The task of building a safer, healthier planet, surely, will only begin anew once we have defeated this beastly pandemic. So, are there lessons we can learn from Covid that we can actually use to blunt the assault of that other existential threat - manmade climate change?
|Smoke obscures the sun in one of the increasing number of|
wildfires in recent years - infernos which are starting earlier,
lasting longer and burning more intensely.
A Wikimedia photo.
And rightly so.
Instead, we've been going ahead full-tilt with building more pipelines (including the one in BC that's trampling indigenous rights in the process), extracting more fossil fuels (including ones most damaging to the environment), and electing leaders who either deny the science, promote policies which lead to further, widespread destruction of the rain forests and oceans, or all of the above! Those efforts have surely been nothing short of misguided, vapid or wilfully harmful.
The very things climate scientists have been warning us against, are now unfolding, as I write this. Flooding has devastated Fort MacMurray, Alberta, a scant four years after wildfires raged through, destroying thousands of homes and businesses.
The tragedy of the Australian bushfires emerged in all its horror, for all to see, scant months ago.
Yet our news media remain shamefully reluctant to even ask whether any of this might be because of manmade climate change. So the residents (or their leaders) don't talk about it, either. To me, it's the elephant in the room...hard to ignore...but, they're doing it!
They simply don't (or won't), see the connection between unlimited air travel, unlimited and unfettered events like the World Cup and the Olympics, and increasing greenhouse gas concentrations that are leading us down a calamitous road.
Eerily, some of the very steps being so desperately taken to beat down the virus - closing industrial plants and limiting air travel and large crowds - are among those which will help alleviate our climate crisis, too. Sadly, those measures will need to carry on after the virus has gone, simply because the ones taken, so far, are short-term and will not be enough to bring about the kind of transformation needed.
After all, the relentless burden of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has not "taken a pause," to wait for Covid to end.