California governor Gavin Newsom announced new guidelines today for state residents to help combat poor air quality resulting from climate-driven wildfires.
“The emissions generated by large-scale forest fires have significantly reduced the state’s air quality, resulting in correspondingly lower oxygen levels,” the governor stated.
“We therefore request all residents to reduce respiration levels by 5% in order to conserve our air quality.”
Noting that lower atmospheric oxygen levels “impact the elderly and sick disproportionately,” Newsom suggested that younger healthy residents might consider “holding their breath for one minute out of every ten,” in order to “provide for those less fortunate.”
The respiration reductions are “recommended, but not mandatory,” the governor stated, but cautioned that continued wildfire activity “might require compulsory restrictions on wasteful consumption of our limited oxygen resources, which I am confident the legislature will pass, if necessary to preserve public health.”