The new podcast format “Hör-Saal: 15 Minuten Forschung” (available in German only) features scientists of the University of Graz discussing once a week questions revolving around different aspects of the Corona crisis. In the ninth episode, Jochen Ostheimer, Institute of Ethics and Social Teaching, answers the following question: Why do we all talk about a virus, but (almost) no-one talks about climate change? Evidently, the global climate crisis will affect us all much more drastically than the Corona pandemic. Still, the latter, is at the moment widely perceived as more dangerous and urgent.
Jochen Ostheimer identifies various contributing factors to this, such as differences in the perception of the two crises and their representation in the media: “Corona is fast, new and it equally touches the health of the entire population of a country. Climate change is a slow process and affects future generations much more intensively than the current one. That is why people are, unfortunately, not as motivated to get active here.”
Ostheimer also discusses how individual responsibility is perceived - and encouraged - differently within the two crises, identifies political beneficiaries of the pandemic and suggests a few lessons we can learn from one crisis to handle the other one.