The future comes with orange skies. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang - that is, a sudden, universal catastrophe - but with a series of smaller, more local catastrophes that keep getting bigger and more widespread.

"I've been seeing a surprising number of complaints about the media space devoted to New York's orange skies and red alerts.

James Fellows, a former editor of The Atlantic, writes :

'' Everyone who has lived in a big Chinese / Indian city during the past couple of decades, or in Pacific NW / SF Bay area / SoCal during US / Canadian wildfires is thinking : Yes, we feel for everyone in smoke-ridden NYC!

And, we can't help but notice the diff in press attention.''

True. But air pollution in Asian cities has been created by local conditions. The recent intensified problem of wildfire pollution in the Western United States, by contrast, was indeed a harbinger of climate-related disaster, and should have been seen as such.

The problem, however, isn't that the air quality disaster in New York [ and much of the Eastern United States ] is receiving too much attention, but that its predecessors received too little.

Yes, it's unfair that smoke-filled skies in New York, still the center of the media universe, get noticed in a way that comparable crises elsewhere don't.

But that's a minor issue compared with the importance of learning from these crises, now that enough influential people have seen with their own eyes what's happening.

The World Students Society thanks Professor Paul Krugman for his opinion.


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