By Justin Altenhofen
Impacts of wildfires are causing harm worldwide and have made significant negative effects all across the world. Just this past two years, I have witnessed two of Oregon’s largest wildfires up close and in person burning hundreds of thousands of beautiful forestry. The question that continues to be debated and discussed is whether or not this is a recurring incident caused by human beings resulting in climate change. A topic that has become so controversial across the world and more specifically in the United States still is believed to be true and fake by millions of people.
An article I read this past week titled When “Creatives” Turn Destructive: Image-Makers and the Climate Crisis talks about the current climate crisis, and how the public relations and advertising fields are slowing down the pace to make a change helping to kindle the fire of big-time oil companies to continue their harmful practices. The article left me skeptical and amazed how much of a negative impact public relations and advertising fields can have on the climate crisis. Especially when used to support oil companies. It goes to show how powerful a message can be and how it can persuade people to think in different ways. If the continuous patters of wildfires were to continue to happen, who knows what the ecosystem would look like in 25 to 50 years from today.
The most interesting aspect of the climate topic is how making money is the top of the prioritization for so many businesses and counties, yet Death Valley California has reached 130 degrees Fahrenheit. The fully attached ice shelf in Canada collapsed for the first time in the Atlantic Ocean. Record fires burned 3 million animals across Australia and five tropical cyclones spun through the Atlantic. The disappointing aspect of these incidents is that a large percentage of people don’t care if it doesn’t directly affect them. Driving this past week on highway-126 in Eugene Oregon I was faced with the shocking scenery of burnt homes with nothing left but ashes on the ground while heading on a fishing trip. The trip made me realize how many lives were affected by a fire that could be potentially caused by human beings. This pattern that often recurs leaves me thinking on the edge of my seat, what I can do as an individual to help, and what are the main factors that are destroying our ecosystem?