The World Is on Fire. Are You Depressed?



You're not from here, are you? This happens. This is the West. Grazing land, lack of controlled burns, etc, etc, etc. It's fine.


Yet there are still joggers out at Green Lake today.


@1: I have been here 34 years. The past two Augusts are unlike anything I have experienced in Puget Sound. If you think this is "fine," then you are lucky enough to not be vulnerable to this kind of pollution. I would count my blessings and stop telling other people how they should feel about legitimate hazards to their health.


@1 I'm a lifelong resident of the PNW (60 years). When I lived in Eastern Oregon we used to get smoke when there was a local fire. Of the 30 years I've lived in Seattle the smoke in the last two years has been unique, and is NOT fine.


I live in the Inland Northwest, and it's even worse here. The last few late summers have been the same. A friend said that smoke is our new season, and she's right. We go from summer to smoke to fall now.


I remember hot weather over 100 degrees. I remember air quality dirtier than this in the 1980's, and I remember droughts, but I don't remember ash from Canada raining on me like last year.


I lived there from 1977-2000, which the exception of the Mount St. Helens eruption I never remember the air being that bad.


" look forward to summer with all the hope and anticipation of new lovers.": ugh, hate it when writers get all (falsely) authoritive about how I feel. I love Winter. Wish it would never end (like new lovers, if you wanna get cheesy


@1 bullshit.


@1 The Scarlet Error: NO, it is NOT "fine"! I am Seattle born, and in all my 54 years this is the worst air pollution I have witnessed, even compared to the historic eruption of Mount St. Helens at 8:32 a.m., on Sunday, May 18, 1980. This CANNOT be the "new norm".
@2 Phoebe in Wallingford: Were they wearing masks?


@5 Morty: How sad. How can people in Eastern Washington, California, or elsewhere live under such conditions? And the wildfires are only getting worse!


Just stay indoors and think of the trees?

The present "let it burn" policy for remote wildfires will in the long run be better for forests than the suppression policies practiced through most of the 20th century.

But in parts of the world that still have substantial forests nearby (or wild prairies, though those have been almost completely wiped out in North America) we're going to have to learn to cope with more smoke as the acreage burned per year returns to historical norms.

It sure does get under your skin, though. Just about any form of ongoing low-level discomfort will set anyone on edge, it if persists long enough.


@1 is full of shit. The last two years are the ONLY time this has happened on the West Side in my 30+ years of living in Seattle. It's fucking awful.


When the sun came up today it was an eerie orange color


Personally it seems like a great come-uppance for all the smug people who think that Seattle is some pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Welcome to reality, it is as bad--if not worse--than many other places around and all your smugness won't change your delusions to accept the reality of congestion, expense, incompetent government, increasing taxes and now--SMOKE! POLLUTION!! --that makes people here think that somehow they were "smarter" than folks in LA or Phoenix or just about anywhere. Wonder if this will affect Amazon HQ2 decision making or other companies looking to locate to the "pristine" PNW? How about a side of super unhealthy air with that 750,000 house that has NO air conditioning!!


15: You're a fucking idiot. The smoke has nothing to do with Seattle's policies ya dumb fuck.



I didn't see anything in @15's schadenfreud-tastic rant about City policy. Or about any other government policy, for that matter.

All I see is someone who's a bit chafed by all the vapid Best/Worst Place To Live magazine articles out there and their general agreement that Seattle is a bit more pleasant than LA, Phoenix, or any other desert strip mall with more than one zip code.


thanks for ruining the end of another summer, canada. keep working on that pipeline i guess.


@18: What a sorry state of affairs for everybody and the future of this planet when our neighbors to the north become Cana-DUH-----in the pursuit of the Almighty Golden Loonie.


@19: That's the problem----how fitting that the loonies are the ones rigging the system and rewriting the rules.


When ya got the Koal miners* making Policy for America,
Yur gonna hafta buck up and cough a bit.

I recommend Koch Stocks. You can earn Money
while suffering lung cancer. So it's not a Total Loss.

*Kochs Kleen Koal is GOOD for you!
So when they purchase the Lawmakers,
and RUN THE EPA, be sure and keep that in mind.

Oh, and Stop WHINING!


The particulate matter in the air as of noon today reached 161. That is more than the 155 I read about in 1985. There were some close to that in 1982 and 1983. I don't know if today is the official new record. I did not read the whole article. You would have to fact check it. It is in the Seattle Times.


If you can just think of all this putridity
as Profits, you'll live longer!


@15: ‘...makes people here think that somehow they were "smarter" than folks in LA...’

We were smart enough to live in a place where (a) visible air pollution is rare, not normal, and (b) when it does happen, it’s the result of faraway events, not chronic local long-term planning which wound up making dirty air an inevitable result of the city’s very existence.

(BTW, my air conditioning, at home, at work, and on the bus, works just fine.)


Call it schadenfreude if you like. I call it being an embittered cunt, and basically the kind of miserable jackass that has led us to Trump.


@10: Not at all. They're die hards.


The smoke makes me or irritable than depressed. It's like everything is dirty.


@15 How's it going down in Barstow? Meth treating you all right?


@21 & @23 kristofarian: You are being scathingly sarcastic, I hope. Please say yes.
@25 JMS: Don't look at me--I proudly voted for Hillary. And I'd do it again. We wouldn't be in this abysmal mess if the Clintons were in the Oval Office as they rightfully should be.
@26 Phoebe in Wallingford: I guess they'll die hard, then?

