“Wildfire season in Canada kicks off with furious flames” made me anxious about the summer ahead. As the mother of two young girls, I would love to spend summer outdoors, exploring the beaches and forests. Instead, I am making plans to keep them inside when the smoke descends. We are fortunate because we have an air filter that allows my children to breathe inside, even when the air outside is unsafe.
I mourn the fact that they will never experience the beautiful Northwest summers of my own childhood. But I also know that many people don’t have access to clean air and have to worry about the severe health risks of breathing in smoke.
We need to fight to protect our communities from the effects of climate change even as we work to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. I encourage people worried about the fires to contact your representatives to demand action. And when people talk about the smoke, name climate change as the cause. Climate change is part of our everyday lives. It needs to be part of our everyday conversations, too.
Christina Scheuer, Seattle