“The broad shape of the story is the same.”
With those nine words, columnist and 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Krugman considers the coronavirus’climate change issues.
A regular New York Times columnist, Krugman says in this month’s “This Is Not Cool” video that “we might have dealt with the climate change threat” more effectively “if the political right hadn’t developed its own sort of immune mechanism to evidence.”
Acknowledging the obvious political tone of that observation, Krugman’s view is seconded by Republican consultant Stuart Stevens, whose public pronouncements identify him clearly as no fan of the Trump administration. Stevens calls in the video for a commitment to “agreed-upon truth” and deplores “alternative facts” and what he sees as “an unprecedented assault on what are facts.”
A major emphasis in the video is an exploration of exponential growth as it applies both to climate change and to coronavirus infections. Among segments addressing that issue are clips involving a Novi, Mi., nurse, an astrophysicist, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading U.S. infectious diseases expert. The video juxtaposes those spokespersons with climate change and coronavirus “skeptics” minimizing risks.
Lessons learned from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and applicable to climate change? Describing those lessons in the video is climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University, who says:
- “Listen to the experts” and
- “Taking action early, before it becomes a huge problem, will actually prevent its becoming a huge problem.”