David Wallace-Wells is the deputy editor of New York and the author of The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.
“Between 1.5 degrees and 2 degrees of warming, just that extra half degree of warming, is going to kill 150 million people from air pollution alone. That’s 25 times the death toll of the Holocaust. And when I say that to people, their eyes open. They’re like oh my god, this is suffering on such an unconscionable scale. And it is. But 9 million people are dying already every year from air pollution. That’s a Holocaust every year, right now. And our lives aren’t meaningfully oriented around those people and those deaths. And very few people we know have their lives meaningfully oriented around those people and those deaths. And I think it’s quite likely that, going forward, those impulses of compartmentalization and denial and narcissism will continue to govern our response to this crisis. Which is tragic.”
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