The coronavirus pandemic has worn out its welcome on Earth. Just try and find someone who’s not sick and tired of working from the basement, wearing a mask, bumping elbows in greeting or simply living with the worry of themselves or their family getting sick. And these inconveniences pale in comparison to the pain many have suffered from sickness or the loss of loved ones.
If we could have seen the pandemic coming and had the power to prevent it, of course, we would have. If we had that power but sat on our hands as millions became sick and died, that inaction would be unforgivable.
There is another problem that we know is coming, that we have the power to address, and yet which we continually do too little—or often nothing—to tackle. I’m talking about climate change.
Left unchecked, the impact of climate change will only further alter our world as we know it—reshaping our coastlines and the cities that sit on them, accelerating species extinction, devastating agriculture and causing famine, ravaging our economy and impacting everyone’s health.
Though often regarded as a hot potato in politics, one of the biggest points of opposition to addressing climate change is the cost. How can a world whose transportation and energy systems are so heavily rooted in burning hydrocarbons afford to scrap them and shift to other, cleaner forms of energy?
I approach it from the other direction, however: how can we afford not to?
Yes, the looming cost to human life and the natural world are paramount and merit immediate and sustained commitment to long-term action. For those who also worry about the economics of tackling climate change, consider this: Goldman Sachs recently estimated that there is $16 trillion to be made in just the next 10 years from new investments in renewable energy. Furthermore, if the United States committed to help keep global warming within 2 degrees Celsius, this would create between $1 trillion and $2 trillion in yearly investments in renewable energy.
At a time when the global pandemic has dealt a mighty blow to the world’s economy, those kinds of numbers should be music to our ears. Why would we not embrace the enormous economic benefits and job creation of investing in next generation transportation and renewable energy systems?
Source:: Time – Science