John Howard: With luck, no need to hide faces during climate change

Published: 7/31/2020 6:23:30 PM

There are several useful but not easy side effects from COVID-19. They will help us deal with the climate change. When the vaccine arrives our belief in science and possibly even government will grow. They must act and act fast.

Then there is change in ourselves. I recently heard a man on TV say, “I ain’t gonna wear a mask ... I’m gonna do what I want ... I pay my taxes ... I’m American...”

COVID-19 has shown most of us that there are times when we need to change. They are forced on us by years of ignoring public health or years of polluting the air with fossil fuels. Anger at a store or the government is anger against the messengers. We have been learning more and more about fairness in food distribution. When climate change hits us, food will be one of our greatest issues. COVID-19 has presented a problem in food distribution. The climate crisis will cause difficulties in food production.

COVID-19 has gotten us to work together via businesses and state organizations. The trick will be to extend that to a national (think Nov. 3) and worldwide level during the climate crisis. We have been having the worst of times and best of times. Fear, frustration and stress are the result.

Citizens and police have reacted with anger and violence. Citizens and police have also reacted with understanding and sympathy. The latter is more difficult now, as masks are threatening. They prevent us from seeing the human face of each other. With any luck there will be no need to hide our faces during the climate crisis. We will also be able to hug our friends and possibly folks who are hurt and afraid.

John Howard

South Hadley

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