The opportunity for the Coronavirus emergency to mitigate climate change
It is easy to look at the current public health emergency negatively. “The Agent of Disruption.” “The straw the broke the camels back of our golden economy” or even “The Angel of Death”.
But is there a positive image? How about “The spark of opportunity for addressing climate change?” Yes, it is true that the economic downturn caused by the emergency has resulted in lower emissions of greenhouse gases. The loss of industrial productivity caused by the oncoming recession means a lower level of output and that slow down means that the greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with manufacturing will be reduced. And that has already happened. But it is temporary. Someday - hopefully sooner that later - the economy will rebound and the cranking up of industrial output will return to “business as usual” emissions of greenhouse gases.
But there are two broader benefits for the coming recession that are more fundamental in permanently transitioning to a greener world: