The wrath of nature: COVID and climate change
By Manuel Armenteros
On the cusp of COP26 in Glasgow, what we have is an increase in C02 emissions, not a decrease. This does not bode well for the future of species. Nevertheless, recent events have caused disruptions in ordinary life.
We are still dealing with a Global Pandemic that seems to stretch on indefinitely as waves rise and fall in different parts of the world. This has evidently made life difficult, even though we are adapting, and some countries can even begin to speak of a “new” kind of normalcy.
We still do not know how much longer this pandemic will last, but if anything is evident from last year, as well as this one, it’s that cooperation between countries has been sorely lacking.
As long as uneven distribution with vaccines continues its trend, we will be condemned to uncertainty. Yet, despite the many deaths inflicted, most of us will survive this ordeal.
However strange and difficult these times may be, they will certainly pale in comparison to hellish situations that will surely come, unless we do something drastic to decrease our impact on the environment.
The situation is so severe, that we can no longer speak of “stopping” climate change, but instead have to face the reality of stopping the worst scenarios of climate change from occurring. We have an important date to meet if we wish to mitigate this: 2030.
This means that we essentially have a little over eight years to stop the rising of oceans, the melting of ice, the drowning of cities, mass migration, unbearable heat and on and on.
If we lived in a rational world, countries would already have far-reaching and ambitious plans to repurpose the global economy in lines with a green future, which would guarantee good paying jobs a more equitable distribution of goods and a more interconnected world.
COP26 may be one of the – if not the – last opportunities humanity has to address this issue. Yet all we have are vague pledges and pretty words, with little by way of legally binding treaties that could force countries to address the issue seriously.
The Dominican Republic is certainly not in need of an increase in ocean levels, much less an increase in temperature that would make growing certain foods a formidable task.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has been an eye-opening experience for everyone, each person taking different lessons from the wrath nature has in store for us if we do not learn to respect it within reason.
Yet its morality rate tends to range between 3 to 4%, a much higher number than what is needed to keep climate change from irreversible damage, which is to be below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
Yet despite this miniscule number, the countries of the world prefer to continue on the path of infinite growth and competition, instead of cooperation and solidarity.
However bad COVID-19 ends up being, once we are able to turn back on it in the history books, all the pain, the miseries, the lockdowns will be all the more cause for bitterness. For if we do pass 1.5 degrees in 8 years, COVID may be remembered as less turbulent times.