The Covid-19 pandemic is still making its way around the world, and it will remain a few more times before it’s over. However, at the early stage, we get some lessons on how to take preparation to deal with the future problem of climate change impacts soon after it.
Significantly, the Covid-19 virus outbreak has more to do with how we have neglected our ecosystems rather than because of human-induced climate change.
Today, it proves the coexistence of this pandemic and climate change.
The first lesson is about when to take action when faced with a future problem. Leaders tend to wait for the problem to occur before taking action, despite having warning by scientists earlier about the imminence of the problem. Even at this early stage, it is clear that initial responses to be better prepared for the problem before it occurs is much more effective.
However, it means our leaders don’t accept what the scientists warn them earlier and asked for policies that may seem too much then, and it was a warning even before the problem arises. However, as we know now, it is better to overreact before the problem arises so that the problem can put under control before the problem becomes a crisis.
Waiting for the problem to manifest itself may lead many lives to lose unnecessarily. This is what is now playing out in Italy and Spain. It may lead to this similar case in the United States and the United Kingdom too. Let’s hope this not happens in Bangladesh.
In the second lesson, we couldn’t stop the entry of foreign migrants. Of course, we can try to do so, and somehow it may even delay this problem.
Equally, indeed, we can only try to protect ourselves at the personal and household level. Still, if others get start affecting around us, then we will also be its victim sooner or later.
The success of tackling the pandemic in Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea, has already shown how collective action from everyone in the country, together with proactive leaders, can overcome the challenges.
The third lesson is one end of the scale.
Even though the Covid-19 pandemic seems a devastating one now, its impacts will pale in comparison with the potential effects of climate change, which are yet to come.
Hence, the early action to prevent the worst impacts, including adaptation as well as mitigation, must keep in consideration by all if we hope to minimize the adverse effects.
Every action by individuals or any bodies will count towards reducing the inevitable damage from climate change that is yet to come.
The fourth lesson drives us to look at our economical costs and behavioral changes.
Here, there are indeed a couple of positive lessons. Almost all people in an entire country are now ready to change their behavior quite drastically if they have to. It is a hopeful sign going forward.
On the economic front, there has already been a widespread disruption of the global economy. Still, some unintended benefits include a significant reduction in air pollution as well as greenhouse gases.
While such economic disruption is not desirable and we will recover from it soon, it is worth thinking about whether the recovery is possible in a much more eco-friendly manner.
The final lesson has to do with the inevitable economic chaos and recession that is starting to happen already and will get a lot worse before it gets better.
Bangladesh is likely to see significant negative impacts on manufacturing, exports, and possibly even our food production going forward.
Even the worst is yet to come. Moreover, we must take preparation for the immediate economic downturn as well as think about the future path to recovery once the worst is over.
It applies to the global economy and the silver lining in this Covid-19 pandemic, which is most relevant for tackling climate change.
Equally, it is an opportunity to rebuild the post-pandemic economy as a green one that doesn’t allow the destruction of nature. Let us hope that all global leaders are up to the challenge.