Smoke still bad for health

Lillyana Petlock, Columnist

CO2 Emissions Still on the Rise
By Lillyana Petlock

Waking up in the mornings, no one expects to have dry eyes, difficulty breathing, or see animal behavior changing.
Isabelle Stevens, senior, describes her mornings with smoke saying, “The smoke has been affecting my cats’ mood and my eyes. When I wake up and they are super dry. I know it is the smoke outside.” Wildfires are predicted to emit 6.38 billion tones of CO2, according to Copernicus, an atmosphere monitoring service.
Atticus Earnest, sophomore, talks about how he avoids the smoke in the atmosphere. “I pretty much sit in my room all day and do my homework.”
The outside world has dramatically changed the perspective of attempting to “spend time outside.”
Elizabeth Earnest, the mother of Atticus Earnest, states, “I encourage my kids to go on bike or skateboard rides. The smoke completely changed the amount of time spent outside. Ever since the fires 3 years ago we don’t want to chance the bad air.”
The fires in 2017 were emitted 32.5 billion tons of CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere. Fires in the arctic have emitted 245 megatons of CO2 emissions versus 181 megatons of CO2 emissions during the fires last year. Thomas Smith, an assistant professor of environmental geography states, “We have seen two years of anomalously high activity, according to the satellite record goes back to 2003.”
In May of 2020, scientists reported that CO2 emissions broke a high record of 418 ppm (parts per million) in human history. Despite the world being in strict quarantine, CO2 emissions are still dramatically rising. The U.S. Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke claims that “we know that wildfires can be deadly and cost billions of dollars but this analysis from the U.S. Geological Survey shows just how bad catastrophic fires are for the environment and for the public’s health.”
Air pollution is estimated to kill seven million people worldwide every year. Such studies are possible by comparing citizens who live near heavy CO2 emitted areas versus citizens who live a large distance away from those heavy areas. A team of researchers led by, Jos Lelieveld, author of the Max Plank Institute for Chemistry states, “790,000 people died who would have died later if there was no air pollution.” Air pollution is shortening the lives of people who could have lived much longer. Due to the dangerous chemicals put into the atmosphere, living long may not be an option.
According to New Science, air pollution kills more people than smoking a cigarette.