Open Thread: Why do people care more about Covid than Climate?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Since the coronavirus outbreak exploded in early March, more than 95 percent of people in the United States have made changes to their lifestyle, including stockpiling food and practicing social distancing, according to researchers at Stanford University and Baylor University.

Across the world we see a similar trend. The follow chart shows the COVID-driven lifestyle changes people have made in the U.S., UK and Germany:

(source: Statista 2020)

When I first saw these data, I was floored by the uniform response millions of people are making to an understood global threat. It made me think about the mixed response to the “understood” global threat of climate change. So I pose these questions to you creed readers:

Why do you think that people are willing to make major lifestyle changes to stem Covid but not for climate change?

Why are nations willing to sacrifice jobs by the millions and risk deep recession to fight coronavirus but resist funding decarbonization?