You'd better BELIEVE I'm depressed as fuck, Katie and everybody! This planet is being rapidly desecrated in the Battle of the Global Loonies.


It's all Trump's fault.


The original question was "Are you depressed? The answer is yes. Seeing smoke above my house is depressing. But, there are many things that have improved since 1985, the most polluted day, up until now. In the '80's our industries and lifestyle created the problem. The Puget Sound area does not create as much air ollution as before. We do, however create more garbage. Our recycling program does not reduce waste and other states burn our garbage. Think of that next time you spend 2 hours seperating recycling that gets dumped and garbage that gets burned. Our population is higher and our pollution output is lower, in the air only. This is the general belief by most news media. It of course could be flawed. You probably need to read other outlets than The Stranger to figure it out. Just sayin.

It is sad that we still see the smoke, but we did not create most of it. If it is coming Canada, and I believe it is, what next. If you believe the Stranger article written by Lester Black "Seattle's Summers Should Be (a bit) Smokey" then it is understandable that forests burn. NATURALLY. The real question that needs to be solved is what to do next. We all know, according to The Stranger, that we should: give up our cars, stop eating meat, stop smoking cigarettes (not Cannibus, apparently it does not pollute), never live in a house, or buy anything from a corporate run business. Even if you commute by bus, you have to support bicycling, even if you don't commute that way. If you do not agree with any of these ideas, climate change is your fault. Nobody at the Stranger even comes close to following this. Niether does 99% of our society. So, just accept the smoke. Holy crap, I rambled on and on. Will this count as my Stranger resume? I'm sorry about the facts above. I can remove them.


I'm really depressed but it has nothing to do with the smoke in Seattle. It has more to do with the whole "broken heart" thing.


Fury Road is easily my favorite film, and Fallout New Vegas is my favorite game, so this is honestly kind of nice!

Our wildfire season wouldn't be so tremendous if we hadn't built up dense underbrush, and by we I mean British Columbia. This is a failure of forest management.

Man, I wish the world was on fire. Time for the planet to shit or get off the pot.


That's the way I like it and I never get bored.


@34: Degenerates like you belong on a cross.


@36, don't be so harsh. There's a new wave from the far left is just mimicking the far right in wishing we would all die horrible deaths. The far right wants Jesus to come back, preferably in the shadow of mushroom clouds while sliding down a hundred mile stack of dead charred children while the far left wants massive violent revolts in the streets with random people who aren't properly "woke" to be slaughtered on sight.


"... the far left wants massive violent revolts in the streets with random people who aren't properly 'woke' to be slaughtered on sight."

I like to think I'm fairly far left, and NO ONE I know ''wants massive violent revolts in the streets with random people who aren't properly 'woke' to be slaughtered on sight."

Projecting, or just too much FOX TeeVee / all-Hate radio?


@21 & @23 kristofarian: Bless you and your scathing sarcasm.
@37: Don't tell me, you're just pissed that no epic proportion massacres, multi-car collisions, or buildings got blown up downtown during or even after Joey Gibson's pathetic little hate rally, right? And you showed up with your Mein Trumpfy red cap all set to fight? Awwwwwww....
Jesus was never a xenophobic corporate oligarch. What are they "teaching" you in Sunday school?
@38 kristofarian: For the win---again. You can add me to your list of no one you know who "wants massive violent revolts in the streets with random people who aren't properly 'woke' to be slaughtered on sight".


@39: ....although I'm surprised Mein Blimpy hasn't long blown up yet from its glut of Big Macs.



You're probably just too old for them?

The average balaclava cosplay cadre is very white, very male, and very young.


@10: oh, Griz, I didn't say it was healthy, I said it was fine. I think they pay Katie by the click. Don't rise to her hand wringing. Wait for Drumpf to pardon Cohen and Manafort before you decide what's outrage-worthy.


GREAT to know, Auntie Gee! Thnx!

Gosh, I dunno, robotsslave -- I'm not meeting them (or even reading about them, in the NYT, Rolling Stone, Truthdig, CrossCut, the Guardian) -- where are you finding all of them? FOX? The Daily Fascist? Junior High?

Are they Everywhere? (Or is this merely more bullshit?)
Help me out here -- I'm getting desperate.


Why are those bullying fascist sociopathic
Terrorist-wannabees so much easier to locate, rbs?



I read the same papers you do, my friend, but I guess my eyes just haven't learned how to skip over the ACAB and the May Day smashings and these guys: ... I mean just look at those dudes. Of course you haven't met them.


I dunno, it's a bit of a puzzle. It might have something to do with those black masks and the yelling "no photos" at journalists and "no snitches" at each other and the admirably self-consistent claims that there are no spokespeople or representatives or leaders. But yeah, probably not, right?


@42 The Scarrlet E: You do have a point about what's truly outrageous, but honestly, the air quality in the PNW has NEVER before been this bad in my lifetime: 54 years + three weeks. What do millennials and younger generations have to look forward to? When it comes to being inexcusably outrageous, Mein Trumpfy, Mein Pencey and their swamp full of morons, madmen, bitches, bimbos, lobbyists,, lawyers, and snot-nosed brats don't know when to stop until all is senselessly lost.


I've been depressed since elementary school, thanks for asking. Though the past week has been especially bad, I feel tired and have had 0 energy. I want to go out to hang out with friends and do things but it's so smoky that I can't breathe well so I don't bother


@14 And for the last few nights, the moon has been an uncanny blood-red.


Or instead of whining about it, you can do something. Become informed and contact your representative. Tell them you want more money budgeted next year for wildfires.