Writers and reporters immersed in climate change stories are thinking about useful comparisons they might make with the unfolding story of COVID-19.”These Click To Tweet
Some of these pieces are fairly predictable, others thoughtful and thought-provoking and worth your time. Stories included in this feature offer different perspectives and additional insights and ideas. (This feature will be updated and expanded, roughly weekly, over the coming weeks and months.)
April 14 Update
- “After the Coronavirus, Two Sharply Divergent Paths on Climate,” Fred Pearce, Yale Environment 360. This very good discussion of the leading pessimistic and optimistic narratives can substitute for many other articles that elaborate on just one possibility.
- “Decades of Science Denial Related to Climate Change Has Led to Denial of the Coronavirus Pandemic,” Neela Banerjee and David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News. A thorough and efficient retelling of the climate denial story with its parallels to the virus denial.
- “‘The Impossible Has Already Happened’: What Coronavirus Can Teach Us about Hope,” Rebecca Solnit, The Guardian. Solnit is particularly good at facing the negative while not letting it overwhelm the positive, with results that many readers find heartening. As she writes here, “It is too soon to know what will emerge from this emergency, but not too soon to start looking for chances to help decide it. It is, I believe, what many of us are preparing to do.”
- “Inside Clean Energy: 7 Questions (and Answers) About How Covid-19 is Affecting the Clean Energy Transition,” Dan Gearino, Inside Climate News. A quick and efficient summary. For more on this important topic, see “Inside Clean Energy’s Coronavirus Job Crash,” David Ferris, Energywire and “‘Horrible.’ Coronavirus Unravels Energy Efficiency Industry,” David Iaconangelo, Energywire. On the other hand, for a more encouraging story about New York State’s new legislation, see “And So It Begins: World’s 11th-Biggest Economy Pitches Renewable Energy for COVID-19 Recovery,” Tina Casey, Clean Technica.
April 3 Update
- “The Climate Crisis Will Be Just as Shockingly Abrupt,” Melody Schreiber (The New Republic). A good overview that focuses on tipping points both good and bad, both physical and social.
- “Don’t Let Covid-19 Go the Way of Climate Change,” Joseph Majkut (Niskanen Center). A good policy overview from this nonprofit think tank: “As we improvise our response to coronavirus, it’s crucial that the debate about the best way to tackle the pandemic doesn’t turn into one in which fidelity to science once again becomes a matter of polarized partisanship, as it has in the climate debate.”
- “Will the Coronavirus Kill the Oil Industry and Help Save the Climate?” Damien Carrington, Jillian Ambrose, and Matthew Taylor (The Guardian). Very interesting speculations from those who might know.
- “Self-isolation Proves a Boon to Rainfall Project,” Jonathan Amos (BBC). A quirky bit of good news: volunteers with extra time on their hands help organize historical rain data.
- “Politicians Blew off Gen Z’s Climate Goals. The Coronavirus Shows We Can Act Fast,” Jamie Margolin (Washington Post). As this 18-year-old climate justice activist says, “My generation is giving up our youth – our schooling, our fun and our freedom – so that you can see next year. When this is over, you may have to keep giving something up so that we can see the next century.”
- “We’re in ‘Emergency Mode’ for Coronavirus – We Can Do the Same Thing for Climate,” Margaret Klein Salamon (The Hill). Shifting from normal to emergency mode includes talking about climate change as often and as passionately as we are talking about the pandemic.
- “5 Hurricane Response Lessons That Apply to Coronavirus,” Adam Sobel (NYT). An interesting take on disaster management – but also a sad one, as we have clearly already failed to follow some of these lessons.
- “What Climate Grief Taught Me About the Coronavirus,” Mary Annaïse Hegler (The New Republic). “Both the coronavirus crisis and the climate crisis reveal that our world is inextricably interconnected, and it’s as strong or as fragile as those connections. We have to strengthen those connections. It is our only choice.”
March 26 Update
- “Coronavirus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate Change,” Beth Gardiner (Yale Environment 360). An excellent, comprehensive overview.
- “Corona Stimulus Plans Overlook ‘Historic’ Chance for Climate Crisis,” in Deutsche Welle. A collection of expert opinions.
- “Covid-19 and Climate Change; Generational Fear Drives Action,” Brad Zarnett (Medium). This lively opinion piece suggests that the right dose of fear might energize us to make changes – fear felt by older folks in the case of the virus, younger folks with climate.
- “Scientists Explain Why Coronavirus Isn’t Good for the Climate,” Becky Ferreira (Vice). What some climate scientists are thinking – not least that the global slowdown is providing new data and research opportunities that might help us in the future.
- “In the Face of a Pandemic, Climate Activists Reevaluate Their Tactics,” Judy Fahys (Inside Climate News). How climate activists are responding to the urgency of the coronavirus while trying to keep the climate story from getting lost.
March 18 Posts
- The New York Times has a strong overview article, “Climate Change Has Lessons for Fighting the Coronavirus,” by Somini Sengupta. As she writes, “Why have we not taken climate risks to heart? Politics and psychology play a role.”
- This story in Grist by Shannon Osaka is short and punchy, reminding us that climate change is a wicked problem: “Why Don’t We Treat Climate Change like an Infectious Disease?“
- From the often thoughtful, but not very often optimistic, Bill McKibben, this New Yorker blog post is surprisingly upbeat: “What Can the Coronavirus Teach Us?“
- Andrew Norton, director of the International Institute for Environment and Development, points to both good and bad effects the pandemic may have on climate change and actions: “Coronavirus and Climate Change are Two Crises that Need Humanity to Unite.”
- Here is a good academic perspective in the Conversation from the head of behavioral science at the University of Stirling, David Comerford: “Coronavirus Should Give Us Hope that We Are Able to Tackle the Climate Crisis.”
- In Market Watch, this piece by Rachel Koning Beals addresses elements of capital markets and media coverage: “Why Don’t We Panic about Climate Change like We Do Coronavirus?“
- “This column is unique, in that it’s less about energy and climate change, specifically, and more about where they fit in the collective package we call life. We don’t live life in silos – it comes as a package deal. And lately and for the foreseeable future, our life packages are being turned upside down.” So says Amy Harder, in this appealing short piece from Axios, “With Coronavirus and Climate Change, It’s about Time.”
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.