COVID19 and Climate Change

A few months ago we were all deeply involved in the Climate Change debate, especially down here in Australia where the bushfires were raging across the nation, destroying our environment. Then, all of a sudden, came along the Coronavirus and literally stopped the world from spinning. The Climate Change debate is not on anyone’s agenda anymore. Back then climate change advocates argued that “the planet is trying to tell us something” since “we pushed it too hard”. Unfortunately, our governments were not listening and policies are yet to be reviewed. Whether you believe in cosmic forces and the power of the universe or not, you cannot stop wondering:

Is COVID19 the answer to Climate Change Denial?

One way we can look at it could be that our planet finally realized the previous signs it had given us – global warming, extreme weather, starvation and drought – were not enough to change our behavior and SLOW DOWN, in order to restore the ecological system. The next step in the escalation of events is a once-in-a-century pandemic. A health emergency spreading quickly around the world like… wildfire. Could this be nature’s way to restore the balance?

The consequences of COVID19 are clearly devastating, with so many lives lost around the world, while we’re still quite far from the finish line. On the other hand, these unprecedented times had changed the world within just a matter of weeks. We’re experiencing massive reduction in transportation – flights, cars, cruise ships – nearly everything came into a halt. Industrial production had dropped by 25% due to decline in demand. People are forced to stay at home, the streets are nearly empty. As a result we’re seeing signs of immense improvement in air quality, particularly around big cities. Much less fossil fuels are burning, emissions around the globe are down, wild animals have been observed walking past the abandoned streets where homosapiens once used to roam. All as a result of human beings put on HOLD. Interesting outcome.

Question is, how would it all look like on the other side of COVID19. When this all ends, would we just go back to normal? would we restore our industrial production to catch up and boost the economy? would people travel around the world the same way they used to?

Here are some provoking thoughts

  • We learned during this crisis that a lot of what we consume is pure luxury, we don’t need much of it as it doesn’t fall under the definition of “necessity”. Potentially our consumer habits would change forever. Would we stop the constant chase to have more? Would minimalism become the new way of life?
  • We learned that globalisation allowed the spread of a tiny and nasty virus from one particular location to the whole freaking world. Would that change our view on globalisation? would we stop traveling to every corner of the globe? would we change our international commercial relationships and focus on local produce and trade? Would tourism change forever?
  • We learned that focusing on our close circle is the most important thing – family. Would we learn to appreciate the most basic and important things? would we possibly slow down and stop chasing money and success through overworking ourselves?
  • We learned that lack of leadership can cost lives. Those ‘leaders’ who prioritized the Economy over Climate Change have now prioritized it over our own lives. Will we have the courage to replace them and find the leaders we really deserve?
  • We learned that distant education and working from home can be good substitutes to face-to-face interactions. For some, it works well and can actually improve focus and productivity. Would this change the way we work and study in the future? Would physical distancing become the new norm?

Coronavirus had changed the world. It might have changed it forever. If we have the courage to modify our long term habits and embrace what we were forced to learn during this pandemic, potentially some good would eventually come out of this. Meanwhile, keep safe, stay at home and save the world.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. An excellent post, Shain. You’ve raised some vital questions for serious thought. I’d just like to comment on the following questions you’ve raised:

    “Could this be nature’s way to restore the balance?”
    ~ I say, yes. If this pandemic doesn’t shake homo sapiens awake, the next warning will hit us even harder.

    “Question is, how would it all look like on the other side of COVID19. When this all ends, would we just go back to normal? would we restore our industrial production to catch up and boost the economy? would people travel around the world the same way they used to?”
    ~ The masters of continual economic growth would most surely attempt to go back to normal. On the other hand, I think that the majority of people worldwide would be more cautious about returning to normal interactions with strangers in public spaces. The restaurant and tourist industries will have to re-imagine new models if they wish to remain in business.


    1. Shain Writer says:

      Thank you Rosaliene, all very interesting questions. We should be optimistic that “after the storm” things would be different for the good. But I suspect we always carry a slice of pessimism that over time things would just return to how they used to be before COVID19. Hopefully we should all do our part to influence and make a change.


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