Coronavirus and Climate Crisis: The Biggest Stories of Our Time

The all-consuming coronavirus story is burying all sorts of bad news, and bad news about the climate crisis is no exception. Research published last Monday described a recent heatwave in Antarctica as “unprecedented in the observed record.” Last Tuesday, the Trump administration moved to roll back automobile fuel-efficiency standards—a move that the Times described as “gutting the federal government’s most important climate change policy” and the administration cast as its “single largest deregulatory initiative.” The Environmental Protection Agency is allowing prolific polluters to self-regulate for a to-be-determined period, single-use plastic use is having a moment, and several states have new laws criminalizing protests against fossil-fuel infrastructure, all under the cover of the virus. Emily Atkin—whose newsletter, HEATED, has tracked these developments and others—argued last week that right now is “a great time to be evil.”

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