The Long Seattle Haze Shows How Climate Change Will Hit the Poor

Comments

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By not opening your windows in the evenings, you are making the misery from heat worse while doing nothing to improve the air quality. Unless you have some sort of fancy filtration system, the air you breathe in your closed up house is the same air as outside anyway, so you may as well embrace the smoke and open your windows.
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@3, or you can provide your that it does.
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Pine forests are being tinderized by beetles which are now able to complete two generations instead of one as they feast on heat distressed trees. This is part of the reason western forests are blazing up into the sky.

@2 shove your denialism up your ass and set it on 🔥
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@5 That isn't denialism. That is understanding the difference between climate and weather, which apparently you don't. Mixing these two things up is shoddy science and only feeds the fire of denialism (i.e. "look it snowed, so global warming doesn't exist"). Credibility is important, and if we fall into the trap of thinking that every heat wave or every wildfire (both of which are NORMAL around these parts at this time of year), then you lose your credibility.

That said, at this point denying or not denying climate change probably doesn't matter anyway. Even if we could all agree on that, the real elephant in the room is whether or not we could actually do anything about it.
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That said, at this point denying or not denying climate change probably doesn't matter anyway. Even if we could all agree on that, the real elephant in the room is whether or not we could actually do anything about it.

Chances are, we won't. Look how often meat (a major cause of climate change) is glorified not only on main stream publications, but supposedly enlightened ones, like The Stranger.
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@7 Posted from your non-recyclable, waste-dump-filling machine made from toxic metals sourced from conflict countries, with components assembled for pennies by near-slave labor to a server that is equally toxic. We're all so ironic.
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And just think, we could have had a carbon tax to slow this down.

Instead we make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Happy?
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@7 There you go. Look, people won't go vegan. But, they are highly likely to eat red meat only once a week or month, to replace red meat with chicken and fish for meals, to eat bison (1/20th impact) instead of cows. Net effect decrease of 95% emissions. Achievement Unlocked!
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@10: If only.
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If only someone was advocating that we build houing for all the homeless...

http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2017/05/th…
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@7 people aren't going to change, we've been told the horrors of climate change for 10+ years, and people haven't changed. Even if they want to change, its hard. You can give up meat and car travel, but take one single transatlantic flight and you've already caused more emissions then you saved by skipping meat and cars.

But it turns out capitalism and technology is addressing the problem. It may not be quick enough, but it's having he biggest impact.

Thats what is sad about this debate, for some its not about climate change, its about using climate change as to enforce their "shock doctrine" around their anti-capitalism ideas.

Capitalism has a lot of problems, but it looks like it might actually help solve climate change

https://www.citylab.com/life/2017/05/wil…
16
Although Sarah Myhre means well (she is concerned about global warming), much of her article is simply inconsistent with the facts. First, as an earth scientist she should know that the particulate levels vary widely during the day, and are MUCH lower at night. She can confirm this by going to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website. Thus, she should be opening the windows at night, blowing cool, clean air into her residence. She and her family are needlessly suffering in stale, warm air at night (nighttime temperatures are dropping into the lower 60s and 50s in her neighborhood). I recommend she buy some inexpensive fans to blow in the cool air.
If she wants to reduce particles concentrations more, tape a furnace filter to the fan. Second, global warming is clearly good for folks living outside or in cars since the winters (when many are dying are hypothermia) will be warmer. I suspect that not many poor people are sitting in their cars during heat waves with all the windows closed, as Sarah Myhre suggests. And poor folks will not need to burn as much wood in rural regions, and wood smoke for heating is a MUCH more serious health problem than our infrequent wildfire smoke periods. And Myhre needs to understand that BOTH rich and poor folks breath the same air...this is not a class issue. Taking advantage of unusual weather events to promote pet political/activists ideas is something that seems to have taken root at the Stranger, with Mudede, Myhre and others stretching the truth to further their agendas. In the end, such an approach is counterproductive for ensuring that society deals with global warming in a realistic and effective way.
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You know Cliff, you don't really help yourself by coming into the comments and commenting with us uniform masses

Also i have no clue of the data/science, but i kept waking up last night caughing horrible. I finally turned on the fan and closed the windows and had no problems.
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Damn Cliff, you really said:

"Second, global warming is clearly good for folks living outside or in cars since the winters (when many are dying are hypothermia) will be warmer"

Really?!? Climate change is going to a bunch of unknown effects, but I don't think its gonna be good for those outside, you know with the mosre intense storms, fires, snow, etc.

