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Thursday, 19 March 2020

Ai No Corona (4) - how an urgent crisis looks like

I'm noticing some articles that claim we should not forget there is also an urgent climate crisis. I can only smile about such headings, while ignoring its contents. Today, we can finally see how a real crisis and urgency looks like. This is a stark reminder to all people promoting Project Climate Fear (my blogs).

A recent Axios article shows a balanced and funny heading: "With coronavirus and climate change, it’s about time". Indeed, the time horizon determines whether there is an urgency and/or crisis - or not. That article also features a great quote:
“Our fixation on climate change, our eagerness to attack it, was a reflection of extraordinary confidence. I think our attention on climate change is going to move immediately from strategically preventing it to how we deal with its adverse consequences.” A quote from a recent Axios article by Peter Atwater, a "behavioral economist and an adjunct lecturer at William & Mary".

Interestingly, several old people have already expressed their surprise that young people act if there is a war going on. Obviously, you cannot win a war when dealing with an invisible opponent. You can only have a sophisticated defence. In this context, the key message ("we are at war") in the recent speech by the French President is counterproductive.

The blessing of this coronavirus crisis might be that older people start realising that discussing the Who question (in the climate change debate) does not resolve anything. Climate change will continue; with and without a blame game. Similarly, younger people may start realising that the time horizon defines a crisis and/or urgency - not the opinion of a 17 year old.

Last Monday, our PM gave the first public TV address to the Dutch people since the 1973 oil crisis. He mentioned the choice between 3 defense scenarios: (1) delay peak contamination by partial lockdowns and avoiding a full lockdown in society (eg, Germany, Netherlands, UK), (2) a virus rush out including peak contamination, and (3) a full lockdown (eg, France, Italy, Spain).

Each scenario comes at a price: (1) less economic damage and/but longer duration, (2) shortest duration, peak contamination, highest number of fatalities, and (3) highest damage, artificial “shorter” duration, and/but a distinct possibility of a new virus outbreak after the lockdown ends.

Two similar and related quotes:
- “Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.” (most likely by science fiction author Ray Cummings);
- “Space is what stops everything from being in the same place.” (anonymous quote mentioned by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke).

The Future Song (1992) by Vanessa Paradis feat. Lenny Kravitz

The future of our space and time 
Is not gonna wither and die 
The future of our space and time 
Is not gonna say goodbye


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise.

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