Wildfires last month on Greece’s second-largest island have destroyed homes and livelihoods. For many parts of the country, climate change is not a problem of the future; it is here and now. Yet the response from those on the island has not been to seek help from the government, but to turn to the local community.
We passed 10 firetrucks and other groups in helmets, some in bikinis and without masks. Half of us stayed put, and the other half rushed to help tug at a hose that slithered up a dirt slope and to deliver water bottles to those up there working.
What on paper seemed to the bureaucrats who engineered the 1923 population exchange between Turkey and Greece an ingenious arrangement to help both countries cement their own nationalist myths was in practice anything but.