SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Imagine this, if you will. August 8th, 2023 was just another ordinary day. I woke-up to the sound of the surf. Most people would consider this paradise, Maui. It is beautiful and I am blessed to live here.
The house was quiet. My wife and son were asleep. This was my time. Before the work day. I could sit and enjoy my coffee as I contentedly looked at the Pacific Ocean.
After a bit, I heard my child in the bathroom. He padded out to the patio. We didn’t need to speak. We were in-tune. We looked at the ocean and our neighborhood.
I momentarily drifted…we shared so much. My son and I. We connected with our environment. We hiked the increasingly dry trails across Maui. We surfed in the warming ocean and we played football on the sand.
I looked at my son as he looked at me. He didn’t say it but his eyes said, “I love you, dad.”
We went into the kitchen. I made eggs as he sat at the kitchen table and told me about his upcoming day. My wife got up. My everything came into the kitchen. I kissed her lips. We ate breakfast together. Everyone got ready for school and work.
We went about our day.
Around 3:30 pm , I received a message that our neighborhood in Lahaina was burning. I called my wife and son but they didn’t answer the home phone or their cell phones. I jumped into my car and drove home. Red embers funneled through the choking air. The normally blue sky was raining ash.
The road was closed. I sat alone in my car.
I returned to the property and what was left of my house two days later. The concrete foundation lay like a barren wasteland where my house once stood. In the rubble, a metal door rested upon the scorched concrete. Under the door, I found two matching silver bracelets. I looked at the silver on my wrist. The bracelets were gifts our three family members exchanged two Christmases past.
My wife and child.
The above was part truth and part fiction. The fire did happen and many people lost their lives. We still don’t know how many people died in the Maui wildfire, but today the fire still burns and 115 people are confirmed dead while 388 people are unaccounted for according to the FBI and the Red Cross.
During the past four months, extreme climate events occurred across the globe: Fires in Canada, fires in Europe, flooding in China, New Zealand, Pakistan, and India. Extreme heat in Egypt and Morocco. The proof is all around us.
Scientists agree that we are in the midst of a climate crisis. During an interview with Amy Goodman of NPR’s Democracy Now, scientist Michael Mann said, “climate crisis is here and now,” when speaking about the wildfires in Maui. He then told Goodman that the fire in Maui was just the latest example of how combined climate changes factors are impacting us.
However, there are some would-be politicians that still deny climate change. Recently, US presidential Vivek Ramaswamy told the world that, “the climate change agenda is a hoax.”
Whether you believe that climate change is entirely manmade, a natural occurrence, or a combination of the two, is up to you. However, one has to admit that we, the people, of the world are experiencing extremely volatile climate events.
Our elected officials have the responsibility to acknowledge these facts. When a person who hopes to be President of the United States calls climate change or the climate change agenda, a hoax, it is irresponsible and dismissive.
We contacted Mr. Ramaswamy’s office for comment about Maui and climate change. Mr. Ramaswamy nor his office responded.