A few months ago I had written,
Nothing major can happen with climate. Too many potential losers will stop any initiative. But public awareness, now quite high, is shifting to public speaking out. This is new and public reaction will happen faster than the actual material events. (though of course some, such as warming, ice melting, fishery problems are well underway.) Keep your thoughts on the distribution of good and bad signs about the future. Don’t stick with just half the puzzle. Things are bad enough without adding bad thinking.
But coronavirus changes this. How will the economy and the psyche cope? I predict people will break out of quarantine which will collapse.
Thee is the possibility that the management of the coronavirus (COVID-19) such as closing stores, getting people to use the outdoors as recreation, new ways of distributing food – and much else – is a good dress-rehearsal for climate change and related issues. The coronavirus might create the world we actually will need for climate.
The danger is that we will miss the opportunity and that we will stop thinking about climate and as the virus issues fade try to return to the world left behind and not keeping what has developed that could be a major part of climate actions.
Hence the virus is both a threat and a danger. It is important to remember that climate requires cutting fossil fuel use severely which threatens many of the same businesses threatened by the virus, and that even with the total stopping of fossil fuel use, we face the problem of sequestration of the CO2 already in the atmosphere, accumulated over more than a hundred years of continuous fossil fuel burning by a buildup to a billion cars and many industrial processes.