The West will see worsening air pollution, fires and floods

Climate change: West will see worsening air pollution, fires and floods

  • Two studies released this week predict a dire future of climate-fueled disasters for the American West.
  • Without substantive action, wildfires will dramatically increase dangerous air pollution in the Pacific Northwest and parts of Northern California.
  • Further fires followed by flooding are also expected to cause more devastating mudslides.

SAN FRANCISCO — The West, once a beacon of all that was new and hopeful in America, could become an example of the bleak, apocalyptic future the nation faces because of climate change.

The past five years have already been trying.

Whole neighborhoods burned down to the foundations. Children are kept indoors because the air outside is too dangerous to play. Deadly mudslides of burnt debris destroying cities. Blood red skies so dark at noon, the streetlights come on and the postmen wear headlamps to deliver the mail.

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Teresa H. Sadler