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The Problem Is Climate Change, not How I Feel About Climate Change

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When it comes to COVID-19 and climate change, we are failing the Giant Space Squid Test.

If you watched the sci-fi series “Watchmen” or read the classic graphic novel it is based on, you know about the giant space squid. Essentially, a mad scientist concocts a plan to destroy Manhattan by attacking it with a giant squid and blaming it on aliens. If humankind sees it has a common enemy, he reasons, they will band together and avert the far greater threat of global nuclear destruction.

But almost everything about the global response to COVID tells me the squid test is an illusion. Most countries went their own way in fighting the common threat. Here at home, even after it was clear that would go on to 600,000 Americans and counting, too many politicians and average folk refused to take the fairly simple steps to fight it. Refusing to wear a piece of cloth to cover your face became a statement of “liberty.” In Texas and as many as 19 other Republican-led states, politicians are making it illegal to enact basic public health measures. Ignoring the science and their own best interests, millions refuse to get the vaccine. Mobs taunt school administrators who are asking children – children! – to wear masks.

Forget saving humanity – Americans couldn’t band together to save their own kids.

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Fighting climate change will require a lot more personal sacrifice and political generosity than wearing a mask. So forgive me if I scoff at those who found a measure of hope amid the dire findings of the Intergovernmental........

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