An analogy between the coronavirus and the climate crisis

Here’s something I hope people will consider after the coronavirus pandemonium calms down.

About half the people I talk to about switching to solar power for their homes decline to do so, because they won’t save money and/or it will cost them a little extra money per month ($2-4). In their minds, it’s someone else’s problem, so why pay more when they personally won’t see a difference anyway?

Now, let’s say I have full blown coronavirus. Just spewing germs in every direction, like Pig Pen, from Peanuts.

Every time I cough and every surface I touch, I leave behind highly infectious virus germs that can survive for anywhere from three hours to three days.

I should self-quarantine, right? It’s my moral responsibility to not run around infecting everyone around me, right?

Well, what if I don’t feel like staying home? Staying home for two weeks sucks. I’ll get bored. If I have to stay home, I should be paid to do so, otherwise what’s in it for me?

In fact, it costs me more of my hard-earned money to stay home than it does if I go to work and run errands like normal. Why should I care what happens to other people? If you want me to stay home, make it worth my while. Now get off my lawn or I’ll cough all over you.

That’s what it’s like listening to people refusing to switch to solar, because they won’t be rewarded instantaneously.

The reward for staying home with the virus is that you are far less likely to kill someone’s grandma. Or, more likely, lots of grandmas, and high risk people and a smattering of everyone else.

The reward for switching to solar is your children, grandchildren and every other human still alive after 2040 won’t suffer food and water shortages, the ever-present danger from skyrocketing violent crime and having to live in the blown out ruins of their homes after two or three violent weather episodes make repairs too expensive or simply impossible.

Do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus and, for the love of Buddha, do your part to limit the consequences of the climate crisis.