4 reasons why reactions differ for covid and climate

The world has been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Almost all countries declared lock-downs to limit the spread of the virus. Businesses stopped, airports were closed and industries closed.

Here in Uganda, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were enacted into law by our parliament, the situation that followed was a full year of silence like the world had ended.

People behaved. The lifestyles changed to be safe from the pandemic. Some people were adamant to observe the SOPs and contracted the disease, some even died.

In the same way, climatic change is slowly eating up mankind. In Uganda for example, the rains have changed season, when it rains, it is too heavy and people’s homes and lives have been lost in Bududa, Kamwenge, Kasese and other hilly areas. If countries do not take drastic action soon, there could be serious consequences in the next few years.

The question remains; why aren’t people reacting to climatic change with the same urgency as Covid-19 yet these catastrophes are equally claiming many lives and destroying property?

First of all, people overvalue benefits in the short term as compared to benefits in the long term. On the contrary, investors want to save money today by relying on methods of production that involve use of charcoal rather than innovating sources of environment-friendly energy, even those that are more cost-effective in the long run.

More so, it takes a long time before signs of climate change become obvious to people, than it was with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic. People are much better with obvious threats like that climatic change than they are with threats that escalate quickly like that of Covid-19

Third, many effects of climate change are distant from most people. Our people in Uganda conceptualize things that are psychologically distant from them as abstract; these maybe, take a long time to occur, or happen in very far distances, like outside Uganda. As for Covid-19, it was conceptualized as psychologically being close. When there are weather disasters that are probably a reflection of climate change like floods, landslides and heavy storms, they tend to happen far away from where most people live. As a result, most people are not forced to cope with the facts of climate change, but rather they treat it as an abstract concept. And abstract concepts simply don’t harass people to act as forcefully as specific ones do.

Fourth, the future is always more uncertain than the present. That is one reason people value the present so much more strongly. Here, agriculturalists would rather till the available land without rest, a charcoal burner wants money today than the timber in the future. In the case of climate change, so many people believe that it is a spiritual punishment from God for disobedience, hence, they don’t even believe that climatic change will affect mankind the more in the future

All in all, climatic change is real like it is the case with Covid-19. It is supposed to be a collective responsibility, like we study it in Entrepreneurship Education to nurture nature so that we can live a health life decades over.

Comments (18)

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC
    26 Apr 2021

    You have made your case in a clear and convincing way, giving examples to support your opinions! Well done! Can you think of any solutions to the reasons you have given which would encourage more focus on climate change?

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    1. global-conversation.png nice_desert | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
      Tiff @ the BNC's comment 01 May 2021

      I think that a lot of countries are still ignoring the issue of climate change, and I don't see that they are thinking seriously about it, and I think that countries will start focusing on this issue When the impacts of climate change expand dramatically and when the world suffers from this problem

      Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png daring_fly | Green Hill Academy Kibuli | Uganda
    26 Apr 2021

    Daring_fly here,
    I would like to give a solution to the reasons that have been clearly stated in the discussion starter.
    We should educate people about climate change.
    This is kind of difficult since most people don't know the future impact that climate change could cause. To make matters worse, EVEN those who know about climate change don't care about it because they haven't seen any impact. But, I believe that if these people are properly educated about that importance of environmental conservation, climate change could be controlled.
    The education of people on this matter can be done by staging debates, conferences, seminars and convections dedicated to proving that climate change is a danger to our planet.
    That is my thought.

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png discreet_tree | Junior Secondary School, Gwagwalada | Nigeria
    27 Apr 2021

    Climate change may not change it effect in the eyes of people,but it kills slowly in human body

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    1. avatar.jpg EXPERT: Melinda Jones @ Hogan Lovells
      discreet_tree's comment 27 Apr 2021

      An interesting point discreet_tree. How does climate change kill slowly in human body? Can you think of ways pollution impacts on our health?

      Reply to this comment
      1. global-conversation.png loyal_cheetah | Junior Secondary School, Gwagwalada | Nigeria
        Melinda Jones @ Hogan Lovells's comment 30 Apr 2021

        climate change kill human slowly with the following points of view

        climate change is leading to increase infections from diseases such as maleria and dengue fever.climate change can have significant impact on mental health.it can reduce the availability of drinking water and can affect the production of food, weather by growing crops or raising livestock . direct effect include exposure to extreme weatherevent such as heat waves. indirect effect include reduce the peoples ability to earn a livelihood. environment degradation, diseases carried by vectors , food and water borne infections, climate change affect humans but direct and indirectly.an example of a direct impact is heat deaths, which by 2020 had move than doubled over the last decades in some states.indirect effect increase hunger due to distruption of peoples ability to grow food.
        There are many other in which pollution can impact on our health

