Grist Oped_Reading Reaction

Feel free to either agree or disagree with the Grist op-ed. Give evidence for your opinion, either from the Grist op-ed itself or from another online source. It’s a good idea to engage with specific aspects of the text’s ideas, language or context when developing your opinion

22 Replies to “Grist Oped_Reading Reaction”

  1. Sadie Herman’s Grist Article Reaction :

    The article, “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease?,” really puts it into perspective the urgency of people when they want to act fast versus when they do not think something is as big of an issue. The example of the coronavirus, the world basically shutdown and peoples lives around the world are on hold due to the coronavirus, meanwhile climate change is a different type of issue, but it is still a problem that is affecting people worldwide but people do not seem to care and it has not been treated like it should be. A big reason that I believe why people are reacting different to COVID-19 compared to climate change is because people fear things that are new and dangerous. Coronavirus was sprung on the world out of no where and is spreading, killing people and making people very sick right this instant. Climate change has a gradual effect overtime and it is something that people have been hearing about for a long time but just push it to the side because they do not believe it is that big of an issue at the moment. Another big thing is that people believe corona is only stopping peoples lives for a shorter period of time, meanwhile the fix for climate change would be over many years and would need so many people to pitch in and step up in order for the problem to start to get better. People do not do well with inconvenience in their lives so when one little thing is changed in their daily routine and schedule, it is the end of the world for them and then it becomes a bigger deal. Corona has stopped peoples daily routines so they want to get rid of it right now. Climate change has not done that yet so that is why people do not believe that it is as big of an issue at the moment.

    1. I think you’re right about the novelty factor for the coronavirus, Sadie. Would we feel as afraid about climate change if it started happening suddenly instead of a span of years and decades?

  2. In the Grist op-ed “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease” by Shannon Osaka, the thought of the coronavirus was that it was sprung on the human population in an instant. Although climate change has been a re-occurring issue, it has not received the same attention. When the virus hit, thousands of people were dying. The stock market crashed. No one was able to work. In curing the coronavirus, people can go back to live as usual, but to resolve climate change, (coal, oil, natural gas) businesses would have to halt production and this would hurt the economy. If no one is producing natural gas or oil, I won’t have a car to get to work. People are rather ignoring climate change, because it is not going to benefit us in the short-term.

    1. Interesting insight, Gloria. So, Greta has the right idea? If enough sectors go on strike for climate change and things come to a halt like they’ve done with COVID, it’s possible that people will act to stop global warming.

      1. Climate change cannot create a halt like COVID. For one, when humans find a “cure” for climate change, businesses will not go back to normal. (Coal, natural gas, and oil) companies cannot continue producing goods and that would hurt the economy. Therefore, why would anyone strike for climate change?

  3. This article makes a point that I hadn’t thought of before. In fact, at this time, everyone is looking at coronavirus. However, we have an incredible number of viruses all around us. People ignore them because they do not present a catastrophic health threat. It’s funny because it just goes to show how short-sighted we are. We overlook the pollution channel on TV and radio because they always talk about the environment issue, and we already tired of it. Those issues are the ones that can cause us real problems. Once a natural has been destroyed, it is beyond human solution. Perhaps it is only after being punished by nature that human being can truly see reality. Who knows if the coronavirus was brought on by a natural attack?

    1. It could be nature’s revenge against us, Laura. That would make for a blockbuster Netflix horror special!

    2. I agree with the point you made about humans being short-sighted and only caring about this one virus instead of caring about the tons of other problems in the world, such as pollution. If we do not do anything about pollution and climate change, it can become the next big thing that wipes out part of the population.

