If we can beat a virus, we can beat climate change

Our planet seems to be demonstrating an ability to repair the damage we have caused, and faster than we might have expected.

SHARE If we can beat a virus, we can beat climate change

Thousands demonstrate in London on Earth Day in 2017 for measures to end climate change. This year, Earth Day is on Wednesday, April 22. A Sun-Times reader writes that our nation’s response to the coronavirus shows it is possible to take effective action to counter climate change.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/Getty Images

During this pandemic, we have seen reports of clearer skies, cleaner air and even fresher water due to less burning of fossil fuels. Our planet seems to be demonstrating an ability to repair the damage we have caused, and faster than we might have expected.

Once the virus is under control, must we rush to reverse this progress, returning to an orgy of fossil-fuel consumption and the desecration of the oceans and land? Please, no! Let’s do whatever it takes to maintain and build on this progress toward reversing climate change.

Rebecca Wolfram, Lawndale

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All braggadocio, no action

As President Trump urges them on, small groups of Americans are protesting anti-virus lockdowns, invoking their constitutional freedoms. Many of these demonstrators are suffering financial hardship because of the forced isolation or mere cabin fever, or both. Understood. But their bravado would vanish instantly if they were infected by COVID-19, an equal-opportunity killer, or if they passed it on to a loved one as a result of physical isolation orders being prematurely ended.

Trump is a an opportunistic politician, not an epidemiologist or medical doctor. He wants the economy back to normal in time to help him get re-elected. Wishful thinking. Declaring an end to the crisis prematurely could re-start the death cycle, making things worse, especially with the nation stilllagging in what’s needed to fight such a pandemic. Trump failed to prepare for the pandemic and he has tragically mismanaged the response.

Oh, for a president whose deeds match his braggadocio. Until then, isolation is saving lives here, as it has in other countries. It’s a winning strategy that our nation must stick to, or suffer worse.

Ted Z. Manuel, Hyde Park

Wise words from Francis

Pope Francis has offered message that could have come from Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders. The pope urged the Catholic faithful to think of the coronavirus pandemic as a “time of trial” to prepare for a future in which inequalities are abolished and the poorest are no longer left behind. Specifically, he said:

“The grave, global toll of the pandemic has reminded the world that there are no borders between those who suffer, no differences in nationalities among those who are struck or spared.We are all frail, all equal, all precious.May we be profoundly shaken by what is happening all around us.The time has come to eliminate inequalities, to heal the injustice that is undermining the health of the entire human family!”

Lee Knohl, Evanston

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