Next Steps For Addressing Climate Change Could Be Learned From COVID-19


Via Flickr

Thomas Robinson | November 3rd, 2020

Action is needed to mitigate the coming climate crisis.  In a recent post from Yale Climate Connections (YCC), four experts emphasize lessons from the current pandemic that could prove important for the climate crisis.

 A key component preventing immediate climate action is the amount of uncertainty associated with climate science.  Not that the message of climate change is uncertain, but that the science supporting climate conclusions relies on models and predictions that include an element of risk and uncertainty.  The experts make the point that even though there is uncertainty in the models, inaction is unacceptable in the face of the threat posed by climate change.

Another lesson that COVID has revealed, is that inequality results in different experiences for those who face crisis.  COVID in the United States has resulted in a disproportionate effect on those with limited means, particularly black americans resulting in heightened death tolls and economic damages.  Similarly, climate change is affecting poorer countries more than richer countries which has only widened the wealth gap.

The 2020 Iowa Climate Statement draws similar parallels, that what we learn from the current pandemic can help address the climate crisis.  Inaction because of uncertainty only worsens the problem. To prevent inaction, informed and early measures must be taken, otherwise the challenges we face will only become more difficult to deal with.

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