We are witnessing the cry of nature in 2021. We covered nature in plastic for years. Now, it is our turn to wear PPE kits and yearn for oxygen.
- Poor air quality and climate change pose a bigger threat to people’s health and the economy than coronavirus.
- Climate change is also a ‘threat multiplier’ that exacerbates crises like pandemics.
- The dramatic effects of the pandemic will largely be behind us in a few years and yet we will be fighting to eliminate the virus so that it does not spread from human to human.
With the lingering effects of the pandemic, economic thresholds are being crossed sooner than expected. In order to stay afloat, India – whose GDP between April and June this year is already expected to decline by more than 9 percent must invest heavily in resilient infrastructure, especially in health infrastructure, weather and disease-forecast systems, and enhance the capacities of institutions and people. Not for the present, but future calamities as well.
Climate change Vs Pandemic
In May 2020, Cyclone Amphan made landfall over West Bengal and Bangladesh which left many people confused about how coming together could be a good thing when in fact the government had mandated physical distancing, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. As since time immemorial, after every natural disaster people, communities and governments come together and contribute towards a quick and meaningful recovery.
It’s not just two things happening at once. It’s about each of Climate Change and the Pandemic making the effects of the other one worse.
For example, Australians are concerned that an extreme bushfire season will increase regional air pollution, leaving them more vulnerable to developing severe COVID-19, as well as severely affect persons already at high risk. These outcomes will then, of course, further strain healthcare and the economy.
Watch: Why Pandemics Will Increase With Climate Change
Absence of Consciousness
Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and a philanthropist believes that we are running out of time, and must reduce greenhouse emissions to zero in 30 years or suffer the consequences. In his recent book, ‘How to Avoid a Climate Disaster’, he rules out prioritizing efforts to mitigate the impact of global warming, arguing that it is already too late for that course of action.
Although he is stunned by the lies and conspiracy theories that have flourished during the coronavirus crisis and worried about social polarization, he still believes we can save the future. It is explained in the book that how mammoth a task it is, but still, it is an impossible one, not if the business, technological and political sectors work together to reach the goal.
Any economic recovery plan for developing countries has to also build back the economy in a way that reduces risks from climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing access to healthcare services for the most vulnerable. If we do not do this, we are at risk of seeing climate change and pandemic impacts colliding again in the future.You will find more infographics at Statista
Climate change is definitely one of the most important challenges that must be tackled globally. Climate adaptation also needs a long-term strategy for pandemic preparedness as it has acutely overshadowed public reckoning with the climate crisis.
International Labor Organization warned that the phenomenon is producing, in the short, medium or long term, and a serious disruption of economic and social activity will be there in many sectors on all continents of the world.
It is high time that we all make a conscious shift towards sustainable and eco-friendly measures of living. Efforts should be made to chose and encourage walking and cycling.
We all should demand from the government to put clean air, clean energy and a cleaner environment at the centre of their policies for the future now. There’s growing evidence that air pollution makes us more susceptible to the disease and makes us more likely to have a bad outcome than what should we get it.
There’s convincing evidence that diseases like Covid-19 pandemic are more likely to emerge amid climate change as we destroy our natural habitat. Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, links to dementia and diabetes, as well as weight gain in babies and lung development in children.
We’ve seen during this period that we have the ability to make drastic changes to our way of life when we need to. We should be willing to learn from these changes and not just return to old habits.