China is sending an expert team to help Italy and Spain contain the recent death toll surge. "The Happiest Place On Earth" – Disneyland is closing its doors. St. Patricks Day Parade is canceled, Broadway theatres are postponing their shows, and it is all due to the deadly coronavirus.
Since the desolation of Wuhan, coronavirus has spread all over the world, and WHO declared it as a pandemic. Considering all the harm it has already done, it is hard to imagine any good things coming out it. However, "For every bad thing in life, there are more good things to tip the balance." -Richelle Mead.
Reducing The Dangers Of Climate Change
China, the world's largest carbon emitter (over 12 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide due to coal electricity generation and coal mining) is producing 25% less carbon dioxide. Giant cruise ships, i.e., "The Climate Killers" or "Floating Quarantines," are also significantly reduced in their presence and mobility across the world seas.
The reduction of carbon emissions due to current events related to the coronavirus disease proves we are capable of doing much more for climate issues than we are already doing. Unfortunately, it took a world-wide virus outbreak to show us that. Corporate heads and political leaders can take similar emergency actions to save our planet from a much slower, but no less disastrous sickness.
To top it all, the reduction in economic growth is very little compared to the benefits it made. Coronavirus is also helping with the regulation of expenditure of fossil fuels. Events like Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland and CeraWeek gatherings in Houston have all been postponed or canceled, resulting in much-needed carbon savings for our planet. Entertainment is also experiencing a similar cutback, with many artists canceling and postponing their concerts.
Raising Awareness In Dealing With Global Problems
Let's face it; climate change is real. We are losing our planet's biodiversity. We are killing Earth. Just because our world gets sick slower than we do, it does not change the fact that there will come a time where we will lose the illusion of control we have over our environment, just like with the coronavirus. We can see how much effort everyone is taking to stay productive, whether it is online education or remote working.
If we take a step back and reexamine everything that has happened so far in the case of coronavirus, we will realize that we can learn a thing or two from such a crisis. And maybe we can stop a different disaster in its making. If people continue to avoid airplanes, cruise ships, and make adjustments to try and work from home, the fear of the virus may result in lasting shifts in the carbon footprint.
The quick responses that many of the world's countries had in the face of this pandemic are an indicator of how we can also make all sorts of social and economic changes needed for the climate change crisis. When the governments were confronted with the case of the virus, they made measures to try and stop the threat. Such actions are still much more significant than those made in the case of climate change, even though they are both declared as an emergency.
The destruction of our economics is, of course, a wrong way to deal with such a problem in the long run, and all the death and suffering are not a great example of how we want to reduce emissions from climate change. Still, maybe it will help us see a better alternative for the other threats that are waiting for us and our planet. Perhaps the harmful emissions will return after the economy bounces back, but maybe, and just maybe, the horrors of this pandemic will open our eyes for a brighter future with a healthier planet.
About the Author
Antonia is a sociologist and an anglicist by education, but a writer and a behavior enthusiast by inclination. If she's not writing, editing or reading, you can usually find her snuggling with her huge dog or being obsessed with a new true-crime podcast. She also has a (questionably) healthy appreciation for avocados and Seinfeld.
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