How to Worry

Wherever we look nowadays – the environment, governance, economics, health, or population – we find plenty of reasons to worry. But when we over-worry about some things, we forget other, possibly much more important issues.

COPENHAGEN -- Since time immemorial, people have worried about the earth’s future. We once believed that the sky would fall. More recently we worried that the planet might freeze, and then that technology would grind to a halt because of a computer bug that was supposed to be unleashed at the turn of the millennium.

Those fears melted away, but today the world has many real, pressing problems. Think about the environment, governance, economics, health, or population, and you’ll find plenty of reasons to worry.

Unfortunately, however, we tend to focus on just some of the planet’s biggest issues, and we get a distorted view of the world as a result. Deforestation is a challenge that has attracted alarming headlines, celebrity firepower, and widespread anxiety. It is, to be blunt, a popular cause.

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