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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchAfter Covid, the climate crisis will be the next thing the right...

After Covid, the climate crisis will be the next thing the right says we ‘just have to live with’

Author: Aditya Chakrabortty

Affiliation: The Guardian

Organization/Publisher: The Guardian 

Date/Place: July 22, 2021/UK

Type of Literature: Opinion Report

Word Count: 1593

Link:https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/22/covid-climate-crisis-politics-individualism

Keywords: Climate Change, Covid 19, Climate Crises, Environmental Destruction. 

Brief: 

The article anticipates that the menaces of climate change, what the author identifies as a climate crisis, will be met by insensitive media commentators who will urge us to “learn to live” with climate breakdown. Scientists and politicians have distinguished the robust comparisons between coronavirus and climate breakdown. In rhetoric, they have already drawn lessons about some of the best ways to handle both: go early, go big, and don’t pretend you can strike some special deal with a lethal force. The UK’s week-long delay in locking down in March 2020 led to about 20,000 deaths, estimates Professor Neil Ferguson who led the outbreak modelling group at Imperial College, London. Every year not spent diminishing carbon emissions “pushes us further into severe weather, environmental destruction and the loss of human and animal lives”. These lessons appear to have been fully accepted by Boris Johnson and his chancellor, Rishi Sunak, when they undertook last March to do “whatever it takes” to block the pandemic. But it should also make us worry about the topography on which future political battles will be fought, what the author identifies as a growing extremist individualism. It is an ideology that claims to be about freedom when really it means selfishness; and it sees any curtailment of liberties, no matter how justified or temporary, as if Stalin sending in the tanks. This individual’s smirking ignorance is possible as long as the people who die (whether of Covid or climate breakdown) are brown or black or poor. But even climate-change deniers like Nigel Lawson can’t rely on that—not when a flood can burst into a German care home and drown the residents. Not when a wildfire can consume one of the richest suburbs in America.

 

By: Maryam Khan, CIGA Research Associate

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