NEWS Social Distancing? You Might Be Fighting Climate Change, Too

In The New York Times, March 13, 2020:

As the nation shifts abruptly into the fight against coro­n­avirus, a ques­tion arises: could social iso­la­tion help reduce an individual’s pro­duc­tion of green­house gases and end up hav­ing unex­pected con­se­quences for cli­mate change?

The biggest sources of car­bon emis­sions caused by our lifestyles come from three activ­i­ties, said Kim­berly Nicholas, a researcher at the Lund Uni­ver­sity Cen­ter for Sus­tain­abil­ity Stud­ies in Swe­den: “Any time you can avoid get­ting on a plane, get­ting in a car or eat­ing ani­mal prod­ucts, that’s a sub­stan­tial cli­mate sav­ings.” Many peo­ple try­ing to avoid the coro­n­avirus are already two-​​thirds of the way there.

Dr. Christo­pher M. Jones, lead devel­oper at the Cool­Cli­mate Net­work, an applied research con­sor­tium at the U.C. Berke­ley Renew­able and Appro­pri­ate Energy Lab­o­ra­tory, said that “all these extra pre­cau­tions that schools and busi­nesses are tak­ing to keep peo­ple home are sav­ing lives, and that’s clearly what’s most impor­tant.” Hav­ing said that, he added that many of the actions peo­ple are tak­ing in response to the coro­n­avirus out­break could have a ben­e­fit of a reduced car­bon foot­print — though oth­ers would have lit­tle effect or could even expand it.

Screen Shot 2020-03-13 at 4.59.39 PM

To con­tinue read­ing, click here.

Browse News

Main Menu

Energy & Resources Group
310 Barrows Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3050
Phone: (510) 642-1640
Fax: (510) 642-1085


  • Open the Main Menu
  • People at RAEL

  • Open the Main Menu