By Asitha Jayawardena
In the last post, Weak sustainability vs. Strong sustainability: which is better? we discussed which sustainability is healthier – weak or strong.
In strong sustainability, the economy is at the centre. Across the economy are people. Both people and the economy are inside ecology. As the name suggests, strong sustainability is better whereas weak sustainability is not practically possible.
The coronavirus appeared in December 2019 and created a pandemic all around the world. Above all, people started working from home. The surface transport came to a standstill while many resorted to cycling and walking. Air travel came to a halt. Many companies, including oil giants, operated in a low key while many of the staff furloughed or fired.
The coronavirus started with people. Within weeks or months, Covid-19 restricted people into their own homes. People tend to be homebound under the instruction of the government. The workplaces have been deserted and it affected the economy. So, at the suffering end are people and the economy.
Then what happened to ecology? Without emissions, air quality improved. The emissions, including that from surface transport, air travel and the operation of heavy machinery, were reduced to a low level.
By coronavirus pandemic, first people and then the economy of the diagram of strong sustainability are adversely affected. However, when it comes to ecology, Covid-19 is taken positively.
The coronavirus is a natural phenomenon that came into the human world due to human negligence. Now, how it can resonate with climate change? There are two.
The first one is, climate change does not act fast enough. It will act on ecology and it is the ecology that will act upon people and the economy. Of course, separately, it will also act on people and the economy. So, initiatives against climate change, say a vaccine or medicine, is not essential. They cannot cure climate change. And if they are needed, nothing can be manufactured in that way because ecology is the main sufferer. People and the economy come at second.
The second one is, climate change will affect only a part of the region or area whereas coronavirus affected the entire world in one go. Today, some countries have experienced a second wave of Covid-19 while many others are showing the signs of a next wave. All the inhabitants on planet earth are in one boat.
How to resist climate change will be discussed in the next post.
Coronavirus and climate
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, governments and multinationals are working on a vaccine so that the people will have no fear in leading their lives. By that time, the next pandemic will surface and another vaccine would be on the cards.
Climate change has no vaccines as such. It attacks ecology. How to fight climate change by restricting the rising global temperature to 1.5oC by 2030 is a mammoth task.
Covid-19 and climate crisis should be considered simultaneously as warming is higher than we all imagine.
Weak sustainability vs. Strong sustainability: which is better? https://sustain-blog.com/2020/09/03/weak-sustainability-vs-strong-sustainability-which-is-better/