Sustainability Climate Change

Chilling video released by youth climate activists focuses on California wildfires

The video “I Love You, California,” shows just how post-apocalyptic parts of the country already look because of climate change.
(Screenshot of Friday for Future’s “I Love You, California.”)

Story at a glance


  • A new video released by climate organization Fridays for Future focuses on California wildfires.  

  • The organization is a youth-led climate group inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg 

  • The short video serves as a warning as to just how destructive climate change is and will continue to be.  

A powerful video released this week by Fridays for Future, the youth climate activist group inspired by Greta Thunberg, shows just how black and burnt the world will look if climate change continues.  

The 90-second video was uploaded less than a month before the United Nations is scheduled to host its annual climate conference.

The short video focuses on California and the damage the state’s wildfires have caused to forests, homes and wildlife. 

The video starts with an image of a black-top street surrounded by the burnt remains of what appear to be houses accompanied by a chilling rendition of the state song, “I Love You, California.”  


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What follows is a stream of aerial shots showing blackened hillsides, (literal) smokey mountains and forests made up of trees so burned that they look like used matchsticks.  

As the young person despondently singing the anthem finishes, an image of a conifer tree engulfed in flames bursts onto the screen followed by the words, “fire season has only just begun.” 

“The state song of California, adopted in 1951, celebrates the beauty of California’s rich, diverse natural landscape, from the redwood forests, to the natural exports of honey, fruit, and wine,” reads a statement below the video posted to the organization’s YouTube channel earlier this week.  

“Today, these lyrics ring more painful than joyous to residents who are forced to watch these same forests and fields of grains burn down year after year.” 

Wildfires are a natural part of the forest life cycle, but because of climate change wildfires are happening more and burning longer.  

Wildfires in California burned through 2.2 million acres of land last year alone. This year the state has suffered another intense wildfire season, which forecasters expect will continue despite a recent downpour of some much-needed rainfall that arrived last week.