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Climate change a crisis in waiting

The pandemic still impacting much of the world remains a major issue with leaders in democratic and dictatorial regions because the coronavirus strikes irrespective of political or economic status — all a human being has to be doing is breathe to become a target.

It is no longer a question of where it all started, but instead when will it be brought completely under control. This will depend on how people around the world respond to medical guidelines aimed at making it more difficult for the virus to rapidly spread from person to person.

Medical officials globally are overwhelmed and often unable to cope adequately with surging infections that overrun many facilities. Most of us have seen via a steady stream of reports how so much has changed in life patterns in large powerful countries, and indeed smaller places like our lovely island of Bermuda.

Despite repeated warnings from government health officials worldwide over the wearing of face masks and appeals to avoid crowds, sadly there are too many who object to guidelines that they feel limit their freedom. Others insist on attending gatherings often without regard for distancing, providing the virus with a field day to attack new victims.

While vaccines are now offering hope, much will depend on how well the distribution to vaccinate millions around the world will be handled. In America, the outgoing administration of Donald Trump has been blamed by many medical experts for being behind in vaccinations because of poor planning. According to reports, despite so many people ignoring gatherings over the holiday period, the nation could see a death toll exceeding 400,000 by the end of January — a clear sign that the health crisis is far from over.

Other countries are also having a difficult time in combating this deadly virus, which has changed lifestyles for millions.

Ironically as people struggle to cope with having to do so many things different in a changed world, lurking in the not too distant future is another problem whose failure to be addressed properly by leading nations could be catastrophic for life on this planet.

President Donald Trump gestures while speaking about the US role in the Paris climate change accord. His official departure from the White House on January 20 may signal a turning point (Photograph by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

Scientists for years have been voices in the wilderness, urging governments to drastically curb their emissions of fossil fuels into our atmosphere, weakening the Earth’s protective shield from the Sun’s powerful rays. Many scientists are concerned that it may be almost too late now to prevent further damage, and as a result the Earth is experiencing hurricanes with greater power and frequency, and huge forest fires as seen in California and Australia, which claimed many lives with extensive damage to property.

Keep in mind that melting ice in the Arctic at alarming rates will raise sea levels the world over, and while this may have a science fantasy touch, with most scientists it is a deeply disturbing fact.

The Paris climate change agreement, which was established to have nations collectively work towards a solution to halt further damage to our upper atmosphere, was seen as a step in the right direction. When the Trump Administration pulled out of the accord, it was a blow to the effort. It is good to know that the incoming Biden Administration, scheduled to take control on January 20, intends to re-establish America’s position in doing something about climate change.

It is going to be a tough battle for the new administration, with numerous challenges on the home front. Attempting to heal a deeply divided nation politically and racially will not happen overnight.

Covid-19 was treated at first as nothing to worry about by the nation’s leader, only to have that bubble burst in the face of reality. The rest is history.

If climate change is scoffed at by sceptics, and nothing is done, the world might one day find itself confronting something far worse than a pandemic.

Perhaps there is still time to do something to help save the planet for future generations. We can only hope all nations will be united in taking steps to protect all people on this earth.

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Published January 02, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated January 01, 2021 at 1:09 pm)

Climate change a crisis in waiting

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