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Weather doesn’t respect borders

Perhaps you noticed the moon the last couple of nights with a reddish tint as it crept across the sky. No doubt you saw the haze in the morning air as you looked down the street, or across the valley. Meteorologists tell us the haze is being caused by wildfires burning in the West, affecting our air quality. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has been issuing air quality alerts the last couple of days as the haze descends.

We are used to weather from Canada blowing across the border with no regard for the customs officials. Alberta Clippers have been whipping up snowstorms and high, freezing winds for years. But hazy, smoky air blowing from the western states is something different.

Minnesota is not alone. The East Coast is getting haze from the wildfires burning out west. The nation’s largest wildfire, the Oregon Bootleg fire, is about half the size of Rhode Island, according to the Associated Press.

The haze should be a reminder of how weather is more than just a local phenomenon. Drought and wildfires in the western states can have an impact on the air we breathe here, and even the air in New York and New Jersey.

It’s also a reminder that nations that want to do something about controlling global warming and climate change have to work together, in a united effort, because all the work one country does can mean nothing if the next country over is fouling its air. Like dandelion going to seed in a neighbor’s lawn, there’s no respect for property lines.

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