  4. I found the article “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease” to be a very interesting comparison between COVID-19 and climate change. I hadn’t compared them before myself, but I can understand that Shannon Osaka is not comparing apples and oranges. These are two very similar issues in the way that they both are hurting mankind. I don’t think that many humans are going to want to solve climate change with such urgency because it is clear when someone has COVID-19 and dies, but it is not as clear when someone is being hurt by climate change. Humans are inherently selfish and if the danger does not seem to specifically harm them, they won’t fight it as quickly and strongly. I also agree with Susan Clayton’s argument that “familiar problems often get pushed to the side in favor of new one.” People have been hearing about climate change for years, so when it is talked about there isn’t as much curiosity towards it.

    1. Great response, Nina. Good job on incorporating a quote in your point of view. I agree with you, it takes a specific threat like COVID to get us to act to save ourselves vs a threat that seems more general and abstract like climate change. Maybe there’s a way to get climate change to seem more specific?

    2. I agree with the points that you made because as humans, we tend to avoid problems that will affect us in the future and rather focus all of our attention on problems that are affecting us now. If climate change started killing people in mass numbers now, like Covid-19, then people would start taking it as seriously as we should be.

  5. I totally agree with the point in the article. First, climate change will not pose a visible threat to humans in the short term, which is the reason why, despite understanding the serious consequences of climate change, no practical measures have been taken to address them. For example, many news articles describe the threat posed by climate change with a time frame, “decades later” or even “hundreds of years later”, which does not give us a sense of urgency in this era. Secondly, the mandatory measures against the virus are short-term, while the measures against climate change must be long-term, which involves the interests of all sectors of society. For example, to fight climate change, factories need to buy new energy equipment, which is often very expensive and will greatly hurt the interests of businessmen, which is why so many projects still emit pollutants.

  6. The article “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease?,” discussed a topic that the majority of the world has been guilty of. As humans, we tend to push things that are not urgent to the side for a later time. Whether it be chores, homework, an activity, or something as impactful as climate change, humans tend to focus their attention not on things that are not as pressing, but on the things that are affecting them at the moment. This is a very bad tendency that we have as humans because we neglect to prepare for the future, and only seem to care about the present. This is what happened during the pandemic, and this will happen with climate change as well. I agree with the author that we should not see climate change as a problem for our kids and grandkids, we should treat it more seriously. If we set time, resources, and effort into planning on preventing climate change, it will not impact us as severely in the future, like the Pandemic is doing right now.

  7. In the article “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease”, the author compare COVID and climate change. I think it is a interesting aspect to compare like this becuase these two things seem like have no connection between each other. However, I think from this article we can see human nature. Human prefer to solve the problems they meet now. Just like me, I will solve the thing more emergency first. COVID is the emergency thing people meet with now. People prefer to ignor the thing in the future, like climate change, even though climate change may cause more horrible disaster. Suppose there’s no COVID now, nobody will care about climate change too. Becuase if people decide to solve with climate change thoroughly, it will cause people a lot of troubles. Only if the climate change detriment of people themselves, people will take it seriously.

  8. Zoe Smith’s Grist Op-ed Reaction
    While reading the op-ed, I was surprised at the openness at which the author, Shannon Osaka, approaches the subject. She sets up and answers the question of “why do people care more about COVID-19 than climate change?” COVID-19 is new and terrifying and needs to be stopped while the climate crisis is old news. Climate change hasn’t killed us yet, but COVID-19 is unpredictable so action occurs. I agree with Osaka as this perfect storm allows us to fall into this paradox of fixing new and ‘easy’ issues. Since we have been able to detail COVID-19 as the global emergency that it is. it is treated as such. Climate change is not the same.

  9. I feel like this quote struck me the most: “Climate change, on the other hand, requires decades of action … There’s no vaccine for climate change, and, unlike the coronavirus, it won’t simply burn out over time.”

    The problem with climate change is that it is treated more like a global issue that can be dealt with overtime. COVID-19 on the other hand is rapidly spreading and can deal serious to many countries. With COVID-19, a cure can be conducted more easily than climate change can. Climate change requires a lot more effort to put into and it’s effect slowly takes over the world. I want climate change to be involved with everyone right now because I do not want to have a procrastination in the government and climate change be irreversible.

