Acting on the climate crisis is different to the coronavirus

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There’s a lot of things we never thought we’d be talking about in relation to environmentalism and here’s another! We’re trying to take a pragmatic lens on it though. A lot of people are asking why we’re not reacting to climate change like we are to coronavirus and it’s a good question and absolutely understandable. We’d LOVE to see urgent global action on climate. America’s bungled virus action is pretty on-par with environmentalism in the States though! ⁠

If the virus continues to spread and we end up in a severe pandemic situation there will of course be additional fall out in other realms (like a recession) and it will be painful. Nevertheless, in China we see coal consumption at power plants was down 36% (though crude steel production was almost unchanged) and satellite NO2 pollution levels were 37% lower. Flight cancellations have been reducing global commercial aviation volumes somewhat.⁠

In the words of Carbon Brief for China: “All told, the measures to contain coronavirus have resulted in reductions of 15% to 40% in output across key industrial sectors. This is likely to have wiped out a quarter or more of the country’s CO2 emissions over the past four weeks, the period when activity would normally have resumed after the Chinese new year holiday. February car sales are forecast to fall by 30% below last year’s already depressed levels.”⁠

But coronavirus action is not equal to climate action.⁠


We need to communicate the climate crisis & stories better too. Clearly we can localize and reduce emissions immediately when we need to. We can drastically change the way we work suddenly. We can consume less. We can listen to scientists. We can travel less. We can slow down construction. So how do we transfer this to a long-term crisis? (Selling a positive future has to be part of it).