As a surfer, you’re probably aware that climate change is a significant problem. However, it’s an abstract problem that is hard to recognize through firsthand experience in the same way as marine plastic pollution or an oil spill. And this is one thing that makes it difficult to truly engage with the problem on a personal level.
That’s not so much the case in California, though, if you consider how a prolonged drought has caused the fire season to burn out of control for the second year in a row. Drought and fire are an expected consequence of climate change in California, and this has directly affected surfers and people throughout the state.
If you live in Northern California, the air quality was been literally biting you in the lungs recently. The smoke was so bad as a result of the Butte County Camp Fire that San Francisco had the worst air quality in the world at one point. Simply breathing air for a day was the equivalent of smoking ten cigarettes.