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  • global-conversation.png adventurous_tradition | Usra Academy | Nigeria
    30 Apr 2021

    Can you give examples to support your opinion

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  • global-conversation.png nice_desert | Beit Hanoun Prep Girls A School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    30 Apr 2021

    Corona virus has become a barrier between the world and climate change, for example, I did not know about climate change and its danger until after I entered this global project because my country did not carry out awareness campaigns in this regard as I do not know I have an environmental awareness of climate change, but my lack of knowledge are considered a danger , Why aren't countries seriously considering rebuilding greener? Why do they not act quickly on this issue as they did with the Corona virus, is it because the virus is spreading rapidly around the world, and climate change has not affected many countries?
    Countries should think, country leaders should cooperate, individual should have environmental awareness, society should commit, the world should rise and fight climate change.
    The Coronavirus stage is a temporary stage that we will be able to overcome if we find an effective vaccine against the virus, but climate change does not need a vaccine, it needs to rebuild a green environment, and do you have an idea of ​​the time it will take for the world to rebuild greener
    First, countries should organize awareness campaigns on this topic, but to leave your old habits and beliefs about something that is not easy to leave and undo, so we can say that increasing awareness among the population like the scientist William Gilbert as he tries to discover a way to prove to the world that the Earth is a giant magnetic body
    Second, people have to adapt to new inventions that they have not adopted before
    Third: The state's ability to provide environmentally friendly inventions and alternatives
    Fourth: Eliminating Corona so that we do not face climate change with the virus and turn our lives upside down
    Fifth: planting trees. Trees take years to grow, so we will have to wait years for them to grow
    Sixth: Working on new environmentally friendly inventions
    Seventh: Maintaining the level of industrial and agricultural production after using environmentally friendly alternatives
    And there is a lot more that we need to do
    But can humanity survive until then? The most important question is will all country leaders start acting before it is too late?

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  • global-conversation.png confident_perspective | Mbulani Secondary School | Tanzania
    02 May 2021

    I agree with all your points, the remaining question is
    "What can we do to help change climate?"

    I think the answer to this is a great start.

    Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png cheerful_fish | Gaza Prep B Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    02 May 2021

    Totally agree with you. The whole matter is about awareness and feeling responsibility.
    I suggest creating mobile games for kids in which the player has to choose between many options while playing. For instance; the player has to choose between using fossil fules car or solar powered car. And if he chooses the former, he will loose his health or life gradually and he will get bad weather to drive within ...etc. Still if he chooses the second option he will gain extra power and fresh air, sunny warm weather...etc.
    The same while reaching factories ( as the player promoting through the levels of the game) weather to throw the waste inside the river, for example, this option may lead to Tosnami and it may be the end of his game. Or to recycled it and gain extra points and pushing him up through the game.
    In this indirect way, kids' awareness towords the environment can be increased.
    Such games can be created in many different creative ways. More, I believe it will be helpful and interesting at the same time.

    Reply to this comment
    1. avatar.jpg EXPERT: Liuqing Yu @ The Economist
      cheerful_fish's comment 03 May 2021

      Hi cheerful_fish, thank you for this comment! I am awarding you a star because of its great creativity!

      Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School open_meerkat | Lyons Hall Primary School A
    04 May 2021

    this comment was helpful

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg spectacular_language | Upton Cross Primary School
    04 May 2021

    I really liked your post because you have told us about what happens in Uganda and especially, I love how much information you gave us when you wrote 'Third, many effects of climate change are distant from most people. Our people in Uganda conceptualize things that are psychologically distant from them as abstract; these maybe, take a long time to occur, or happen in very far distances, like outside Uganda. As for Covid-19, it was conceptualized as psychologically being close. When there are weather disasters that are probably a reflection of climate change like floods, landslides and heavy storms, they tend to happen far away from where most people live. As a result, most people are not forced to cope with the facts of climate change, but rather they treat it as an abstract concept. And abstract concepts simply don’t harass people to act as forcefully as specific ones do.' I really liked how you have told us more about the abstract concepts and how it has an impact on their inner self. I also liked how you told us that in Uganda they conceptualize things that are distant psychologically from them as abstract,this told me that they try to stay strong. Overall, I really liked this post and I found out more about how people are saving money as Covid-19 has occured.

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      1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC
        hardworking_truth's comment 07 May 2021

        Can you explain why?

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  • global-conversation.png fairminded_tuba | New Tafo M/A (FEDEN) JHS | Ghana
    04 May 2021

    Yes because people's focus is fixed on covid-19 than Climate change

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