Jane Robbins' Climate Story


Jane Robbins' Climate Story


Jane Robbins Mize


In 2011, I moved to Austin, TX (78705) in the midst of the Bastrop Wildfires. These fires burned thousands of acres of forest and remain the most destructive wildfires in Texas to date.

How are you sensing climate change?

Everyday as I walked to class on UT's campus—about thirty miles from Bastrop—I the smell and weight of smoke hung in the air. The temperature was well over 100 degrees every day for weeks. The university tested its emergency alarm system frequently. When it did, the sound of ominous, resounding alarms punctuated the heavy, smoke-filled air.

I couldn't leave my dorm room without becoming immediately drenched in sweat and lightheaded from the heat and smoke. I was filled with a desire to retreat from the outdoors and from nature more generally. The heat and conditions made it so that felt unnatural to be outside, like standing too close to a fire. I was also filled with anxiety and sadness for the loss of human life, wildlife, forests, and homes.



“Jane Robbins' Climate Story,” Data Refuge Stories, accessed July 28, 2021, http://stories.datarefuge.org/items/show/533.