The coronavirus pandemic has drawn a great deal of attention to one of the most devastating problems of our time – the big climate change crisis. Around the world, there is more news about the climate beginning a slow healing process.
This was courtesy of the lockdowns that have been imposed in the wake of the virus. With human activity coming to a halt, the most dangerous contributor to global warming has stopped for the time being. Effects can already be seen with the air becoming cleaner and more animals resurfacing.
However, the question remains if the virus will enable us to pose a better fight against climate change. Let’s examine if there are any lessons that can be learnt by human beings through this crisis.
WHAT ARE THE LESSONS TO BE LEARNT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
First of all, the basic differences between the two crises need to be understood. The Coronavirus has a more direct and immediate effect on human lives. While the effects of climate change are more indirect through a number of respiratory diseases and are protracted over a long period of time with the peak coming in the period between 2030 and 2050.
That’s why a more serious government and public response to the climate change crisis is still lacking. However, for years we have been told that an all-out battle against climate change is not possible due to the way our economy functions. The world is still not rich enough to take the climate change fight head-on.
However, the COVID-19 lockdowns have exposed all these excuses given by our authorities and corporations. With more and more companies shifting their employees home and affording work from home opportunities, it is being proven that office work is not really an urgent requirement. The companies just lacked the conviction and will power to afford these opportunities to their workforce which had to partake in more vehicular and air travel which deepened the crisis.
Now, more employees will demand such opportunities once the crisis recedes. Secondly, the vast resources that the government can actually employ to tackle a problem were shown. All governments are offering huge stimulus packages to people and have readjusted their economies to deal with the crisis in a way which is much better at the moment. If this can be done for the Coronavirus, a similar approach can surely be taken for the climate change
Finally, the public has become more cognizant of the way their lives can be imagined without them being harmful. It is possible to reduce unnecessary travel and to avoid vehicular use. If everything comes together we can actually provide a better fight against climate change.