The World is Burning — Truth, Lies & Politics

Tom Stewart
3 min readSep 12, 2020

I have lived in the West, in Washington State, nearly all my life, half in the dry, near-desert Eastern part, the rest in the green, wet Western part. I have lived in California and Oregon, have friends and relatives in both still. And our worlds are burning.

Today Seattle is dense with smoke from three different states, as Eastern Washington, Oregon and California are battling wildfires. I stand on my back porch and the house on the other side of the alley is hazy, the trees down the street are phantoms in the smoke. A warning has been issued for parts of all three states; stay inside, the air is unsafe. The very air can make you sick. On the other side of the Cascades, Yakima County is burning. Over 330,000 acres have/are burned/burning in my home state, and more are aflame every hour, every minute. Already one of the regions hit hardest by covid-19, now Eastern WA has to suffer another form of hell, a more literal one.

Whole Oregon towns have completely disappeared into the flames. Thousands have been evacuated, dozens missing, several dead. I talk to friends who say the skies are literally red, like being on Mars, or the depths of hell. Idiot rumors spread, of wild gangs of Antifa running about with torches, coming to your town! Setting fires! Beware! Some people refuse to evacuate, sitting on their porch’s instead, clutching weapons and looking down the roads, waiting for the BLM and Antifa mobs to come and… set fires in the middle of a fire?

Holy hell. In the midst of so much to fear we make up boogeymen to add to the misery.

And the skies glow hot red.

A heat wave and a dry summer have baked California, temperatures over 120 degrees in LA County. Over 3.2 million acres of California have burned in a wildfire season barely begun. 28 different wildfires are burning there now, including the largest in the history of the state.

“I have no patience for climate change deniers,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. Indeed. We are often the cause of our own nightmares, and climate change is becoming the biggest nightmare we face, even in this time of covid. And the biggest fool of all, the idiot in the White House taunts California, refusing to help because they were rude enough not to vote for him.

“You gotta clean your floors, you gotta clean your forests,” the president of only his own voters’ yells, ignoring the fact that nearly 48 percent of the land in California is federally owned. These are his floors, his forests that are burning. Insanity builds on insanity until it collapses into madness.

And the West burns.

Trump is coming to look at the ashes, shake his head, and get in some digs at the Governors. Washington, Oregon, and California will go on beating, stomping, spraying, and dousing the flames, trying to help those that need help and avoid breathing in too many ashes and soot.

And covid.

So much lost; lives, houses, animals, land, forests.

The world is burning.

Originally published at on September 12, 2020.



Tom Stewart

Actor, writer, artist living in Seattle WA. I write plays, articles on comic book history or any other odd thing that crosses my mind. More to come!