Claude 's Climate Story


Claude 's Climate Story


Claude Akins


Southern Oregon, specifically Ashland, 97520.

How are you sensing climate change?

It started to be noticeable maybe six or seven years ago. Summers were usually warm and peaceful and then for stretches of weeks the air would be filled with smoke. This was intermittent, so not every year, but when this happened the smoke lingered and made life difficult. No swimming, no plays in the park. And then this last summer the wildfires along the West coast were more severe than ever before. My father was without electricity. Places I used to go to were burnt down. So now I sense a certain danger that I never did before. As fire season approaches I wonder if I should go home and if my family will be okay.

[These changes make me feel] incredibly sad. I feel like as much as my home remains, it has been changed forever. Not just in terms of the buildings that have been destroyed, but because my view of the place has been changed. Places that had such emotional resonance simply no longer exist. I haven't been able to go back but I am afraid when I do that I won't recognize it and I feel guilt that I wasn't there when it happened.



“Claude 's Climate Story,” Data Refuge Stories, accessed July 28, 2021,