Would you feel more urgency about climate change if all you could see was smoke?

By | September 10, 2020

Charlie Warzel writes:

The American West does not have a monopoly on climate-related disasters. Hurricane seasons grow worse each year and devastating earthquakes loom. The flooding in the Midwest and storms like the recent derecho in Iowa are calamities that deserve equal attention. They’re also urgent alarm bells. Everyone on earth right now is experiencing unpredictable and dire weather. No region is alone in experiencing the tragedy of our dying planet.

I’m not so naïve as to think that all Americans would, say, support a Green New Deal if they had to confront a California fire season head-on — that’s not even the case for California residents! But there is a surrealness to these wildfires and their profound impact that remains difficult to explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced them.

Unlike a storm that makes landfall and barrels through, leaving destruction in its path, the encroaching infernos descend for days, weeks, even months, and become part of our lives. It feels both like the end of days and like the new normal — a stultifying Instagram filter fitted over our eyes at all times. [Continue reading…]

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