New Video: Climate and Corona response – The Story is the Same

April 10, 2020

8 Responses to “New Video: Climate and Corona response – The Story is the Same”

  1. redskylite Says:

    We’ve seen the applause for the over-stretched health workers, and people coming out of retirement to contribute their experience and usefulness to the cause just about world-wide.

    Left or right let’s hope this part of the story is also the same later on, when we address the climate.


    “There needs to be that vigilance and the willingness of leaders to open their eyes – because delays are deadly – respond to the immediate epidemic and then once the panic’s gone, keep promises about investing in preventing the next one; it’s that leadership.”

  2. indy222 Says:

    Unlike most, perhaps, I don’t take particular hope from the CV 19 parallel. Yes, we can motivate for an emergency threat to life and limb – we knew that already from Pearl Harbor 70 years ago. We’ve known humans cause climate change with our CO2 and the feedback of higher humidity, for longer even than Pearl Harbor (Callendar in 1938). What have we done about it? Nothing. That it’s a slow moving steam roller and that it’s relentless and getting bigger and more relentless isn’t changing our response. A recent poll shows 40% of the US public isn’t even willing to spend $1 / month to do anything about climate change, even though 70% of the public now accepts its a concern and will probably harm their family. 70% won’t spend even $10/ month . A lousy burrito a month, is too expensive to deal with climate change.
    These facts need to be faced squarely by people. I’m a scientist. But the problem with scientists is they hang around too many scientists – who WANT to know the truth of things, WANT to understand things as deeply as possible and know real solutions to problems. So they end up thinking, like Bill McKibbin once said in one of his talks – “My early thought was. Wow, this is really a danger we need to change. I imagined that the way I would accomplish that is that I’d go out and explain things to a wide audience, and they’d change”. There followed laughter from the crowd, and of course he learned how naive that was. Unless you really grasp the deep programming of the Human animal in civilization context, you’ll continue to invest hope and be unrewarded. I think the only realistic solution given THAT context, is that we’ll only learn the hard way. Overshoot and crash – like all complex dynamical non-linear systems tend to do.

    • redskylite Says:

      I do not think that the current Covid-19 virus outbreak will have an effect on “climate change attitude” when the coronavirus danger is past.

      However do not expect the general population to read every scientific paper and judge it’s relevance to society.

      Ordinary people do not read science papers. It is nor their job.

      So who’s responsibility is it to react and give weighting to science papers’ ?

      We know that fossil fueled business interests have suppressed knowledge and there is a professional denial industry.

      So we must strive harder to overcome these obstacles.

      Covid-19 shows we can act, when we realize the threat is serious.

      Many cities and people around the world are fighting hard to change – it is a bit overstated to say we have done nothing – we have not done enough, but we have done something/ And we can do a lot mre.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Well said! I’m with you—-we will learn little from the coronavirus because we do NOT “…really grasp the deep programming of the Human animal in civilization context”.

      I’m still working my way through the pile of books I checked out before the libraries closed and am now part way through two that deliver parallel and supporting messages about the inadequacies of the human animal’s ability to deal with crises like pandemics and climate change.. Excellent reads, both of them.

      PITCHFORK POPULISM: Ten Political Forces that Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America, by Bradford Kane, Prometheus Books, 2019
      Views the things that led to the election of Trump and how they may play out in the future. Trump was not a total accident—-he filled a need for many.

      THE DECADENT SOCIETY; How We Became the Victims of Our Own Success, by Ross Douthat, Avid Reader Press, 2020
      A real eye-opener—-expands on the term”decadence” to look at how Civilization in the US and the West particularly, but in the whole world due to globalization, run-amok capitalism, and technology, is for want of a better word, “crumbling”. One of the studies cited shows that popular music has been deteriorating over the past few decades and becoming less complex—fewer and simpler chords, simpler lyrics, more repetitive

      Both of these books stress that the so-called “technological advances” of the internet and social messaging are actually doing great harm by allowing everybody and anybody to clog the information network with non-science and ideological bullshit. I can’t see any way to overcome that except “overshoot and crash”(and hope that gets enough people’s attention to turn things around)

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Unless you really grasp the deep programming of the Human animal in civilization context, you’ll continue to invest hope and be unrewarded.

      Industry special-interest groups have long known how to deal with the Human animals in Congress. At the same time you’re giving them an influential donation, provide them with some sort of rationale that helps them pretend they’re still Doing the Right Thing.

  3. redskylite Says:

    An excellent, (somewhat depressing) take on the situation from MIT.

    “The question, of course, is what happens as the pandemic recedes. In theory, this presents a new opportunity to get climate progress back on track. Stimulus packages designed to kick-start economic growth could include funding and policies to accelerate clean energy and climate adaptation projects, for example. The world will certainly be better equipped to face both pandemics and climate catastrophes if nations choose to more readily share resources, expertise, and information.

    “That interconnectedness is quite apparent when it comes to getting masks and medicine,” says Jane Flegal, program officer with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Environment Program. “And it’s also apparent when you talk about the importance of making clean energy cheap and the role of technology transfer in the climate context.”

    But in the end, whether people are left feeling that we need to tighten international ties or erect higher walls may depend a lot on how ugly things get in the coming weeks and months, and the political narratives that take hold as we try to make sense of how it all happened.”

  4. […] Times columnist Paul Krugman in prepping for my most recent Yale Climate Connections video – check that here if you have not yet […]

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