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COVID-19: A Great Lesson for Global Warming

COVID-19: A Great Lesson for Global Warming

It’s been 7 days since COVID-19 was announced as a global pandemic. It’s been approximately 5 days since a variety of countries have closed their boarders.

At the same time: it’s been approximately 7 days since the roads have been almost uninhabited, since the number of flights per day has considerably decreased, since carbon emissions may be at their lowest since a very long time.

COVID-19 has proven itself to be a threat to humans across the world, but so is global warming. They both do not discriminate against race, age, or gender. Their impact is significant, and we all know it (whether we’d like to admit it or not).

What’s been consuming my mind lately is rather controversial (I admit it): If we can shut down our airports, restaurants, and offices, stay at home for at least 14 days to combat COVID-19 for the protection of ourselves and others, could we do the same to combat global warming?

While these measures had to be taken against COVID-19, the economy was hit hard worldwide, and so many will argue that these measures are not beneficial for our economy (to say the least) on the long run. And while this is true, I keep wondering whether a shift in perception could counter this argument.

Ever since the Dutch government and Maastricht University started taking measures of precaution, one expression kept coming up: ‘only the necessary’. “Continue only the necessary experiments”, “Come to work only if necessary”, “Go out of your house only when necessary”, “Buy only the necessary”, etc.

As we look past the COVID-19 crisis, our daily (and global) problems will resurface again, and some require our outmost attention, such as global warming. Can we impose restrictions on ourselves, a few times a year, investing in only the necessary?

Katherine Bassil, PhD at the department of psychiatry and neuropsychology

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