    1. Connor Blomstrom’s Grist Reaction

      The article, “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease?” stood out among others because the author focuses more on the world’s reaction to the new virus compared to climate change. She does this effectively by hiding her own biases and describes the current climate the media and society in general is in right now. I agreed with a lot of what she said concerning the differences between the public’s reaction to climate change, which is much less panic than that of the COVID-19 outbreak. I also really liked how she talked specifically about the qualities which make this virus so scary to the mass public. Because climate change is over a longer span of time it does not look as intimidating than a deadly disease. Lastly, I really enjoyed her quotes which she included within the reading, specifically the quote from a professor at George Mason University, because the quote includes a reliable source sharing their opinion which enforces validity within the response.

  10. Kaitlyn’s Grist Reaction

    I agreed with the writer of the article that people have taken more action and concern towards COVID-19 than climate change. People have been overlooking the drastic effects climate change has made to our environment over the past years while all eyes are on the new virus. Yes, actions do need to be taken immediately in order to control the virus, but that does not mean that climate change should be put on the back-burner. When she stated  “Visually, if you stare at the same thing for a long time, you literally stop seeing it because your visual receptors adapt” addressing how people view climate change is true. The author uses a good mix of her opinion and facts to back up her point about people paying more attention to the virus than climate change.

  11. Nabil’s Grist

    In this oped, the author, Shannon Osaka, compares climate change to COVID19. The author states that there have been far greater actions taken to fight the coronavirus in a much shorter span of time then the fight against climate change. I do believe this reason is that COVID is an immediate threat at the moment, and climate change is not harming us at this moment. Not to say climate change isn’t harmful, but at this moment the virus is an immediate danger. Large portions of our population could die from this virus, so we must work now so we can save the future.

  12. Matt’s Grist Reaction

    The article “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease?” by Shannon Osaka compares global response to climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic. Though on the surface it seems like an abstract comparison, Osaka points out how both put large strain on infrastructure, most notably medical infrastructure. The article also compares the global reaction to both, most notably how covid-19 has captured global dialogue. An excerpt I have found especially interesting is the line “According to Maibach, people have a tendency to react strongly — or overreact — to risks that seem new, uncertain, uncontrollable, and life-threatening” (Osaka). What stood out to me the most in this sentence is the word “new”, it made me think about how Climate change is an issue that has been known about for many years. The idea that people do not seem to care that much about new information presented on the subject no matter how important it may be because the issue has persisted for so long is startling. Humans are attracted to the new, even when it comes to disasters. We have become desensitized to climate change, a disaster that cannot be waited-out or be halted with a single vaccine.

  13. Briana Patel’s Grist Reaction

    “Why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease?” is a fascinating article by Shannon Osaka relating climate change to the Coronavirus. It was very compelling that she related something that is extremely relevant to all of us to another topic that we might not think is related. Osaka effectively built ethos into her argument by pulling quotes from climate change scientists. An especially interesting one was “‘Visually, if you stare at the same thing for a long time, you literally stop seeing it because your visual receptors adapt’”. and how this is the same way we look at climate change. I think this was a very effective way for us to see the issues with how we look at climate change versus the Coronavirus.

  14. The article, why don’t we treat climate change like an infectious disease, is written by Osaka. I agree with the author ’s point of view. COVID has the risk of endangering human life and is spreading uncontrollably. The virus is related to the safety of everyone’s life. Despite the long-term existence of climate problems, people do not think this is a problem that will endanger their lives immediately. The outbreak of climate problems often occurs decades or even hundreds of years later. Therefore, people may feel that climate change problem cannot temporarily affect their lives and do not have to rush to solve. Moreover, climate issues will affect many industries, for example, the use of fuel can drive the economy, but if wind or solar energy is used to replace fuel, it will reduce the benefits of some companies. Therefore, the governance of climate issues requires many companies to compromise, which makes it more difficult to manage climate issues.

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