Coronavirus has shown us why we haven’t acted on climate change

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

The Cliff Analogy

COVID has a very visible cliff ledge, which has led to unprecedented actions by governments and companies around the world. The pace of change at the height of the pandemic was remarkable — daily news updates were no longer valid as restrictions and closures were changing by the hour.

The Permanence Issue

We’ve seen what it has taken to slow the virus with a virtual shutdown of the world. In order to stem climate change at our current capacity, it would take even more drastic measures.

The Travel Problem

Partial shutdown of domestic travel and full shutdown of virtually all international travel has greatly impacted lives.

The Economic Problem

The economy is headed for the worst recession since the Great Depression — maybe even greater.

In the end, we might not need coronavirus’ publicist

Fortunately, though our reaction to climate change has been much less stark than it was to this deadly viral threat, the pandemic itself may be pushing urgency on climate action.

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Jordan Flagel

Jordan is an environmental policy specialist with graduate degrees in resource management and enviro-science. He has worked for think tanks, NGOs, and the UN.