Much has been written about how the effects of COVID-19 show what a cleaner environment could look like. However, that is not the only lesson about climate change we can take from these awful times. This pandemic shows how natural disaster-like phenomena like coronavirus and climate change worsen preexisting disparities in societies. Time and time again, data reveal that the coronavirus is sickening and killing the poor, ethnic and racial minorities (especially Black people), and other marginalized groups at higher rates. It is caused by differences in resources, health care, etc.
This unfortunate reality demonstrates one of the many reasons why solving environmental problems should be a top priority. The effects of climate change are likely going to hit minorities harder and are going to hurt everyone in some way. Climate change is not just urgent in that it gets worse and harder to deal with when we ignore it; it is urgent in that it makes many other problems.
When the world starts to recover, however or whenever that may be, we need to focus on action to prevent further climate change.
Tessa Dunagan, Redmond