the cheap seats. Those of you up in the bleachers reading your phones and not paying attention to what’s happening on the ground.

Yeah, I’m talking about climate change.

A buzzkill right?

Just when sports are heating up and football’s back on the big screen (because you can’t go to the stadium or get wild at tailgate parties in the parking lots with hot wings and ribs and your favorite brew because like, the virus. Talk about a buzzkill).

Yeah, who wants to talk about the planet heating up?

I get it. You can live in a part of the country and confuse weather and climate and think, because your town is having a cold spell, it’s time to take a crack at the libtards pushing their whining about the environment.

And so you give a thumbs up to your legislator making an ass of himself on the floor of the Senate throwing snowballs, as if the presence of ice during the winter proves anything.

Let’s say you’ve been listening to the eggheads, the science guys, the elites with their noses stuck in the air wanting to spoil all your fun coming around and blaming you for all the evils in the world. And you’ve just about had it up to your back teeth.

Let’s say you’ve been listening to the eggheads, the science guys, the elites with their noses stuck in the air wanting to spoil all your fun coming around and blaming you for all the evils in the world. And you’ve just about had it up to your back teeth.

I mean, who wouldn’t?

A lot of smart guys say there’s nothing to worry about, too. So why not be positive and look on the bright side. You live inland, so no danger the seas are going rise in your back yard.

Amirite?

Go bubble wrap your whole house in non-biodegradable plastic if you want. No skin off your back. The president doesn’t believe in climate change, so why should you?

The world looks rosy from where you’re sitting, in the front seat of your gas-guzzling big honking pickup you don’t really need. Hey, you’re an accountant, not a cowboy, but it makes you look like such a dude.

I wonder if you’d been laughing and sticking it to the libtards if you’d looked out my window Wednesday morning?

Actually, it started Tuesday, when the sun rose as a brilliant orange ball in a solid shroud of grey. I tried to take a picture, but my camera wouldn’t capture the technicolor show.

Kind of cool, but also kind of eerie. Because it was hard to tell if the gray was fog or smoke from the fires burning up much of the west coast.

After 478,000 spare the air days just this summer, you couldn’t blame Bay Area dwellers for not getting excited about a photo op in the sky.

We’ve lost more square miles to fires this summer than since the beginning of the Pleistocene age. Or something like that. Trust me, it’s big.

We were more like, what the bleep is coming down the pike now?

We didn’t have long to wait. Wednesday morning, September 9, 2020, write it down for the history books, we woke up to an orange sky.

That’s right. We didn’t just have an orange sun; the whole city glowed from the fires burning in the west.

This photo was taken at 10:30 in the morning from my living room. Note the lights in the church shining as they do when they turn them on at 9 pm at night.

Actually, come to find out, it wasn’t just the color show, but the smoke coming from Oregan and parts south had packed an overnight wallop and punched out our lights.

No, seriously, it did.

The city had an orange hue, but it was as dark as night. At 8 am, I began checking with my peeps, and my daughter reported that her kitchen counters were covered in ash because she’d left her windows open the night before. She lives 20 miles away in a hot zone, and when they turn off the AC to conserve energy, they open their screened windows.

The grit came in through the screens.

Everybody was checking in with stories of how weird they were feeling, how long they’d lived here, and had never seen anything like it.

It was a thing. It made the national news.

By noon we were living out book titles: Darkness At Noon.

At 4 pm, I was still sitting in my apartment with all the blinds open, but still in the dark. I couldn’t read a book without turning on a light. Words like dystopian and apocalypse were floating around Facebook and Twitter.

Oddly, because of the bizarre weather conditions, the air was breathable at sea level, even though we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces, and you had to drive with your lights on in the middle of the day.

Next day we had a gray sky and no sun. Some morning fog dissipated and left a dingy coating of smoke over the city.

Air over San Francisco showing smoke from fires, photo by author, 9/10/2020
Air over San Francisco showing smoke from fires, photo by author, 9/10/2020

But now we were breathing the stuff.

Purple Air showed the worst air quality throughout the Bay Area I’ve seen in my 60-plus years living here.

Map from PurpleAir.com of San Francisco, 6 pm, 9/10/2020
Map from PurpleAir.com of San Francisco, 6 pm, 9/10/2020

If you’re not familiar with the color-coding for air quality, the purple means grab a fire extinguisher because you’re going up in smoke. The higher the number in the disks, the worse the air quality. Some neighborhoods were over 330.

Breathing gets hinky at 150. We’ve been warned the numbers might go into the 500–600 range on Saturday. That’s like, what, breathing flames?

In case you think this crazy weather pattern is a one off, consider this. Our droughts and fire seasons are getting drier, longer, hotter, and more destructive.

Every single year is worse than the last.

How long before we measure our fire seasons not just in spare the air days, but days without sunlight?

How about summers without days?

Twenty-four-hour nights.

How will you joke about climate change then?

Actually, if you’re throwing around any snowballs, throw them our way. We could use them to put out the fires caused by…wait for it.

Climate change.

Don’t believe me? Look out my window.

m an editor and writer on Medium with Top Writer status. I’m also an editor for the publication, Rogues Gallery. I’ve published 55 titles on Amazon and edit for private clients. If you’d like to hire me as your editor for fiction, non-fiction, or business writing, please contact me here. If you’d like to read more of my work on Medium, click here to sign up for my newsletter. Thank you for reading.

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else…

Helen Cassidy Page

Written by

Writer, editor, researcher, aging expert, life coach, sand tray coach. Read one of my 55 titles on Amazon: https://www.HelenCassidyPageBooks.com

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

Helen Cassidy Page

Written by

Writer, editor, researcher, aging expert, life coach, sand tray coach. Read one of my 55 titles on Amazon: https://www.HelenCassidyPageBooks.com

The Partnered Pen

MPP friends writing about life, love, and everything else in between together.

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