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Portland in smoke

In Case You Haven’t Heard, Portland’s Air Rivals Beijing…Pipe Down Al

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I am an Oregon native — born in the state capitol of Salem, raised in Central Oregon, Bend, Oregon, and now residing in the south Portland Metro area. And the past two weeks have been an amazing and awful combination of severe heat and out of control forest fires that hit British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon like a blow torch.

My suspicion is that Al “Internet Inventor” Gore, master of all inconvenient truth, climate change fearmonger, is somewhere tittering like Chief Inspector Dreyfus, his eye twitching uncontrollably, chanting, “A HA! I told them the end is near! Global warming or climate change will destroy mankind and everything on the planet!!!”

Portland KGW Channel 8 reported:

The city’s air quality was downgraded from moderate to unhealthy for all Tuesday evening and remained unhealthy for sensitive groups Wednesday.

The Environmental Protection Agency says everyone should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion, and consider staying inside.

Portland’s Air Quality Index (AQI) was 154 on Wednesday evening. A rating higher than 150 is considered unhealthy for everyone.

A rating higher than 200 is considered “very unhealthy.” AQI measures how many particles are in the air.

For two days last week, Portland’s air quality was classified as unhealthy for everyone due to smoke from more than 100 wildfires in British Columbia being blown south to the Rose City.

Portland’s AQI of 160 on Aug. 4 was worse than some of the cities most notorious for poor air quality in the world. The hazy smoke made it difficult to see more than a few glimpses of the otherwise blue-sky day, giving metro residents a taste of life in a much more polluted city.

Compare that to Shanghai, which had an AQI of 117, which is only unhealthy for sensitive groups such as kids and people with respiratory problems. Beijing was experiencing relatively clear air Friday with an AQI of just 60, which is moderately good air quality.

To the south, Mexico City’s air quality index was 93, also considered moderately healthy. Los Angeles also had moderate air, with an AQI of 61.

Before the wildfire smoke rolled in, Portland’s air quality index was projected to be 50.

The smoke from the British Columbia fires rolled into the Portland area Tuesday evening, starting as a low-lying smog and filling the sky by Wednesday. Thousands of people in western Canada have been evacuated due to the wildfires that have been raging for more than a month.

A fire is also burning in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness.

The wildfires have caused air quality around Seattle to deteriorate to “among the worst in the country,” state officials told KGW’s sister station KING5.

No, the end is not near, Al. It has been far too hot and much too smokey.

But I remember about 30 years ago when we had a hot spell of 97+ degrees for a few weeks in the Willamette Valley. I remember my Great-Great-Aunts Minnie and Mabel in their school-marmish cotton shifts, standing in the family lake sipping lemonade. I slept outside on my grandparents’ back deck at night — the breeze would sweep up the canyon and allow me to actually doze off.

So we’ll make it through this ungodly hot season and praise God for AC and cooler days ahead.

But no…we won’t rush off to give polar bears arm floaties and blow up our internal combustion engined-cars.

Because the all too inconvenient truth is, since God Almighty formed this planet and spoke every man, critter and rock into being, climate has changed. And that same Creator has it all in control.

I’ve read the back of the Book. I know who wins. And though I’m too hot at the moment and the air looks incandescent but unsafe, I’m not rattled.

I know who holds the future…and I know He holds me, too.

Sorry about that Al.



 

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