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Activism During a Pandemic

Covid-19 is expensive. Though barely two months have passed since the pandemic began in the United States, 6 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the month of March alone and massive bailouts have been afforded to giant corporations to save them from near-certain destruction. Fears of unfunded programs are rampant as New York State anticipates a $13.3 billion decrease in revenue. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell signaled that the Republican-controlled senate will resist pleas by states for federal relief, leaving ordinary citizens to wonder how we will survive this — economically and otherwise.

What about the other looming crisis? While climate change-related issues will likely cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars a year by 2090, trillions of dollars are being spent on short term solutions to the pandemic. As such, climate change-related projects are at risk of being ignored. This is unacceptable. Development of green energy infrastructure has been negatively affected by the pandemic, and a historic drop in oil prices has considerably lowered the cost of driving a gas powered vehicle. We have to remember that no matter how insane things feel, we have to keep pushing forward.

We can still fight climate change. There are plenty of free courses, causes that need funding, groups to join, and politicians to call- all of which can be done from home and create real change here in the Hudson Valley. We must demand a Green New Deal, which will not only dedicate funding toward fighting climate change but also create jobs and fund crucial infrastructure projects. Covid-19 is undoubtedly changing the world, and as environmentalists we have to change too. The climate crisis is an imminent threat greater than any we have ever known, so when it comes to activism…the show must go on!

About the author: Chris Callinan is an activist and green energy professional based in NY's Hudson Valley, and is a recent graduate from SUNY New Paltz. Follow Chris on Twitter for more.

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