We Shall Overcome
Tara: The corona pandemic is raging. The world will come to an end.
Paula: Well, no. Individually people will die, but mankind will survive.
Tara: The current crisis is the price that we are paying for ignoring Climate Change warnings.
Paula: Yes, but we learnt to take climate change seriously. The world was slowly and steadily going down the path of self-destruction. We now know how precarious the situation is – we must reduce our carbon footprint and so on.
Tara: But nobody realised that. We have been overwhelmed with data and graphs. People read about climate change in the media, attend conferences and roll their eyes in wonder. Then they merrily continue their good old ways.
Paula: Spot on. People used to think that climate change will affect polar bears or remote islands but not us. They thought it would happen someday in the distant future. It is imminent and it will affect all of us. The lockdowns are real and tangible, the climate crisis cannot be just wished away.
Tara: But there is a cost involved. People like comfort, and corporations like profits. Why will people give up comfort and convenience? They may do one thing or two to assuage their guilt; to feel they are doing their bit for the planet.
Paula: When people have a sense of belonging, they are willing to walk the extra mile. When people believe passionately about something, they do not care about personal cost.
Tara: So what would you suggest?
Paula: The solution to climate change is not social or political. It has to be cultural. We can disagree politically, but deep down we all care about our planet. Nobody is safe unless everybody is safe. As long as I had my vaccine, why should I care about someone in another part of the globe? Because unless he is vaccinated, the virus may mutate inside him and come out as a variant of concern. Remember, we are all connected by six degrees of separation.