A Fast Moving Virus, a Slow Changing Climate

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

The Tyee, had an interesting article called ‘A Fast Moving Virus, a Slow Changing Climate’ (April 7, 2020), saying one is happening in real time, one in deep time. Geologists define deep time as the time scale at which continents drift and mountains form, as do ecosystems evolve. Glaciers don’t melt in real time; sea levels don’t rise in real time, species don’t go extinct in real time.

As a species we have evolved to be hypervigilant to immediate threats (and threats we can ‘see’), but we have a critical blind spot about slow-moving crises like climate change and biodiversity loss as somehow less than real. This is particularly deadly when our political and official decision-makers have so sense of its real-time urgency. They will not act until the public(s) reach a consensus on the urgent need to act now on both these social imperatives.

We have a lot to thank Greta Thunberg for in highlighting the urgency and the need to act now, and ironically, the recent pandemic; but we now need all age cohorts to act on this urgency and communicate to our leaders that we cannot afford to wait any longer.

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