Mayfield: As smoke settles over halls of power, will minds change?

Jun 9, 2023, 7:52 AM | Updated: 9:19 am

mayfield smoke minds change...

Buildings in Jersey City, N.J. are partially obscured by smoke from Canadian wildfires as a ferry travels up the Hudson River, seen from the Manhattan borough of New York on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

(AP Photo/Patrick Sison)

As the smoke in New York clears, will minds as well? As the smog in D.C. lifts, will obstinance follow?

Human-caused climate change is real. It has real impacts on real lives.

More from Travis Mayfield: An open letter to Washington State Republicans

Weaker jet streams are a direct result of warming planetary temperatures. Weaker jet streams lead to more heat domes. More heat domes lead to worsening droughts and wildfires.

We on the West Coast know this. In the Pacific Northwest, we now have a fifth season each year between summer and fall, smoke season. In California, they know with over 12 million acres burned there in the last decade.

And yet when asked by HuffPo, Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville (AL) said about the smoke and fire, “It’s unfortunate that this is happening. It too shall pass.”

And it’s not just Republicans, West Virginia Democrat Senator Joe Manchin this week held an event celebrating the fossil fuel pipeline he just secured $6 billion to build.

And over on Fox News? Hosts mocked people for wearing masks and experts for warning about health effects.

Still, as the temporary apocalypse is gently blown from the halls of power and towers of commerce, will the residue it leaves change any hearts?

What we all need to do is clear. The science is clear. The solutions are in front of us, and if we work together, they can make economic as well as environmental sense.

Look at electric vehicles, I just read in the Washington Post that some of the reddest counties in the reddest states have some of the fastest adoption rates because it makes sense for their budgets.

I’m all for fighting it out on so many issues, just not this one. Human-caused climate change is real, and it will change all our lives as it reshapes our planet, and we must act together, or at some point soon, that smoke won’t just blow away at all.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Mayfield: As smoke settles over halls of power, will minds change?