I screamed & cried (literally) when I heard this news while driving through smoke with <.5 mile visibility to help my father seal his condo from the historically toxic air in Portland. It was 598 AQI in his hallway when I arrived. Worse outside (1) npr.org/2020/09/12/912…
My eyes were burning, throat hurting, headache piercing ... & I was wearing a vented N95 (under my surgical mask because Covid). Few people have access to those or air purifiers. I was out for a total of an hour and I’ve felt sick for 15 hours & counting (2)
So many of my most beloved places are on fire, many of them gone. I’m worried about so many people — their homes, their lungs, their hearts, their livelihoods. And so many animals. #ClimateChangeIsReal #CovidIsReal #Vote
The only way I can actually photograph the color of the sky is to take pictures of the orange shadows it casts on my floor because the makers of iPhones didn’t envision anyone needing to document non-sky-colored skies #climatechangeisreal(3)
I can’t overstate how toxic this is. This is INDOORS. No living creature should ever breathe this. I’m privileged enough to have an air purifier keeping my basement air (& *only* my basement air) breathable. So many people don’t have that luxury; I think about them constantly (4)
My dad lives in a condo that usually has this amazing view (5)
Yesterday that view looked like this (6) #climatechangeisreal
... And like this (7) #climatechangeisreal
And yet. The man just appointed to help lead NOAA “is affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a think tank that has poured money into convincing Americans that climate change is not happening & that the scientific evidence is uncertain or untrustworthy” npr.org/2020/09/12/912…
The scope of this tragedy is beyond what we can yet imagine. People are dead. So many missing. >1 million acres with its homes & businesses & animals & trees have burned. AND THAT IS JUST OREGON. The same is happening all over the west right this moment opb.org/article/2020/0…
👆🏻I’m so pissed I keep forgetting to number my posts in this thread. I think this is 9. 👇🏻
And yet. There are beautiful flowers, even buds, because that is how life and fire work. There are many trees somehow not falling despite tremendous winds making them bend and crack; there are rivers and coming rain that will hopefully contain the fires. (10)
There’s a new parks pass that came yesterday via USPS (!), ordered a lifetime ago last week, when I could hike & paddle board in places now on fire. There is a wake up call for change. There are so many good people — humans who do incredible things in response to tragedy. (11)
Also: for those who haven’t tried to breathe air with AQI anywhere near 600...First: Stepping into it felt like walking into a sandstorm—tiny sharp toxic particles smacking your face, stinging skin, eyes instantly burning as if blown with sand, but there was no wind or sand (13)
Breathing it in I kept thinking: I imagine this is a bit of what drowning feels like. Your body reflexively pulling a substance into its lungs over & over hoping to find any bits of oxygen. Underwater there is none. In this air there is some, so you don’t suffocate. But ... (14)
With whatever O2 there is, you also fill your lungs with carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and a whole cocktail of other toxic, cancer causing things (which all feels like tiny shards of glass) (14) epa.gov/sciencematters…
And I was wearing *two masks* ... a ventilating N95 +a cloth mask to cover the vent (because vented masks don’t protect others from Covid). What I should have had was a respirator. Most people breathing this were just wearing thin Covid masks (0 smoke protection) or no mask (15)
Also, correction to tweet 2: I said it was a surgical mask. As you can see from this photo 👆🏻 it clearly has flamingos on it. Cloth flamingo masks not generally found in surgical suites. That’s just a Covid mask. LOL. (16)
Ok, now I’m putting on my N95 & leaving my air purifier in the basement to go up to my kitchen to make coffee (current kitchen AQI: 298 which is 😱). Current outside AQI: 426. I’ll surely add more to this thread later. (17) #ClimateChangeIsReal #ButIStillNeedCoffee 😷☕️
Also: @lizweil wrote this BEFORE the Oregon inferno situation started: “This is a story about frustration, about watching the West burn when you fully understand why it’s burning — and understand why it did not need to be this bad” propublica.org/article/they-k… (18)
Then that same @Lizweil published this just 12 days later, when everything was cataclysmicly worse (19) propublica.org/article/the-cl… (thank you, @lizweil also 😩)
Thanks to all RTing & commenting. It feels like much of the world doesn’t realize how bad it is here. As for NY with Covid, Australia with fires. We are actually all in this together 🌍. It’s hard to take in more difficult stories now, I know. But it’s essential #StoriesMatter
Important addition to my description of trying to breathe this air: I’m healthy, I have no preexisting conditions; I’m not elderly or a child. My experience is nothing compared to what so many experience & the accompanying risks. Also...ouch my brain: (21) brainfacts.org/thinking-sensi…
File this under HEADLINES NO ONE SHOULD HAVE EVER HAD TO WRITE ... and yet ... I’m glad they did because there’s a lot of useful important information in here everyone should know (22) #ClimateChangeIsReal #CovidIsReal #ScienceIsReal opb.org/article/2020/0…
The West has been blanketed in toxic smoke for weeks. It’s not going away. MILLIONS are breathing historically bad air. Many/most don’t have access to N95 masks or purified air. People are going outside to work. Has Trump even acknowledged this? #VoteLikeYourLifeDependsOnIt (23)
What we need from the feds is a long list (which never included armed troops). Help with clean air shelters is v high on it now—Covid safe places for people to breathe if they can’t purify their homes, or don’t have homes to purify. The health costs of inaction are enormous (24)
I am glad to see @fema is in Oregon now helping with the fires. Hey, @Fema: Are you or any other federal agency helping to set up clean air shelters for the millions of people breathing toxic air? In Portland and all over the west? (25) kgw.com/article/news/l…
Hey folks I’m new to emergency rage tweeting. 😬 Do we rage tweeters just keep adding to 1 thread for continuity/ability to track info? Or is it better to do single rage tweets/smaller rage threads? This thread is at 26 (Plus the ones I forgot to number because I was so pissed)
@fema @FEMARegion10 👆🏻
Yes this is right👇🏻& rage tweeting about it is now my full time job. Millions are breathing toxic air, many dead or missing, so many homes/businesses/acres burned/burning/close to fire. We need clean air shelters STAT where people can breathe clean air

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More from @RebeccaSkloot

Jun 7, 2020
#PublishingPaidMe just showed up in my feed & I believe it's important for many reasons. So, I'm in: White straight cis female nonfiction, author of Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. What #publishingpaidme is complicated in my case; full answer & context in thread below (1/n)
Henrietta was a black woman whose cells, codenamed HeLa, were taken by white researchers w/out her consent. Her cells are still alive; she died in '51. HeLa launched a medical revolution & multi-billion$ industry. Her children were also used in research w/o consent (& more) (2/n)
So, when #publishingpaidme I was a white writer trying to publish a book about a Black woman/family who'd been used in $research by white people without benefit, only harm. I was also writing about the history of the v earned mistrust between Black people & science (3/n)
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