People who study climate change predict its devastations will be much worse than Covid-19. Just as we have denied the advice of experts to get prepared for a pandemic, and did too little, so it is with climate change.
It’s frightening to think what the pattern of climate denial means for the coronavirus crisis. But it might be even more terrifying to think what the pattern of coronavirus denial means for the climate crisis.
“We went through the stages of climate change denial in the matter of a week,” said Gordon Pennycook, a psychologist at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada, who studies how misinformation spreads. Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science who has studied the origins of climate disinformation, spelled out the pattern in an email: “First, one denies the problem, then one denies its severity, and then one says it is too difficult or expensive to fix, and/or that the proposed solution threatens our freedom.”
Over the next few weeks as we post about climate change solutions, the Sandwich Climate Action Coalition also will seek what lessons can be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to help avert the climate change disaster if we do nothing.