Everyone’s focus for the last two months has been on COVID-19; however, there is another existential threat that we cannot afford to ignore. What do climate change and COVID-19 have in common?
1. Early on, scientists raised alarms, but they were not taken seriously.
2. Some said it was a hoax and tried to politicize the issue.
3. No one is immune, but there are disparities in the suffering they cause. In both cases, low-income and people of color are the most adversely affected.
4. There are activists on the front lines, putting their health and their very lives at risk.
5. The burning of fossil fuels is the major contributor to global warming and their health-harming pollutants put people at greater risk of death from COVID-19.
6. Both COVID-19 and climate require emergency response.
7. They are devastating our economy.
At this time, city and county councils are concentrating on COVID and, effectively, putting climate action on hold. We need to remind them that these concerns intersect and that they must include climate in their response to COVID-19.