After the Maui wildfires, I posted tribute photos on social media from our many trips to Lahaina where we have a place. Then this week, I posted photos from my 2011 girls’ trip to Marrakesh expressing my heartbreak over the devastation from the earthquake of such a beautiful place and peaceful people.

Seeing my posts, a family member texted me asking about a conspiracy theory spreading on social media about the Lahaina wildfires. I replied that we are heartbroken enough without QAnon jerks spreading baseless insane lies. In fact, Maui County is now suing the privately owned Hawaiian Electric Company for negligence that caused the devastation.

The planet is suffering, and the wreckage is just getting started. Over 100 years ago, Scientists predicted the timing of the environmental collapse with amazing accuracy. Yet, the Right is still spreading dangerous Climate Science lies. One recent whopper was how more humans would have died without heating and air conditioning from fossil fuels, than by climate change. What a sick and twisted theory!

Setting aside this GOP charlatan’s callous disregard for the unprecedented tragic mass extinction of hundreds of thousands of species, by his own logic, if we had transitioned to clean energy decades ago when it was first available, the world would be in much better shape. Instead, greedy fossil fuel polluters lied about climate science almost to the point of no return. A new U.N. report found that the international community is not on track to meet goals set by the 2015 Paris Climate accords.

But it is never too late to trust science. Thanks to science, the fossil fuel industry lost its first climate lawsuit and will be forced into compliance, much like the tobacco industry was sued and successfully regulated. And there are more lawsuits against fossil fuels coming. We have made other big advances toward transitioning to clean energy, which is growing at the fastest pace ever. Democrats have won the last three general elections and are taking aggressive steps toward tackling the climate crisis. And we will continue to fight.

This situation makes me think of the amazing book, Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers, about the man who rowed around New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, giving sustenance to trapped humans and critters. Tragically, under G.W. Bush’s inhumane 9/11 anti-terrorist policies, Zeitoun was unjustly imprisoned, leaving those he’d been caring for to starve to death.

We are all Zeitoun, doing what we can, against impossible odds and evil forces. Yes, the earth is collapsing, and we will all continue to suffer. The fight is exhausting. But we’ll never give up on our planet, on our humanity, on our dignity.

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