What would a vaccine for the climate crisis look like?
Over the past year, many commentary writers have pointed out similarities between the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis. They’ve reminded us that, in both cases, we were warned by experts. Many government leaders denied the existence of both problems, and some of the general public were drawn into dismissing the experts. Both threats have no regard for national borders, with the most vulnerable people everywhere being at highest risk.
Okay, fine, but what can that tell us about finding solutions? Well, here’s another important similarity: individual, voluntary actions by citizens aren’t enough. It takes policy actions by the federal government.
Small, individual actions we can take to help fight climate change include replacing light bulbs with LEDs, reducing our meat consumption, and driving less. In a way it’s the same with social distancing and wearing a mask to fight Covid-19 – individual efforts can help slow down the rate of increase (of Covid-19 cases, or of greenhouse gases), but by themselves they aren’t enough to bring an end to either crisis.
For the pandemic, the real solution, of course, is widespread vaccination. And although the vaccines are manufactured by private companies, ensuring their rapid development and distribution are things only the federal government can do. (more…)