To understand how the pandemic relates to climate requires us to look at certain overlapping behavioural science factors that have been linked to our inability to make the required, rational choices needed to address both these crises — climate change and the pandemic. A year-and-a-half later, the pandemic looks different for different regions – particularly divided is the effect between the Global North and South. A large part of this relates to vaccine nationalism, wherein lies the traces of myopia and tribalism even when science has demonstrated that the only way out of the pandemic is inoculating the world. If the virus survives anywhere, mutating and evolving as it does in due course, no region is unsafe. While vaccine nationalism may be a more headline problem, with comparatively more efforts to understand the factors at play, cognitive biases demonstrate that the world needs to work around significant challenges to undertake the manner of collective action that the climate crisis demands. Otherwise, we risk walking into the futures that the IPCC report warns us about.
By Binayak Dasgupta. Hindustan Times. August 16, 2021.