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Climate Change - What Will it Take?
By Jessica Shepherd
It is October 20th and we are in Seattle visiting family for the week. On our flight into SeaTac the city is vailed by smoke from fires to the north and east. As we make our way uptown, our Uber driver tells us she moved here on June 20th and it has only rained once since then. At Hal’s daughter’s house we hear the same thing - four months with only a single day of precipitation, here in the Rainy City. Yesterday, and again today, the smoke takes on a sinister pail, hovering and cloying. We walk to a restaurant with his daughter Anna and her boyfriend Dan, donning face masks outside to lessen the intake of particulates, taking them off once we step inside - the opposite of our Covid protocol. The air quality index in Seattle, hovering above 200, is purported to be the worst in the world two days running due to drought-influenced fires. Later, we pass a flag which reads, “Climate Change is Real” hanging from the second-story porch of a turn-of-the-last-century house. We shake our heads and wonder aloud what it will take before denial succumbs to acceptance and action.