The study relied on the work of the entire English segment of Twitter for the presence of climate change-related messages both before and during the pandemic.
The researchers found that the number of climate-related tweets has declined roughly in line with the increase in COVID-19 cases, with the remaining messages generally more optimistic than in the pre-pandemic era. Overall, this suggests that the pandemic has overpowered the so-called “reserve of last concern”.
The idea of a limited reserve of anxiety is understandable to most. Worrying about something has an emotional cost, and that cost comes from a limited supply of emotional reserves. When these reserves are depleted, we don’t care – otherwise we lose the ability to worry about things we think are exciting, we “don’t care” any more.
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