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What Can The Fight Against COVID-19 Teach Us About How To Respond To Climate Change?

An empty parking lot outside the San Diego International Airport on Mar. 27, ...

Photo by Erik Anderson

Above: An empty parking lot outside the San Diego International Airport on Mar. 27, 2020.

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One thing the coronavirus outbreak has proven is that communities can make massive re-adjustments if necessary. The question is, will the slowly unfolding effects of climate change convince us those big re-adjustments are necessary?

Aired: April 1, 2020 | Transcript

The unprecedented steps that nations are taking to slow the spread of COVID-19 have got scientists wondering if there are lessons to be learned from this emergency that can be used to combat another global emergency — the devastating effects of climate change.

One thing the coronavirus outbreak has proven is that communities can make massive re-adjustments if necessary. The question is, will the slowly unfolding effects of climate change convince us those big re-adjustments are necessary?

Los Angeles Times energy reporter Sammy Roth spoke with scientists, activists and other experts about what a coronavirus-like response to climate change would look like. Roth joined Midday Edition on Wednesday to discuss the commonalities among those he spoke to. Ralph Keeling, the director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography CO2 program, also joined the conversation to discuss if the response has led to a decrease in emissions and what he thinks it could teach us in the fight against climate change.

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