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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12

Posted on 21 March 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020

Editor's Pick

Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts

 Gardening in Brooklyn per Vogue Magazine

Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed for Vogue’s September 2019 issue at the Eagle Street Rooftop Garden in Brooklyn.Photographed by Tierney Gearon, Vogue, September 2019 

The absentminded Instagram scroll looks a lot different these days. Vacation pics and shameless selfies have been replaced with glimpses of how we’re living through the coronavirus outbreak and its necessary quarantines: Health care officials are sharing their tips and expertise; fitness instructors are posting living-room workouts; chefs are sharing easy home-cooked meals; and others are posting about how we can all help those who are most at risk.

It’s a reminder of how social media keeps us connected and informed no matter where we are in the world, a fact we take for granted with every double tap. But it’s mostly a testament to the power of coming together around a crisis and taking collective action for the greater global good. In theory, practicing social distancingwashing our hands more thoroughly, and working from home can slow down this disease and eventually, hopefully, eliminate it. We’re all doing our small, if sometimes inconvenient, part, and already we’re beginning to see how our individual actions contribute to something much, much bigger than us.

For those involved in climate-change efforts, you might see a few through lines between our response to the coronavirus and our response (or lack thereof) to the effects of climate change. Climate scientists and activists have preached for decades that our individual choices and behaviors matter, whether you’re composting, ditching single-use plastic, buying secondhand clothes, or doing the precise opposite of all of those things—wasting food, relying on plastic water bottles and containers, shopping extravagantly.

Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts by Emily Farra, Vogue Magazine, Mar 17, 2020

Click here to access the entire article.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

Sun, Mar 15, 2020

Mon, Mar 16, 2020

Tue, Mar 17, 2020

Wed, Mar 18, 2020

Thur, Mar 19, 2020

Fri, Mar 20, 2020

Sat, Mar 21, 2020

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Comments 1 to 4:

  1. Stumbled across a couple of really useful things related to covid 19. Off topic but perhaps this can be indulged given the circumstances. This commentary by a panel of medical experts gives an astonishing behind the scenes insight into the codiv 19 problem. This article is a science based review of whether vitamin and mineral supplements and other supplements might help the fight against covid 19.

    It will be interesting to see whether reduced travel and so on bounces back after covid 19 diminishes, or whether there's a permanent reduction in tourism. Some commentators are predicting the later.

    Climate change will arguably be just as destructive as covid 19, only the time frames differ. Use self isolation to swot up on climate science and mitigation and recycling.

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  2. nigelj,

    I see correlations between the items you linked and the climate change challenge.

    Major reasons the attempts to limit the rate of spread of COVID-19 have not been as successful as they needed to be and could have been are:

    • the initial harm was happening to Other people far away.
    • the potential for personal experience of harm was remote
    • the actions to actually effectively limit the spread required 'harm to developed economic activity' and 'harm to perceptions of superiority of the winners in the developed economic games'.

    The harm of COVID-19 was also increased because when it did start to appear 'locally' there was a developed resistance to 'correcting how people lived to reduce harm to Others or reduce the risk of harm to Others combined with a belief that the ones not correcting how they lived would be OK'. After all, 'only a Few Local Others' were the ones being affected.

    A related part of the problem is the plethora of unjustified beliefs that some cure or vaccine will be developed rapidly enough to be the solution. Even USA President Trump made the tragic damaging mistake of promoting a made-up claims about existing malaria treatment.

    There are parallels in the climate change challenge.

    • The main problem is the powerful desire to not compromise the perceptions developed by the economic game playing that created the problem.
    • The game of popularity and profit had developed powerful support for resistance to the required helpful changes.
    • The excuse of hope in the development of new technical solutions

    The result for climate change, as with COVID-19, is the problem becoming more harmful than it needed to become.

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  3. OPOF @2, yes there are huge parallels between covid 19 and climate change. Just been reading a couple of parallels on another website and here's one, and this is a good pithy one:

    "Someone told me that coronavirus was essentially “climate change on fast track,” noting how, despite what the experts said, pundits and politicians were calling it a “hoax,” and when that failed they said it was “under control,” and when they finally realized action needed to be taken they were caught wholly off guard. Essentially COVID-19 is the story of anthropogenic global warming on speed." (its fairly obvious what country is being talked about)

    What you say is true, although it varies around the globe. Asia has put health above short term business interests and acted very fast and intelligently, and used testing kits that actually work. Although the same can't be said for their climate change efforts.

    Everyone is waking up after seeing whats happening in Italy. Perhaps theres some xenophobia in that China is viewed as still a bit backward and such a thing couldn't happen in Europe. Well it has happened in Europe and they haven't coped as well as China and S Korea (although part of it is Italy's aging population  as well as their complacency and perhaps the desire not to upset business as usual for the 'elite')

    Hopefully we don't have to wait for climate change to achieve the equivalent horrific status to Italy before something robust is done.

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  4. nigelj,

    The pithy statement you shared is sort of OK. It is mysteriously silent regarding the real problem which is the harmful powerful resistance to limit or correct unnatural human developed economic activity. It fails to make the essential point that human economic desires can be very harmful.

    In the COVID-19 and Climate Change cases the real problem has become bigger than it needed to become because of efforts by many of the Highest Status people to not have the understood required actions 'reduce the perceptions of status they have obtained through the unnatural human developed economic activity'. Leadership delaying 'economic impacting actions' has made things worse.

    What is becoming abundantly undeniable is that the artificial (unnatural) human developed socioeconomic-political systems have a powerful tendency to produce harmful unsustainable results and a powerful resistance to being corrected that makes the ultimate correction worse than it needed to be (people in the future suffering worse than they needed to, because of current moment concerns about reducing developed economic status perceptions).

    Specifically, the developed systems need to be corrected so that human developed economic activities naturally fit in as sustainable parts of the robust diversity of life on this, or any other, amazing planet. And that includes developing systems that are flexible to allow required rapid adaptations to the surprises that come with the Wonders of Nature. That is what the Sustainable Development Goals are all about.

    An associated important correction is the need to end beliefs that humans are somehow independent of Other Life, with the worst aspect of that gross misunderstanding being the beliefs that everyone is an Individual who should be free to beleive whatever they please to excuse trying to benefit from doing something understandably harmful to Other Life. Versions of that gross misunderstanding are the root of many, if not all, of the harmful Tribal problems that develop.

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