Written by Maya-Rose Torrao
California is currently being ravaged by fires, reportedly one of the most destructive wildfire seasons ever experienced by the area; 7,579 fires have burned an area of 1,667,855 acres, there have been at least 25 fatalities and the destruction of over 6,700 structures, causing the displacement of hundreds of thousands of citizens. US president Donald Trump tweeted in response to the natural disaster, announcing that there was “no reason” for the fires other than “forest mismanagement”. Folk music icon Neil Young has lost his home to the wildfires and has subsequently published an open essay on his blog which criticises Trump for his insensitive and blatantly ignorant tweets.
“California is vulnerable—not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young writes in his statement, “We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it … Imagine a leader who defies science, saying these solutions shouldn’t be part of his decision-making on our behalf. Imagine a leader who cares more for his own, convenient opinion than he does for the people he leads.”
Katy Perry and Rod Stewart have also rallied with Neil Young against Trump and his insensitivity, with Stewart tweeting to the POTUS, “California needs words of support & encouragement, not threats or finger pointing & accusations.”
Other artists affected by the wildfires include Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker, Miley Cyrus and Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland.
Support some of the NGOs helping those affected by the wildfire:
California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund
Enloe Medical Center
Entertainment Industry Foundation
Humane Society of Ventura County
North Valley Community Foundation