Article by Elliot Parker.
I was not able to attend the online debate on 23 April, but if I had been able to I would have made the following points:
The climate crisis is a bigger issue because it is an ongoing crisis that is exacerbating year-on-year and will affect all species and all humans as we continue down the carbonic path we currently follow. Conversely, covid-19 is a temporary existential threat, that will see individuals die, but it is something, like with many pandemics that humanity will eventually prevail over. We see a disease that threatens humanity and some other species but with climate change we see a series of events that will threaten the world in which we live. As a result, something that threatens the livelihoods and wellbeing of us all, totally, by destroying the planet with which we live is of course far more of a bigger issue than a pandemic that affects just the individuals and some of the species that inhabit this space.
Initially, of course, just because of the reach the climate crisis will have. Covid-19 is a global pandemic that will eventually end, but the Climate Crisis is an ongoing global issue, that is worsening year-on-year as the exploitation of the earth and its natural resources continues in a way that is not conservationist in the slightest. Air pollution and the use of carbonic fumes increases respiratory illnesses, which in turn makes you more vulnerable to covid-19 if you catch it.
Covid-19 and the Climate Crisis are homogenous to the system we currently inhabit and that prevails across the world. The use of oil and coal and the destruction of ecosystems and its concurrent impact on the natural environment has been common knowledge for many years, but has been suppressed by big business and complicit governments and international organisations.
The laissez-faire approach to dealing with crises is a pandemic in of itself. We have been afforded luxuries such as the internet, computers and things such as Alexa. These devices are utilised by powerful companies, who are the biggest climate criminals to promote dysphoria to prevent climate action and action against other major societal issues. We have seen a major reduction worldwide in preventative environmental action and an increase in oil drilling and rainforest destruction to prop up a system, which will invariably destroy much of the natural world if the status quo were to continue.
Covid-19 is a dress rehearsal for what is to come. As the Equator heats up and the land around it and the two tropics become so hot that the land there becomes untenable, there will be a mass migration of people, of which has never been seen before. It is said that there will be a billion climate refugees by 2050 who will move North. Will Europe, America and other western nations welcome them with open arms? Given the prevailing populist politics currently wreaking its ugly face, I think not.
The Climate Crisis has and will continue to cause the unnecessary deaths of thousands of people. Like with Covid-19, the government, especially in the UK has adopted a lethargic approach. Carbon neutrality targets and net-zero emissions by 2050 feels like a fobbing off of the problem onto future generations to pick up the pieces of an already shattered house of cards. What we do now will define our quality of life in the future. Moreover, as these targets for net zero are placed in the long term, short term investment in fossil fuels and carbonic activities are ongoing. These promises therefore are empty and baseless and serve only to exacerbate the current situation.
The issue is that we face a war of distance. Covid-19 is a pandemic that affects many people all over the world, and so does the climate crisis. It is a war of attrition with big business, major news networks and complicit governments. Major news networks paint the picture of some of the recent hottest summers on record as a positive thing, when in reality, it is anything but that.
The BBC recently posted a story saying the Greta Thunberg rally cost £10,000. Is this really news? Or are the mainstream media outlets seeking to silence climate debate and try to pick faults with individuals who are literally trying to prevent ecological disaster.
Neoliberalism is the pandemic plaguing humanity, trickle-down economics only serves to facilitate the ongoing destruction of the natural and social environments. We cannot trust the current system to save us from either, consequently we need systemic change. This change needs to place individuals and the natural world as the most important things to preserve. Pushes to carbon neutrality and renewable resources cannot happen soon enough.
As a collective, we now understand what it is like to sacrifice some of the things we treat as ‘normal’ to save lives. Now it is time to save further lives and the environment itself. We have seen that money is clearly available to pay for pandemics, it is time to shift the focus away from non-renewables to renewable resources.
Moreover, contemporary farming practices and the climate crisis and covid-19 are all linked. Battery farming sees the destruction of rainforests and ecosystems worldwide. It is far easier for animals to catch and spread disease in these farms and all it takes is for that disease to mutate and pass to humans.
All the practices of the current system invariably lead to a negative impact on the natural world. Change is a necessity. Covid-19 has shown how vulnerable the world is to a global crisis. The Climate Crisis will continue to linger if action is not taken. It is an ongoing pandemic that is exacerbated by current industrial practices and permissive governments. International institutions need to be afforded greater power to protect the natural environment and ‘ecocide’ needs to become an international crime to stop the biggest polluters and complicit officials who let it happen.
Covid-19 is a global issue like the Climate Crisis. Concerted international cooperation is necessary to hold back this plague. There has been a report on 21 April 2020, which states the North Pole will be ‘ice’ free by 2050. This is a travesty. If this occurs, countries and places that are at sea level will no longer exist, they will be like Atlantis.
The most important thing is to change people’s perceptions more than anything. The carbon criminals and the biggest polluters are in the minority and the public who will face the consequences of anti-climate action and omissions are in the majority. The only vaccination for the climate crisis is systemic change and a new world order centred around environmental preservation and the resurrection of destroyed ecosystems. We have been afforded luxuries and distance from the climate crisis, but eventually the chickens will come home to roost. We must care more about the natural world than how the market will react if we stop using oil. The economy and the value of the biggest corporations is a superficial issue when the livelihood of humanity as a whole is at risk. Promoting renewable energy and diversifying the world into a place that is positive for the environment will create a substantial amount of jobs worldwide as we clear up the mess caused by decades of pollution and destruction of the environment. Therefore, the climate crisis is a bigger issue than covid-19 due to its ongoing effect and the lack of collective action it is entailing and given the behemoth of the system and how deeply rooted its evil talons are placed, we face an uphill battle to change perceptions as people are so invested in the system of the dysphoria it has promoted that they feel distance from the climate crisis.