“We’re seeing profound changes in habits and behaviors, the mobilizing of massive resources and a level of global coordination that we haven’t seen before,” said Otto Scharmer, a social change advocate and lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a recent radio interview for PRI’s The World. “This is highly relevant to climate action.” Since nobody is going anywhere, carbon emissions from transportation are down worldwide, giving us a very real glimpse of a greener feature. Some world leaders, meanwhile, are calling for the unprecedented stimulus packages aimed at mediating the economic pain of one threat to humanity—a bat virus—to carry sustainable and renewable development caveats that will help us mediate the even greater threat of climate change. Melting icebergs, lost fisheries, fallowed farms, burning forests, drowning islands, droughts, floods, and mega-storms are sure to destroy much more of life on earth than any virus. “The [Covid-19] crisis allows us to reimagine not only our personal lives but really our civilization—our economy, our democracy and our learning systems,” said Scharmer in the PRI interview. “That re-imagining could put us into place to really take action around climate.”

Pearls in the ocean of information that our reporters didn’t want you to miss
Photo: Robin Meadows
 

The parallels between the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change—threat, shelter, sacrifice, inequity, resource limits, and inaction despite strong science—are striking, and that may be good news.

“We’re seeing profound changes in habits and behaviors, the mobilizing of massive resources and a level of global coordination that we haven't seen before,” said Otto Scharmer, a social change advocate and lecturer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in a recent radio interview for PRI’s The World. “This is highly relevant to climate action.” Since nobody is going anywhere, carbon emissions from transportation are down worldwide, giving us a very real glimpse of a greener feature. Some world leaders, meanwhile, are calling for the unprecedented stimulus packages aimed at mediating the economic pain of one threat to humanity—a bat virus—to carry sustainable and renewable development caveats that will help us mediate the even greater threat of climate change. Melting icebergs, lost fisheries, fallowed farms, burning forests, drowning islands, droughts, floods, and mega-storms are sure to destroy much more of life on earth than any virus. "The [Covid-19] crisis allows us to reimagine not only our personal lives but really our civilization—our economy, our democracy and our learning systems,” said Scharmer in the PRI interview. “That re-imagining could put us into place to really take action around climate.”

About the author

Ariel Rubissow Okamoto is both today’s editor-in-chief and the founding editor of ESTUARY magazine (1992-2001). She enjoys writing in-depth, silo-crossing stories about water, restoration, and science. She’s a co-author of a Natural History of San Francisco Bay (UC Press 2011), frequent contributor of climate change stories to Bay Nature magazine, and occasional essayist for publications like the San Francisco Chronicle (see her Portfolio here). In other lives, she has been a vintner, soccer mom, and waitress. She lives in San Francisco close to the Bay with her architect husband Paul Okamoto.

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