South Africa: A Tale of Two Calamities - Can the COVID-19 Crisis Inform How We Tackle the Climate Crisis?


The disruption brought on by Covid-19 could reverse efforts made by governments thus far to reduce carbon emissions to tackle the climate crisis. What is needed is a way to connect the two calamities to capacitate a sustainable revival in the aftermath.

The war against warming, marked by the poignant protestations of a dystopia-despairing youth and what can be considered lethargic and perfunctory global policy, and societal behavioural response, has been protracted for about three decades with no end yet in sight.

On the other hand, the concurrent battle against a lesser-known devil - Covid-19 - marked by global panic, paranoia and the sudden urge to contemplate one's own mortality, has received rapid global response within a period of three months.

Enter the (hopefully fleeting) age of customary cocooning - a time to retract into one's abode, minimise contact to the point of pedanticism (even with one's own face), and make use of the suddenly freed-up time to muse on the expedited end of existence. What better moment to distract oneself from the disease on our doorstep than to turn our collective attention to a much more familiar issue ... the climate crisis.

Crises and clichés

How does one deal...

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