It’s no surprise that natural disasters have managed to take communities apart. In Ferguson, Missouri, the floods caused by severe thunderstorms from July 25-28, 2022 had detrimental effects on the families for weeks after the flooding occurred. FEMA, in response, has helped fund disaster relief and opened a disaster recovery center in the area on Tuesday, Aug. 30, to assist those impacted. But while St. Louis was being taken over by the storm, another phenomenon was happening across the pond—wildfires.
During that same time, several European countries were experiencing unprecedented heat waves. In 2022 alone, nearly 660,000 hectares of European land have been destroyed by fires. While these floods and fires are occurring on completely different continents, the cause of both is inexplicably the same.
“Scientists told the Guardian that the role of human-caused global heating in such hot weather appeared clear, and research shows that the chances of breaking 40 degrees Celsius in the UK without it would be less than 0.1%,” The Guardian reported.
I was visiting Spain during the time of the fires. While I was there, experiencing their environmental disaster, I was receiving calls from my parents about the horrible flooding in St. Louis. To me, it was bizarre. Both worlds that I was a part of had completely opposite issues occurring at the exact same time. I passed by hills and hills of burnt land, which had barely touched the highway we were traveling on. I’d say it was eye-opening, but really, it was just a testament to what people have been talking about for decades.
The climate is changing. It is like a bright red light that is urgently telling us over and over that things are getting worse. People around the world are losing their homes, their lives, because our Earth is heating up. If the hundreds of activists who have begged for industrial change aren’t convincing enough, I hope the experiences that so many people have had to overcome will bring the progress that the planet has been pleading for. The earth is in our hands, and so is our future.