What’s the effect on your lungs of 25 days of smoke? Also — Sonoma County growers are sending undocumented workers to pick grapes in evacuation zones

Photo of Berkeley’s orange skies on September 9, 2020 by Brian Edwards-Tiekert.

On this show:

0:08 – Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, joins us to talk about the latest unemployment filing figures – 884,000 filed for U.S. unemployment benefits last week. “This is a really, really, really high number,” Baker says. Baker surmises that some of the claims include people unable to work due to family obligations, including childcare, as older children go back to school.

0:34 – New projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predict 410,000 deaths in the U.S. from Covid by January 1, 2021, if “business as usual” continues — that is, people not following mask orders and continuing to travel and expose themselves outside their home. Dr. Ali Mokdad joins us — he’s a professor of Health Metrics Sciences at IHME and chief strategy officer for Population Health at the University of Washington.

1:08 – We hear an update from Cal Fire on the fires tearing through the state and forcing evacuations, from Lynette Round, public information officer.

1:13 – What is the effect of a 25-day smoke event on your lungs? The longer the exposure to poor air quality, the greater the risk of negative lung effects, says Dr. John Balmes, a professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. He relays that older people and people with chronic lung disease do experience death as a result of prolonged PM 2.5 pollution exposure.

1:34 – Alleen Brown is a reporter for The Intercept. Her latest story is
“In California’s Wine Country, Undocumented Grape Pickers Forced To Work In Fire Evacuation Zones.”

1:46 – KPFA’s Chris Lee reports on young people in Portugal filing a lawsuit against dozens of European countries for violating their human rights by failing to act to stop climate change.

1:53 – Chelsea Chen is a member of Mask Oakland’s organizational team. Mask Oakland is a grassroots aid initiative to give N95 respirator masks directly to Oaklanders who need them.


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