When I was 16, I experienced the uncertainty and tragedy of my first fire in NorCal. My school shut down for 3 weeks, I was evacuated for 1 week, and a third of my peers lost their homes. Every subsequent year, I was affected by fires, unsafe air quality, and power outages. Most recently, I feared for my life due to my proximity to the Silverado fires. As a college student living alone and without a vehicle, I was overwhelmed with anxiety. The fires were contained, but that did not diminish their impact.
Wildfires, like the San Jacinto Mountains brush fire that started last night, are just one consequence of climate change. Not only is climate change an environmental problem, it also disrupts social, educational, and economic systems.
In order to protect our planet, and ourselves, we must take necessary steps to stop climate change. Governor Newsom established himself as a political leader in sustainability, banning the sale of gas powered cars in California by 2035. But we need to act even quicker. Groups like CALPIRG Students see this urgency, and are calling on Governor Newsom to accelerate the 100% clean energy timeline to 2030 instead of 2045.