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“What is happening with B.C. is very consistent with what has happened across the western U.S. for decades and centuries, before logging and the extraction of fossil fuels changed the face of the American West. Nature really wakes up in big, loud ways, and in spectacular ways.”
— Heather Scoffield, CREDO activist
This week on The K Street Show, Heather Scoffield looks at the devastation taking place on the Washington state coast after the Exxon Valdez spilled in 1989. Now 25 years later, the school community is grieving the loss of 22 teachers, employees and students of Forks Middle School who died. Underneath the eerie trauma are the complex issues of tourism in the area and the power of environmental crises to change our perception of who we are.
Then, when it comes to the current disaster in California, Heather talks about why what happened is not something to shake a stick at. The problem, according to Heather, is the toxic level of burnt leaves and other waste from wildfires that has built up through the years, has seeped into soil and soil growth in the Central Valley, and it could take upwards of 500 years to fix.
* Heather Scoffield (host): Good morning from my home office. I have some special guest here today, Heather Scoffield. She is a pretty interesting person and she is the co-director of the Institute for Policy Innovation.
* Co-Director: Heather and I have been working together for a long time, so she has joined us here for the first time on The K Street Show.
* Heather Scoffield: Yeah, first time to talk to you guys about what is going on here in the Pac-12 region in California. We’ve got a very big story, a big story playing out right now. The magnitude of the disaster.
* Heather Scoffield: I don’t have to tell you how devastating it is for the clean air, clean water and our other sustainable resources and prosperity of our communities here in California. What’s especially outrageous is the fact that California is actually really focused on climate change. Governor Jerry Brown has made it a big issue. The commitments that we’ve made under the Paris Accord and elsewhere. So, very deeply disturbed by this story.
* Co-Director: Well, I mean, what we’re seeing in the Central Valley is completely unacceptable. These children who are out there, dying from inhalation of the smoke, this smoke that has been produced not from the fires, but from all of this logging, all of this tree burning, all of this burning natural lands. It’s the result of our addiction to overused natural resources. It’s a massive pollution pattern. I mean, this is going on right now and it is a disaster.
* Heather Scoffield: Now, the governor is talking about putting in better air quality filters in these trucks. I mean, so, it’s pretty ridiculous to have regular truckers who are supposed to have auto emissions filters and these things under factory coatings on their trucks that not only are they not meeting modern standards but they are producing this fire smoke that has to be offset.
* Heather Scoffield: The problem is that nature is a very sophisticated system. Nature does not forget. It does not forgive. And when a problem like this – and this is happening all across America – where humanity has taken a big role and has created these toxic consequences to the environment, it wakes up in big, loud ways, and in spectacular ways. This is what is happening in B.C. It’s happening in the North Carolina mountains with mountaintop removal mining. It’s happening in the thousands of other places. What is happening with B.C. is very consistent with what has happened across the western U.S. for decades and centuries, before logging and the extraction of fossil fuels changed the face of the American West. Nature really wakes up in big, loud ways, and in spectacular ways.