Sigh....Cliff you made a lot of sense in your debate with Charles, but why come to slog comments to debate someone who works on the same campus as you?
19
j2patter
I have spent a great deal of time studying the local effects of global warming and my comments are based on it. Storms will NOT become intense, snow will lesson, temperatures will become more comfortable. The big issues of wildfires is mismanagement of our forests, not climate change. I am deeply uncomfortable with folks using climate change as a tool of class warfare, when we are all in this together...cliff
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@9 I'm not following. How would a carbon tax in Washington prevent wildfires in Canada?
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"First, as an earth scientist she should know that the particulate levels vary widely during the day, and are MUCH lower at night. She can confirm this by going to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website. "

This isn't obvious to me or my neighbors from personal experience--indeed, we could look downhill earlier in the week and and see smoke apparently settling lower at night. Clearly local geography plays a role that is not going to be accounted for in the limited number of particulate matter sampling stations in Seattle.

I did actually look at the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency website (here's a link to the actual plotting tool so that it is a useful citation: http://airgraphing.pscleanair.org/), and looking at the data for the available stations I disagree with the statement that "particulate levels...are MUCH lower at night." The early morning values are about 50% lower than the peak daytime values, but half of a large number is still a large number--your statement reads as though there should be orders of magnitude less particulate matter.

Further, on most recent days the daily minima don't occur until midnight or the wee hours of the morning. The levels are still elevated well into the evening--the author's experience, like my personal experience, is that last week it was still dis-comfortingly smokey outside well into the evening, and having the windows open made things inside worse.

Clearly you are not living my life or the author's life, so undercutting her about this and lecturing all of us about how we are living our lives the wrong way compared to how you think we should is not particularly productive. The author was drawing parallels to likely future scenarios. Going off on a tangent about how this weather is oh so much better than dying of cold and this article is somehow classist simply reads as mean spirited. This sort of communication unnecessarily undercuts your credibility.
23
I'm pretty sure we can link the smoke from the 1 million+ acre fire in northern Canada to Climate Change.... insect ranges (and plant ranges for that matter) have been moving northwards for nearly three decades now... as the weather in the northlands becomes hotter & drier (on average), and the trees get stressed, beetles & other cellulose-eating critters move in. More trees that average die. More unburned fuel adds up, just lying around until an errant lightening strike (or careless camper) starts a fire... then everything burns.

Our heatwave? Perhaps not linkable.
The smoke? Almost certainly.
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@16- "I suspect that not many poor people are sitting in their cars during heat waves with all the windows closed, as Sarah Myhre suggests. "

No, she clearly stated it would be worse if you LIVED in you car, like a growing number of people do. I'm not sure how you missed that. You seem to have pre-dismissed her ideas.

You're kind of a bad human being, Clifford. Your pseudo-denialism is perhaps even worse than real denialism. You're a useful idiot to the people who are causing what is going to be a remarkable catastrophe on the geological scale.
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@19- We aren't all in this together, and you've made that very clear.
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dwight....you are wrong. We are all in this together and the issue will only be solved together, in a bipartisan way. What this article does not describe is that the real air pollution problem around Puget Sound is not from these rare wildfire periods, but during the winter during high pressure periods. Ask the folks from the air quality agencies...they will confirm this. Warmer temperatures reduce the need for heating and thus global warming will reduce this more serious pollution. And warmer temperatures will make winters less threatening for the homeless living outside. Regarding homelessness, we need to deal with the issue more effectively, which mean creating safe housing options and telling folks they can't sleep in cars and outside.
27
Um cliff thats great for heating but what about ac use due to higher temps...burning coal is burning coal is burning coal, and people love to be comfortable and burning coal makes people comfortable. So yeah i'm just an uniform slog commetor, but I don't buy your whole global warming is going to help air quality argument
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*uninformed
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@27 the us energy information administration says home space-cooling is 18% of total energy use, whilst heating is 7%, whereas in the commerial sector space-cooling uses 5x the energy of space-heating. which is to say, cliff mass is dumb.
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"What this article does not describe is that the real air pollution problem around Puget Sound is not from these rare wildfire periods, but during the winter during high pressure periods."

Because that is not what the article is about. If I were to say your weather blog is incomplete and shouldn't be trusted because it doesn't adequately describe that "the real problem around Puget Sound is passive aggressive commenting by senior scientists dumping on junior colleagues," that would be about as on topic as your comments here--definitely related, but not the point of your blog even if it is the point of your comments here.

Also, I'm sorry rhetorically linking climate change impacts to homelessness and poverty makes you "deeply uncomfortable." However, your intellectual discomfort doesn't convince me that this isn't a valid topic of discussion.
31
The academic mediocracy known as Cliff Mass exemplifies everything that's wrong with the tenure system.
32
Then you have areas that don't believe in science. Spokane. The 3rd summer of smoke from fires. It is so bad the outdoor public pools had to be closed because of smoke in the air. Spokane is a retirement community, people come here to die. Without proper cooling that smoke just is there in your home. But I am in cruz land. rapture/nazi land where if it looks like the Apocalypse it is moving in the RIGHT direction for the future.