One threat doesn’t cancel the other, however perhaps it is time to panic about climate change too…
Here the 5 reasons we tend to panic about coronavirus and not about climate change:
- Underestimating Climate Change and Overestimating Coronavirus: Our brain has evolved to focus on immediate and personal threats. It is much harder to understand a complex and abstract threat such as climate change so we tend to underestimate it. Whereas the coronavirus can affect us personally and quickly so we assume it could happen to us, even if the chances are low.
- “Me component”: I fear that I could get infected —causes more panic than climate change as daily life seems to be unaffected.
- There is an immediate concern: Coronavirus is an imminent threat whereas we perceive climate change as a threat far into the future.
- Bystander Effect: We tend to believe that someone else will deal with climate change, whereas we think we can prevent contracting coronavirus.
- Media Focus: big media is spreading panic over coronavirus whereas it steers clear from real climate change talk.