According to legend, a man presented the King with a chessboard. In return, the king offered a to grant a wish. “I am only asking for one grain of rice on the first square of the chessboard, two grains on the second, four grains on the third etc.” The king quickly agreed. What the King did not understand is that exponential growth required over a million grains by the time they were on the 21st square, then a trillion on the 41st square. To the King’s dismay, a chessboard has 64 squares!
That same situation applies to COVID-19, climate change and many other problems. Every problem moves from one square to the next at a different rate. For example, COVID-19 is rapidly moving from square to square, doubling about every 3 to 4 days. The problem quickly gets unmanageable and every day counts. With climate change, the problem moves from one square to another much more slowly. The problem is it has been jumping from square to square since 1880! Just like with the chessboard, the problem gets much worse much more quickly the further along the chessboard we are.
The king made a quick decision without understanding impact of exponential growth. It was a very poor decision. We need our leaders to make better decisions based on science and understanding exponential growth. The more we can slow down how fast the problem jumps from one square to the next, the better chance we have to find cures and remedies and control. Right now that means social distancing and isolation for the COVID-19 problem. It means passing HR763 for climate change.