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In the 1980s, when I was 10-12 years old, I came across an illustrated book focused on environmental education. I don’t recall its title but there was a page in it that stuck with me. It contained people going about their daily routines while wearing gas masks. There was a mother walking with her child, and a man in a dark coat pressing a newspaper to his chest. The passing cars expelled smoke from their tailpipes, and the buildings looked beaten and distressed from caustic rain. Above everything swirled suffocating brown and yellow clouds. It was terrifying.

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