The Covid-19 epidemic is so real and so everywhere in the media. Its impact on people’s feelings and life is growing fast in most countries around the world, with some citizens being stuck at home, some businesses fearing a sudden threat on their sustainability. Yet on another hand the climate emergency is not less real, but still not considered as a major current threat, although its impact is getting stronger by the day.
What scares me is the display of military and police forces to keep people locked down, like we see in Italy. It is to me an example of how our governments will manage the climate chaos: more guns in the street…
I hope though that we will learn some lessons from this current epidemic outbreak. Indeed there could be more serious similar threats in the future with climate change (see this article from WHO) and pollution (check this short abstract) bringing new challenges on human health. But also air pollution is now seen as the most dangerous threat to human health (article about the research on sciencealert.com).
In a sense it is interesting to see how all the different governments are reacting to the coronavirus outbreak, it is like a massive live rehearsal for worse case scenario of human life under attack.
As a father who cares for my children and the environment they are going to live in, I think that we should react to the climate crisis with the same emergency that we are doing it with this Sars-CoV-2 killer. Yet it should be more internationally coordinated, people’s movement being a key in both crisis. And I am sure that because the number of air flights are being seriously reduced at the moment to avoid fast spread of the virus, we will see a sharp reduction in greenhouse gases. In the same way the virus control implies a forced economic slow down which will have a direct downward effect on CO2 emissions. A lot of people says that reducing the number of flights is bad for the economy, but it is good for the planet, for us and our children.
The knock-on effect of the economy slowing down is even more rapidly beating down shareholders confidence in the global market, and the price of crude oil is subject to unforeseen reactions. This shows another aspect of what’s coming fast and strong: massive fluctuations in the petrol market and more disruptions in oil production (article from OilPrice.com), when the peak oil will be obvious.
This is a sign as well: let’s get rid of our insane dependence on fossil fuels.
Petrol and Gas have surely been the major players in human predominance on this planet, boosting our species ability to exploit every possible inches of the earth surface. We live the way we live because of how we built our life on fossil fuels. So we don’t know how it would be without it, it’s scary but I am convinced that happiness is still possible, but the longer we wait for transitioning the harder it will be.
To answer this article’s question: Coronavirus Vs Climate Emergency: which one is the biggest threat?
Of course it’s the climate emergency BUT the virus crisis is a lot like a snapshot of that bigger threat that climate change is. It is showing how we can respond to global threats and what are the short time effects on the economy. I hope that we’ll learn also how to respond collectively and trust each others rather than isolate ourselves from each others.