LETTER: COVID-19 is a wake-up call for the planet

From reader Brian Zacharias

It’s wonderful to see how seriously people are taking the COVID-19 pandemic. Good can come from bad events.

For several years, I’ve been trying to figure how to convince people to stay home and save the environment. I didn’t see the pandemic coming, but it is certainly giving the environment a break. Consider all of those jets in our upper atmosphere burning trillions of litres of fuel. In order to make money, we have decimated the earth’s ecosystems and the oceans.

The last frontier is our atmosphere. It is heating up and getting loaded with over 400 parts per million of carbon. Scientists have discovered that when the air has had that much carbon, the oceans were three to seven metres above their current level. Greenland and polar ice are melting very rapidly, making all of the earth’s coastal cities vulnerable to flooding.

It is past time to take this soon to happen calamity seriously. COVID-19 is scary and the results of this virus are traumatic and heartbreaking. We will win the current war with human ingenuity and a common global cause. What are the odds of winning the near future and present climate change war?

Politicians are saying we have to save the air and cruise ship industries. They are saying that after the crisis we have to get the economy rolling again; we have to keep the tar sands going and build the pipe line and keep mining coal.

The continuation of business as usual will result in a catastrophe much bigger than COVID-19 and we will be powerless to fix it. COVID-19 is a huge wake-up call. This is our last chance. The universe is giving us a stern warning. The far off goal of zero carbon emissions is a pie-in-the-sky pipe dream. We must act immediately to save the environment, with the same intensity we are acting to save ourselves from the pandemic.

Brian Zacharias


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