The air quality in Wisconsin has reached concerning levels, particularly in the southwest region. Largely driven by smoke from Canadian wildfires, the poor air quality has prompted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to issue orange and red air quality advisories for several counties across the state.
Air pollution poses severe risks to public health, exacerbating respiratory diseases, cardiovascular issues, and diminishing the overall quality of life for residents.
Clean Wisconsin Climate, Energy and Air Program Director, Chelsea Chandler, expressed concern over the increasing frequency of air quality warnings in Wisconsin, saying, “When climate change-enhanced heat and drought turn parts of Canada into a tinderbox, that’s our problem too. As we’re seeing now, smoke from massive wildfires can quickly transform blue skies into noxious haze.”
Climate change is a global problem that impacts everyone, and we must work together to advance solutions. Although greenhouse gases, particulate matter, and other dangerous pollutants are emitted locally, they circulate through the atmosphere and travel with the wind. Air pollution does not respect state boundaries or international borders.
“For those of us living in Wisconsin, some might think that we’re largely insulated from major climate harms, but the truth is we’re no island. There are no true climate havens because the air is part of the commons. You can’t escape the air.” said Chandler.
Fires in places like Canada and the western United States are both products and causes of climate change. Urgent action is needed to advance climate solutions, such as improving energy efficiency, electrifying vehicles and buildings, and supporting clean energy. Clean Wisconsin remains committed to advocating for robust air quality standards, supporting the adoption of solar and wind energy, and promoting policies that reduce climate pollution.
Clean Wisconsin urges residents to stay informed about air quality levels and take necessary precautions to protect their health and future.