Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert on the Coronavirus Pandemic and the Environment | The New Yorker

 

With David Remnick

April 20, 2020
Bill McKibben and Elizabeth Kolbert join David Remnick to talk about the twin crises of our time: the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency. What can one teach us about the other? During the COVID-19

crisis, the Trump Administration has loosened auto-emissions standards and proposed easing the controls on mercury released by power plants, among other actions. With protesters no longer able to gather, construction on the controversial Keystone Pipeline has resumed. Still, McKibben and Kolbert believe that the pandemic could remind the public to take scientific facts more seriously and even change our values for the better. “When we get out of detention,” McKibben says, “I hope that it will be a reminder to us of how much social distancing we’ve been doing already these last few decades,” by focussing on technology and the virtual world. In the pleasure of human contact, he hopes, “We might begin to replace some of the consumption that drives every environmental challenge we face.”

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