Pandemic, Science and Climate Summit

Pandemic, Science and Climate Summit

The sighting of Mount Salak from Jakarta at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year caused a stir. In fact, before the pandemic era, the mountain, located in Bogor, West Java, was neglected. Even if you visit the ‘Rain City’, the inhabitants of the capital, at most, usually stop for shopping in factory outlets, cafĂ© or lesehan picnic in the botanical gardens. The beautiful silhouette of Mount Salak attracts only a few nature lovers. However, with the limited mobility of people in Jakarta, especially the reduced number of vehicles traveling each day, the mountain has become a topic of conversation. Internet users excited, people seemed in awe of the clean air of Jakarta. They suddenly care about the environment.

The growing interest in the environment that brings humans closer to nature, I think is one of the positive impacts of the covid-19 pandemic. We can see other examples in gardening activities or caring for plants that bloom during pagebluk. This is not only happening in Indonesia, but also in other parts of the world. Cited BBC, the UK’s National Statistics Agency reports evidence of a greater appreciation for natural spaces, such as parks, during the pandemic and the role green spaces play in people’s mental well-being.

This heightened human appreciation of nature can help stimulate awareness of the challenges associated with other broader environmental issues such as climate change. With economic activity stopping in times of social restraint, the United Nations estimates that emissions will only decrease by 7% in 2020. This means that even the pandemic has not done much to reduce global warming. This issue of emissions will be a major topic of discussion for world leaders at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1-2.

Managing the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years should also be a lesson in overcoming climate change. Confidence in science, including vaccination programs, the importance of washing hands and the use of masks, may be one of the solutions that can be applied to overcome climate change. It can start by explaining scientifically the dangers of vehicle exhaust fumes, the importance of taking care of trees and protecting the environment to the community in order to educate them about the impact on climate change. In essence, the discussion of climate change shouldn’t just take place at the elite level. It must be discussed in a down-to-earth manner so that it is understood by those who will be directly affected by it.

The most important thing, of course, is the urge to act or act. In a pandemic, the response comes as soon as the hero of the ambulance announces the death and terrorizes the community. However, in terms of climate, the impact is gradual so that it is not or has not been perceived as something urgent to anticipate. This awareness requires hard work on the part of stakeholders. Another challenge is how to establish global cooperation. During the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, this became a major weakness, vaccine distribution was uneven so handling was slow and was criticized by many parties.

Coming back to climate change, the success or failure of COP26 will depend on the ability of its participants to face it and take action at the global level. It is not enough for them to simply commit to reducing emissions, as criticized by William Nordhaus, the 2018 Nobel Laureate in Economics, and go about their business. as usual. “

The issue of cash is indeed one of the difficult factors in achieving climate cooperation. It cannot be overcome simply by a commitment to pay the cost of carbon reduction to a country, or a set of rules without incentives. It may take a radical technological breakthrough in renewable energy to solve this problem. Whether it’s a source like that used by Superman’s ancestors on the planet Krypton or a material called vibranium in Wakanda. Hopefully science can answer that someday.


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