Re: “Wildfire smoke causes worst Seattle air quality in 2 years” [Sept. 11, Local News]:

It should be crystal clear, even as the air we need to breathe is once again filled with smoke and ash, that the ravages of climate change pose a here-and-now threat to everyone’s well-being.

This is highlighted in Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility’s just published “Climate & Health / Washington 2022: A Special Report on Impacts and Solutions” (which I helped edit). The report, focused on our state, lays out how climate change and human health are inextricably linked and shows that climate change is already having real, documented impacts on the health of the people of Washington and our communities.

Everyone needs to be intimately aware that the climate crisis is a health crisis. We need our leaders and government officials, in business and at the local, state and federal level, to step up and act quickly and responsibly to both mitigate future impacts (redirect from fossil-fuels and reduce climate changes: to avoid the unmanageable) and adapt (build resilience: to manage what is now, as we see in our air this week, unavoidable).

Ken Lans, M.D., Seattle