Can the coronavirus give us hope in tackling climate change?

(Eco Business, 10 Mar 2020) The climate crisis is similar to the coronavirus outbreak which has disrupted lives and entire economies. But why has the reaction been different?

Coronavirus has disrupted everyday life throughout the world through travel bans, flight restrictions and the cancellation of sporting and cultural events.

More than 10 million Italians have been banned from travelling, and all public events cancelled. In China, 30 million people are still under lockdown, allowed to leave their homes only every two days. The Japanese prime minister has requested that all schools close for the entire month of March, while the Italian and Iranian authorities have closed all schools and universities.

Despite the costs and inconveniences these actions impose, the general public is generally quiescent, even approving.

But coronavirus is not the only global crisis we face: the climate crisis, as others have noted, is expected to be more devastating. Some have observed that the response to the two crises is starkly different. As an expert in behavioural sciences, I have been giving some thought to what explains this difference.

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Eco Business, 10 Mar 2020: Can the coronavirus give us hope in tackling climate change?