What COVID and Black Lives Matter Teach Us About Climate Change #BLM #Fridays4Future #ClimateStrikeOnline

Some countries and a few spots in the United States have responded quickly and well to the pandemic, showing that it’s possible to successfully overturn how we do things in a heartbeat.

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought the brutal realities of systemic racial injustice into sharp focus and motivated the necessary conversations and, it is to be hoped, change. At the very, very, minuscule least, it would be extremely difficult to go back to denying those injustices are real and that our common humanity demands they be rectified.

Why can’t we respond to and recognize climate change?

In July of 2020, wbur in Boston ran a piece entitled “COVID-19 Ane Black Lives Matter Have Spurred Real Change. Why Can’t Climate Change?

To give the entire pedigree of the piece:

This story is a production of New England News Collaborative. It was first published by New Hampshire Public Radio on July 14.

This segment aired on July 16, 2020.

wbur Boston

Although the whole piece is worth reading and/or listening to, here are a few takeaways:

She [independent researcher Susanne Moser with Antioch University in Keene] says the massive collective actions needed to respond to climate change won’t shut down the economy like the pandemic —  instead, they’ll create whole new industries and jobs, and make people healthier and safer.

Emily Diamond studies climate communication at the University of Rhode Island. She’s also been watching the response to COVID-19.

“If fighting climate change requires massive structural change, we’ve just demonstrated that we can do it,” Diamond says. “We’ve also demonstrated that when there’s a threat that’s urgent enough, we can really open our coffers in the United States in a way that we haven’t seen in addressing most other issues — besides potentially going to war, in the past.”

And these issues are all related. Scientists say climate change and COVID-19 are both disproportionately hurting people of color and low-income communities.

Diamond says she hopes activists, scientists and policymakers will see the links between the crises, and start addressing climate change as a matter of justice.

A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about something that, once learned, cannot be ignored.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “What COVID and Black Lives Matter Teach Us About Climate Change #BLM #Fridays4Future #ClimateStrikeOnline

  1. acflory

    October 23, 2020 at 6:30pm

    Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that most industries see war as a golden opportunity. That’s why a country can gear up so quickly in response to war. Action on Climate change, however, requires old industries to change, or die, and so they fight tooth and nail to maintain the status quo.

    At the moment, the new industries poised to make exponential growth in response to climate change are not powerful enough to drown out the old industries that /own/ politicians and will do anything to remain in power. Caught in the crossfire are ordinary people. We’re all cannon fodder of a different sort and none more so than people of colour. The Neo liberal version of capitalism is the extreme form, and we’re now paying the price for allowing that extreme to happen.

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 24, 2020 at 9:58am

      Sounds like it’s the same there as it is here. What beats me is how so many of the people who suffer from extreme capitalism are its strongest cheerleaders.

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      • acflory

        October 24, 2020 at 6:00pm

        Yes, there’s a weird disconnect, and I can’t work it out either. I mean, okay, I understand aspiration, but when you /know/ it’ll never happen, when you /know/ it’s killing you slowly, how can you still champion such a destructive system???
        Sorry, totally rhetorical. 🙁

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