Coronavirus an Opportunity to Stop Being Fossil Fools
The Coronavirus pandemic is not a singular crisis present in the world today but has highlighted many other problems which still exist in our society. Issues such as domestic violence, wage inequality, the unstable relationship between humans and nature, etc. have been brought in focus. One of the problems which has been talked about the most is the dependency of our race on fossil fuels.
Fossil fuels have often been questioned and their use has been condemned by a majority of people. However, even after much criticism, a major portion of the world economy still depends on fossil fuels. They have often been termed as one of the biggest contributors to the climate crisis. Additionally, other problems like labor exploitation, loss of forest land and biodiversity, illegal land acquisition, displacement of the tribals and poor, etc. have also been reported.
The lockdown initiated all over the globe in order to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus resulted in a steep downfall in the demand of these resources. Many companies faced tremendous losses and some even went bankrupt over a period of a few weeks. This caused a loss of millions of jobs all around the world, which has forced the people and the governments to re-think about their dependency on fossil fuels.
Since the first debate against fossil fuels emerged in the UN, phasing out coal or any other fossil fuel was never possible. This was due to the fact that the sector holds a large number of jobs and played a critical role in the economy of many countries. This decision came at a huge environmental and social cost.
The average temperature of the planet spiked through the roof, which led to several imbalances in the environment causing increased frequency of natural disasters, abnormal weather patterns, etc. This has continued for several years until in 2020, Coronavirus came in. This has provided us with a once in a lifetime opportunity to rethink and rebuild the whole concept of the energy sector.
Ever since the recognition of environmental concerns, there have been claims that a complete phase out of coal is possible. However, it will either require a long time period or several companies and countries will face severe losses. Coronavirus has caused companies in the energy sector to rethink about the renewable sources of energy like solar and wind.
Renewable resources are becoming more profitable and cheaper as compared to coal and oil which are slowly becoming a riskier venture due to the increase in cost and reduction in demand. People of different countries are already appealing to their governments to use the Coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity and invest in the renewable sector in order to provide employment and reduce the environmental impact of the sector.
In India, there still exists a lack of interest in the politics of environment which is dangerous in the long run. In such a time, when people are switching from fossil fuels to renewable resources, the central government has announced the auction of 41 coal blocks, many of which fall in a heavily forested areas and lack environmental clearances.It is time that we start enquiring about the stance of government in the area of environment and have a deeper understanding of the policies and acts related to it.
Individually, lifestyle changes can also benefit the environment, your monthly budget and your health. Switching to public transport, changing the electrical systems present in your home and even reducing dependency on electronic items are some small steps which can lead to a bigger change.
The Coronavirus has presented us with an opportunity, ignoring which, will lead to our own demise as a race irrespective of our background. A switch from fossil fuels will benefit the environment, will ensure self-sustainability, and at the same time ensure social and economic equity. It is time that we stop being Fossil-Fools and live a more sustainable and green life.