Image by Nile from Pixabay

Smoke blankeding the East Coast even reaching to here. Caused by lightening strikes in dry, they have been in a drought, forests.

The earworm that I couldn’t shake Thursday was “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. No, the noxious smoke that befouled the nation’s capital was not violet in hue. But it was so bad that local officials issued a rare Code Purple alert — meaning the air quality was “very unhealthy” for everyone, not just those with respiratory problems. By “everyone,” I don’t mean only people: The Smithsonian’s National Zoo had to be closed and many of the animals were kept inside. The situation was worse in Philadelphia, where the air quality went all the way to Code Maroon, which means “hazardous” and “stay indoors.” Perhaps worst of all, so far, was the situation in New York, where on Wednesday the sky was an eerie, postapocalyptic shade of orange. Once again, nature is sending us an unambiguous message: We had better get serious about mitigating the consequences of human-induced climate change. And we are, as a species, a bunch of idiots unless we make switching from fossil fuels to clean-energy sources our top global priority.

The fires are largely in Quebec.

The smoke blanketing the densely populated Northeast corridor is coming from wildfires in Canada. In the province of Quebec alone, more than 150 fires were active this week. Conditions happen to be such that the smoke from those blazes is being blown here. The warm and dry conditions of fire season in Canada arrive earlier than they used to — because of climate change — and last longer. The jet stream is weaker than in the past — because of climate change — which allows hotter and drier air to stall in place, creating wildfire-friendly heat domes. All 10 Canadian provinces are abnormally dry or experiencing full-on drought — because of climate change — which means there is plenty of fuel ready to be ignited by the inevitable spark. Officials in Ottawa already predict that this year’s fire season will likely go down as the worst in recorded history. I’m talking about events in Canada. Yet more than 100 million of us here in the United States are living under air-quality advisories. This is part of nature’s message: Climate change does not recognize, let alone respect, national boundaries.

We need to send firefighters, and we are.

It is in the self-interest of the United States to send Canada whatever firefighting assistance Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and provincial officials might need. It is also in our self-interest to beef up our domestic wildfire-fighting capacity, to avoid a repeat of events from 2020, when fires in the Western states produced the same Martian-red skies in the San Francisco Bay Area that have been seen this week over Manhattan. It is in our self-interest to mitigate the human suffering and the increased medical costs that we end up bearing when vulnerable Americans breathe the fine particles of soot that make up the wildfire smoke. In one of the most glaring examples of utter irresponsibility I’ve ever seen on Fox News — and that is really saying something — host Laura Ingraham nodded and chuckled while a guest claimed the smoke caused “no health risk.” or the record, the American Lung Association strongly disagrees. “Breathing smoke can shorten lives and cause heart attacks, asthma attacks and other dangerous health effects,” the organization says in a fact sheet about preparing for wildfires.

We keep spewing CO2 into the air and down her we approve more oil related industries.

Because of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases humans have spewed into the atmosphere, we must prepare to cope with bigger wildfires that spread blankets of smoke in directions we’re not historically accustomed to. We also must prepare for more severe coastal flooding because of warming-induced sea-level rise. We must prepare for bigger, wetter, more powerful hurricanes and tropical storms. We must prepare for potentially deadly heat waves in places such as Britain and continental Europe, where most dwellings do not have air conditioning. We must prepare for increased flows of migrants, as heat and drought disrupt traditional patterns of settlement and subsistence. And we must stop making all of these problems worse. China is by far the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon — but also the world’s leader in clean-energy technology such as solar panels and electric vehicles. It is imperative that Washington and Beijing — even while competing in economic, political and military spheres — find a way to agree on a rapid shift away from fossil fuels. I don’t want periods of stinging, orange-colored air in the Northeast to be the new normal, but it is. We have to take measures to cope with that fact. And our goal — our mission — must be to head off far worse punishments that make our children and grandchildren look back on weeks like this one as the good old days.

Eugene Robinson is right and as an “oil” state we don’t get the message.

Canadian wildfires show climate change needs