What New Normals Lie Ahead?
The latest smoke map I’ve seen reveals that air quality is bad all the way from New England to Minnesota and, except for Virginia, which somehow escaped, as far south as Georgia. Is this the new normal — the way summers will be from now on? Will people increasingly utter that unpleasant phrase, “Get used to it.” I recently ran across an article that referred to the “shifting baseline syndrome,” which is the principle that each generation takes as normal what it regularly experiences, though members of previous generations rarely or never experienced such events. when they were young. Having reached the nonagenarian stage, I’ve seen more than a few baseline shifts. Once there were a lot of hemlock trees on Long Island. I haven’t seen any in years, but that’s normal.