As skies turn orange, the media still hesitate to mention what’s changing the climate.

by Olivia Riggio, FAIR

Skies on the US’s East Coast turned an apocalyptic orange in early June, as wildfire smoke from Canada blew south. On Wednesday, June 7, New York City’s air quality ranked the worst in the world, with an Air Quality Index rating of more than 400 out of 500—deemed “hazardous” for any individual.

Scientists expect forest fires to increase with the advance of climate disruption—mainly driven by fossil fuel consumption. Hotter, dryer weather, an increase in the type of brush that fuels these fires, and more frequent lightning strikes all contribute to this outcome (NOAA, 8/8/22; UN, 2/23/22PNAS11/1/21International Journal of Wildland Fire8/10/09).

the nyc skyline is turned orange by smoke

Short-term exposure to fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke can cause nose, throat and lung irritation, as well as worsening underlying conditions like asthma and heart disease. Over months or years, this exposure can increase chances of chronic bronchitis, as well as hospital admissions and deaths due to conditions like lung cancer and heart disease. In Delhi, India, which typically has the worst air quality in the world, pollution takes an average of nine years off residents’ life expectancy (Democracy Now!6/8/23).

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