Imagine, suggests a tweet doing the rounds online, if the media reported on the climate crisis like it does on the coronavirus.
Headline news every day, constantly releasing an updated death toll, analysing whether world leaders are doing enough - and most importantly, making the public believe this is something to take seriously.
To which I can only say, I wish. Because in relative import, our climate emergency is a million times the greater crisis than Covid-19 is ever likely to be.
That's not exaggeration. Whereas coronavirus has infected about 90,000 people so far, causing 3000 deaths, climate change affects not only every one of humanity's nearly-eight billion, but the trillions of other life forms on this planet with us.
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As for deaths, if you added up the losses to drought in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, plus the lives lost to extreme weather events and heatwaves, not to mention the respiratory disease deaths from noxious pollution, a conservative figure would be several million at least.
Oh, and then there's the animals – a billion of which died in Australia's wildfires this summer alone.
Making a case, yet? Well, let's do a quick whip-round of the environment news just for this past week:
Multiple locales throughout Northland and Auckland had the hottest and/or driest summer on record.
Many Northland coastal aquifers are at their lowest-ever recorded levels.
All 12 monitored Rotorua lakes failed to meet their trophic level indexes for water quality last year.
Thousands of eels and birds have died in clogged algae-infested farm "drains" (a revisionist name for a stream) on the Hauraki Plains, mainly due to high nutrient levels from farm runoff.
Half of all sandy beaches will be lost this century due to rising seas coupled with storm surges.
Insurance premiums went up 16 per cent last year and will continue to rise because of climate-related disasters.
An Auckland City survey found women under 30 – the new and would-be mothers – were the most concerned about climate change, while men over 65 – those who have caused and profited most from the changes – were least concerned. No surprise.
And that's just some of the local impact stories.
On the good news front, KiwiSaver default providers will, from mid-2021, no longer be able to invest in fossil fuel companies.
Meanwhile two Extinction Rebellion protesters managed to climb on to the massive OMV offshore drilling rig while it was en route from its failed probe in the Great South Basin to a gas prospect off Taranaki. Hopefully that'll heighten awareness around OMV's sponsorship of WOMAD for those attending that event next week.
An overseas item which could well have repercussions here (especially for Wellington and Wanaka airports) was the British Court of Appeal ruling against a third Heathrow runway because the government had failed to take its own climate commitments under the Paris Accord into account.
But the best news is probably Nelson City's establishment, in conjunction with Tasman District, of a community-driven "climate forum" to devise a strategy for that region to meet the challenge of climate change.
Similar to the citizen's assemblies set up in the UK and France and mooted as a model for enhancing governance here, this initiative is a timely reminder that councils declaring "climate emergency" need to back their signals with action.
However contrast the response of government in general to these two very different "emergencies" – one that may cause a handful of deaths versus one that may kill us all.
Ironically, the panic over Covid-19 is estimated to have cut Chinese ghg emissions by 25 per cent.
So maybe there's something to be said for plague reportage.
Bruce Bisset is a freelance writer and poet. Views expressed are the writer's opinion and not the newspaper's.