US Wildfire-weary Californians, 'tired of this being normal,' consider moving out of state
'Everything's gone': Many neighborhoods destroyed as fire, smoke devastate Oregon families, workers and homeless
“This is our Katrina You see it on TV but you can never understand unless you go through it," said one resident of the fire ripping through Oregon.Trump supporters explain why they won't wear masks
It's not just thein California that have Arthur Gies looking online for apartments in New York.
"It's not necessarily this year of wildfires so much as the dam breaking on the realization that this is not just the new normal but just a prelude to what's coming," the 39-year-old Oakland resident says. "And just being sort of tired of this being normal."
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Victims of the Oregon fires are being advised by the state government that they could be entitled to federal aidAt least six men from Oregon are accused of "intentionally setting blazes" during the wildfire season.
The website editor and video game consultant has lived in Northern and Southern California his entire life. As a teenager in the San Diego area, he was familiar with the stench of smoke and flakes of ash that rained down after wildfires.
Lately, however, weeks of unhealthy air quality readings and thick shrouds of smoke that some days make it impossible to see the lagoon three blocks from his Lake Merritt home are becoming unbearable. And he's not alone.
"I have one friend that recently moved to Idaho to take care of family and isn't coming back," Gies said. "And he and his wife and child had been living in San Francisco for more than a decade... I have other friends that work at dot-coms or tech companies in the Bay Area and have lived here for anywhere from seven to ten years and are talking about leaving very seriously."
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Gies himself is seriously considering a cross country move to Brooklyn or Manhattan to escape the anxiety of life in California.
The latest talk about people fleeing the California dream comes during an apocalyptic summer of, raging , unprecedented rolling , and
And late Friday, another perennial threat, a, struck Southern California. No damage or injuries were reported but it jarred the sense of security of some already-rattled Californians.
Climate driven disasters becoming 'actual moving force' for relocation
Scientists haveare all over the wildfires and so many other disasters. And far worse disasters could be on the horizon. The more humans heat up the planet, the The planet has with human activity responsible for the bulk of that increase.
State reports biggest daily COVID-19 total, wildfires contributing to recent rises
After weeks of steady decline, COVID-19 cases are rising in Oregon. The recent wildfires may be contributing.The state agency reported 457 new cases on Friday -- the single highest daily total since the pandemic began.
This past August was the warmest on record in California,. Each of the past six years were at least 1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the historical average.
According to the National Climate Assessment, a major "state-of-science" review of climate change and its projected impacts on the US, additional warming of about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheitregardless of future emissions.
"It's very important to be thinking about the fact that people will start making decisions about moving because of climate driven pressures," said University of Southern California professor Bistra Dilkina, who has modeled migration patterns from sea-level rise.
"So far we've been kind of living very much in the world where movement, at least in the US, is really based on more about economic opportunities. But, as the intensity of climate driven disasters is increasing, I think it will become an actual moving force, even within the US, for people to change their decision making in terms of relocating the whole family."
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New infection control restrictions in Europe stirred anger and frustration on Sunday as around the world the global coronavirus toll inched towards one million dead. In India, meanwhile, infections closed in on six million on Sunday as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on people to keep wearing face masks in public. "They are potent tools to save the life of every citizen," he said.Health ministry figures showed that the total number of cases had risen to 5,992,532.India is expected to overtake the United States -- which has reported more than seven million cases so far -- as the worst-hit country in the next few weeks.
Scientists have projected thatfrom rising sea levels submerging coastlines. And that's not taking into account the ongoing threat of wildfires, droughts and other disasters.
"When there's a tipping point where people really understand that that's something that they need to integrate in their decision making about moving, we're going to see more movements that are based partially on that reasoning as well," Dilkina said. "And so, from that perspective, I do believe that fires are going to start becoming one of the factors."
Dilkina said she has only lived in the Los Angeles metro area for a couple of years. Her family purchased a home in Rancho Palos Verdes in the beginning of the summer.
"We have been basically locked up mostly at home for the last four days, which is very difficult to do with my with two kids -- a three-year-old and eight-year-old -- going crazy," she said. "The air quality is really bad, and so that has basically made us just stay at home."
Fire, smoke become 'mind-numbingly common'
LeRoy Westerling, a University of California Merced expert on wildfires and the weather that drives them, has had his home in Mariposa County threatened twice by fires in recent years.led to the evacuation of Westerling and his neighbors. The , which burned through 96,601 acres of the Sierra National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, Yosemite National Park and state lands, also posed a risk to his community.
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"Right now, we're being impacted pretty severely by the Creek Fire but it's not in danger of burning the town, it's just the air pollution is so bad that you can't stay there right now," he said, referring to the ongoing fire that has so far
Along with the threats to life and property, Westerling said, is the issue of insuring his two homes in Mariposa.
"We can't get decent fire insurance anymore," he said. "So if your house does burn down, you don't have full coverage."
He was able to find insurance to cover one home that was dropped by a company last year. The coverage of his other home was dropped this month, he said.
Now Westerling, whose family has lived in California for five generations, is contemplating a move.
"I've had this conversation myself at home lately," he said of the possibility of relocating further north in the state, the Pacific Northwest or even Canada. "It's like balancing different risk issues... It's really just mind-numbingly common now that we get the smoke not just from the nearby fires but from all over the place."
Gies, the website editor and video game consultant, said there was a time when Californians mainly worried about occasional temblors.
"The entire time that I can remember being aware of anything is the idea that earthquakes are a thing we're waiting for -- huge earthquakes on multiple faults," said Gies, who has lived in Oakland for 13 years.
"And that's something that hangs over California all the time. And now it's not just that. It's that anytime it's warm and it hasn't rained for a couple months, the prospect of just really life altering wildfires are becoming not just possible but expected," he added.
"Climate disaster is something that will affect almost everywhere but the ways in which it's affecting places like the Eastern seaboard that are not in the direct path of hurricane season feels more manageable to me than the fires and earthquakes here."
Marilyn Monroe, Taylor Swift and More Stars With Ties to the Kennedys .
As America’s unofficial royal family, the Kennedys have been rubbing elbows with some of the biggest names in Hollywood for decades. In the 1960s, John F. Kennedy forged friendships with the likes of Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra, the latter of whom actively campaigned for JFK to be elected to the White House. The 35th U.S. president also infamously got close to Marilyn Monroe, who allegedly had affairs with both him and his brother Robert F. Kennedy. JFK and RFK were not the only Kennedys who romanced celebrities though. The late commander in chief’s son John F. Kennedy Jr. was known to be quite the ladies’ man in the 1980s and 1990s. Before his marriage to Carolyn Bessette, John-John had high-profile relationships with Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields and, perhaps most famously, Daryl Hannah. In more recent years, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s son Conor Kennedy embarked on a summer fling with Taylor Swift in 2012, and JFK’s grandnephew Patrick Schwarzenegger dated Miley Cyrus from 2014 to 2015. JFK’s great-niece Katherine Schwarzenegger, meanwhile, wed Chris Pratt in 2019. Since marrying into the Kennedy dynasty, Pratt has become close with his in-laws. The Marvel star was even included in a massive family portrait at the famed Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, that RFK’s daughter Kerry Kennedy shared via Instagram on the 4th of July in 2019. Pratt and Schwarzenegger added to the family in 2020 when they welcomed their daughter, Lyla, joining the actor’s son, Jack, whom he shares with his ex-wife, Anna Faris.