The afternoon sky glows red from bushfires exacerbated by climate change near Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales on December 31, 2019. | Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images
“Shifting baselines syndrome” means we could quickly get used to climate chaos.
For as long as I’ve followed global warming, advocates and activists have shared a certain faith: When the impacts get really bad, people will act.
Maybe it will be an especially destructive hurricane, heat wave, or flood. Maybe it will be multiple disasters at once. But at some point, the severity of the problem will become self-evident, sweeping away any remaining doubt or hesitation and prompting a wave of action.
From this perspective, the scary possibility is that the moment of reckoning will come too late. There’s a time lag in climate change — the effects being felt now
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