Climate Change: "Nature is healing"? I don't think so.

“Nature Is Healing”? I Don’t Think So.

This Earth Day, let’s recommit to giving our best in combating climate change.

The new decade has seen some of the worst climate disasters. From Australia’s worst bushfires in history to Antarctica’s hottest temperature registered, along with other extreme weather events across the globe, it is no denying that our planet is in peril. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, it’s worth reconsidering the impact of our personal choices on the environment, as well as to better educate ourselves about our planet and climate change.   

Climate Change & Covid-19

As the world breaks out in a global pandemic, the economic slowdown has subsequently resulted in a reduction in the emission of greenhouse gases. Satellite images have shown a reduction in nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions around the world. Breathtaking photos such as the one that shows the Himalayas visible in India for the first time in 30 years has been circulating on the internet. While it may be true that the worldwide lockdowns and travel restrictions have temporarily ameliorated air and water pollution, having everyone stay at home and suspending the economy is obviously not sustainable in the long run, thus only a short-term fix for climate change.

When normality returns, it is likely that the level of greenhouse gas emissions will return to the levels of business-as-usual, or even potentially exceed that as carbon-intensive businesses are likely to drive expansion as the contracted economy recovers. As such, while people may contend that “nature is healing” due to temporary human inactivity, the global health crisis is not the solution to climate change. We can, nonetheless, consider our impact on the planet — especially how we travel and live our daily lives. 

What We Can Do 

On the individual level, the first step we can take is to educate ourselves on climate change to be well-informed of what’s happening to our environment as a result of anthropogenic activities. While we may not yet have the collective agency to tackle complex issues such as large-scale industrialisation and our overreliance on fossil fuel consumption, there are practices that we can adopt for a more sustainable lifestyle. Studies have recommended the adoption of ‘green’ lifestyle decisions such as utilising transport that is carbon friendly (cycling, pooled transport); cutting back our reliance on animal agriculture as a staple of our diets, and supporting locally-sourced sustainable businesses. These are plausible personal lifestyle decisions that we can endorse to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — to do our part to consume less, waste less, and promote sustainability. 

There are also other measures we can adopt in other aspects of our lives — for instance, our travel lifestyle. The travel and tourism industry would likely skyrocket once the pandemic ends, and we can take strides to travel more sustainably when the sky clears again. First and foremost, we can always seek to localise our wanderlust — seek out and embark on local adventures; uncover the unfamiliar in the familiar. Secondly, we can reduce our carbon footprint by flying economy, purchasing carbon offsets, and even choosing sustainable accommodation, activities and transportation. When abroad, you can also engage in voluntourism such as participating in environmental conservation programs; venturing into new sights and scenes while leaving a trail of positive impact.

Also read: Climate Change Is Real: These Islands Disappeared in the Last Decade

We have entered the Anthropocene epoch — the era of significant, man-made impact on the natural environment on Earth. The unfortunate truth is that while climate change may be seen as a less visible issue since we don’t often feel its immediate effects, it is a global, underlying predicament that will have devastating consequences on our livelihoods. 

This year, the warm winter and dismal snowfall in Hokkaido affected the popular ski season. Extreme heat waves are spreading across the world, affecting people and wildlife alike. Islands such as the Maldives and Fiji are facing the existential threat of sinking with ever rising sea levels. Yet these consequences are but only the tip of the iceberg — if we still wish to behold the beautiful landscapes and explore the spectacular natural attractions Earth has to offer, it’s about time we take responsibility for climate change and our planet.

About Author

Rachel Ngu
Rachel Ngu

Culture enthusiast, avid reader, and bubble tea aficionado.


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