Commentary: Will The Smoke Wake Up Southeast Asia?

For years, environmentalists have pleaded with governments in Southeast Asia to save the region's vast rain forests. Officials responded that if wealthy western nations were so concerned, they should foot the cleanup bill. They also downplayed the damage loggers and planters caused by lighting fires every dry season to clear land on Sumatra and Borneo. The consequent smog dissipated quickly enough for Indonesia and its neighbors to ignore these annual pollution spells.

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