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Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus

Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus

Climate change and the coronavirus have a lot more in common than the letter C, but their differences explain society’s divergent responses to each.

Why it matters: The Internet is full of comparisons, some from biased perspectives. I'm going to try to cut through the noise to help discerning readers looking for objective information.

Here are some of the more common comparisons made on climate change and the coronavirus over the last few months and corresponding reality checks.

Comparison: Pandemics and climate change are both massive risks that much of the world is ignoring or downplaying.

Reality check: True.

They’re both gray rhino risks. As I wrote in this column early in the pandemic, a gray rhino is a metaphor coined by risk expert Michele Wucker to describe “highly obvious, highly probable, but still neglected” dangers, as opposed to unforeseeable or highly improbable risks — the kind in the black swan metaphor.

Comparison: They’re both existential crises of our time.

Reality check: Partially true.
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