News just for you.
News just for you.
I live in a roughly rectangle-shaped Canadian province bigger than California (British Columbia) that consists of towns and cities, interspersed by mountains, forests, and a dash of bears. Situated to the left is a huge body of water, which provides us with a temperate climate. Thanks, Pacific Ocean, for giving us our precipitation which, in its haste to make us all wet, occasionally falls sideways.
Every summer, however, lightning strikes and errant cigarettes cause wildfires in the interior of the province. This results in the smoke of these fires drifting over to the coastal cities, to hover over us like a malodorous eiderdown. Each year is worse than the one previous – not unlike the Transformers franchise. It has been like this for many weeks now, a haze in the air carrying with it all the toxins that the Surgeon General warned us about.
We are told that the resultant toxic miasma is the equivalent to the smoking of 7 cigarettes. My sister (she has an awesome brother, but is quite formidable in her own right) quipped that it was only a matter of time until the federal government started taxing us for those free cigarettes we are smoking. That line, as they say, had legs, and I related it to all and sundry to varying degrees of dry chuckles, which may have been due to the particulate matter in the air.
In any case, all vigorous outdoor activity has been curtailed, since the air quality is in the ‘danger’ zone, especially for the elderly and those with existing respiratory ailments. Those of who love to run outdoors (me and roughly half the population of Vancouver) must now run inside like mad hamsters, until the air quality goes back to normal. That is, when we are only breathing in the exhaust of thousands of Humvees and Escalades vying for dominance.
The decreased visibility has grounded aircraft, resulting in more airspace for birds. They are enjoying a respite from being sucked into the fuselage of airliners. As we creep into fall, and the wildfires are brought under control, the avian carnage will once again resume.
It beggars comprehension how a flock can negotiate through such an impenetrable cloud. Some say they use the earth’s magnetism, using a mineral called magnetite that is located above their beak. That seems to smack of junk science to me, and I prefer to think that the flock leader uses an Internet Cafe wearing a false beard.
Is this tied to global warming? Will we all be sporting bandannas and be indistinguishable from bank robbers? Will this warrant a Netflix series, starring Nick Nolte as a grizzled fire chief? Nobody knows. Now I must return to my hamster wheel.
Thanks for reading about our little ‘crisis’ – may your visibility be limitless and free of carcinogens.