Peter Cannavò.

Sacrifice in a Time of Pandemic: A Model for Climate Change? was published on Medium by Professor of Government Peter Cannavò on March 20. Medium curators selected the essay as recommended reading “in its Coronavirus and Environment across its homepage, app, topic pages, and emails,” according to the publication, “based on its quality.”

The essay cites the unexpected implications for climate change that  COVID-19 has brought about via reductions in travel, industrial activity, and energy consumption leading to significantly reduced carbon emissions.

Cannavò asks, “Does collective sacrifice in the face of this pandemic provide an inspiring model for the struggle against climate change?” noting that the sacrifices demanded by the pandemic crisis are temporary. “The climate crisis is different. Its duration is not months, but decades and centuries … Climate change means rethinking what is actually desirable.”

“Climate change means recognizing our planet’s limits and abandoning our self-destructive pursuit of limitless wealth and consumption,” he writes, and later, “The watchword will not be sacrifice, but a revised conception of the good life.”


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