In 2019, we witnessed an onslaught of problems - first there were the forest fires across Amazon, Africa, Alaska, Siberia, and Australia. Then we saw unprecedented levels of ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica, followed by the hottest summer in Europe. India, as always, played host to deadly air pollution. As we were coping and building strategies to solve these impossibly difficult gigantic and complex problems, we were hit by a novel virus that brought the entire world to its knees.
As 2020 ushered in a new decade, news regarding a new virus surfaced around the world. In India, we were still struggling with the attack on universities, state-sponsored attacks on minorities, and blatant human rights abuse.
Ever heard of 'Out of the frying pan and into the fire!"? Looking at the state of affairs, it seems like the planet decided to do just that.
In the first 100 days of the new decade, more than 10,000 people across the world died from a novel virus. In comparison with the common flu virus that we suffer from yearly, this was more contagious and had a serious penchant for killing old people.
Many leaders around the world were slow in responding to the virus - not recognizing the seriousness of the disease, failing to deploy resources at hand, slow in calling for containment, and announcing travel restrictions. However, people across the world began emptying supermarket aisles in their attempt to hoard toilet paper and other essentials. All sense of decency and sanity was lost, in the land of freedom, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as people prepared to stock up for the coming apocalypse.
For the climate alarmists like myself, time had come for a nice staycation. I caught up on much-needed sleep. Three years into attempting, leading and struggling, with conversations and investments, and probably delivering on some level of climate action and awareness, there was finally some closure. My tired soul screamed out “I told you so”!
For years, climate action has been stalled in the name of economic development - what Greta refers to in her speeches as the “fairytales of eternal economic growth”, and boomers refer to as an excuse for inaction. For decades prior to 2020, we gave higher priority and poured investments into utterly useless line items. Although, the Coronavirus is the biggest scare of the day, fundamentally changing life, business, and the world as we know it, the real challenge is yet to come.
If the decade of 2020s is a movie, the coronavirus outbreak is just the trailer. Wait for the climax, where the real villain - climate change will make its grand entrance.
But there is a ray of hope. Our healthcare workers are fighting the Covid-19 battle right now: many across the world have not gone home in days, and are serving patients despite the high risk of infection. Many are laying down their lives on the frontlines. It is high time, that we, the remaining members of society take inspiration from this and commit ourselves to solving the impending climate crisis.
Whatever your profession is today, it can be shifted to Climate Action. Sales, Account, Finance, Investment, Marketing, Advertising, Data Science, Product Development, Logistics, Research, Management - the collective expertise of all these career streams can be focused on doing something about the planet. Remember, it is no longer a time for growth, but rather a pathway to how we survive and thrive. Get on the climate crisis frontline, now.
(Header Image: Gerri Ward, LinkedIn)