How COVID-19 and Ukraine War Could Help Us Fight Climate Change  

By Mostafa Sayyadi and Michael J. Provitera

Climate change is a global challenge. The nightmares increase in Australia with higher temperatures, extreme droughts, and flash fires. [1] [2] [3] A phenomenon that appears to include California as a nephew to Australia. California is appearing to resemble Sydney with heat waves, less rain, and an early end to winter. David Attenborough, an English broadcaster, and natural historian, describes this crisis as “the biggest threat modern humans have ever faced.” [4] The similarities between what happened in the Sydney Forest Fires in 2020 and what happened in the San Gabriel Mountains in California are so great that you can’t tell which is which. We need an applied solution to the climate change crisis that is the common interest point between the Republicans and the Democrats of the US, the Conservatives and the Australian Labor Party, and all humans across the globe.

Political will is necessary to overcome the challenge of climate change. [5] [6] [7] Guaranteeing broad cooperation between universities, institutions, and organizations active in the field of environment and climate change through more grants and funding. Barack Obama’s visit to Australia in 2014 to attend the G20 Summit and his inspirational speech at the University of Queensland was a step forward for the two territories (Australian and the United States) working on climate change, in cooperation, which began to break down some barriers and develop more scientific and practical cooperation in this area. Perhaps if this collaboration could increase, then the problems associated with this threat would be mitigated. And now, President Joe Biden’s decision to increase fossil fuel exports to European countries must not ignore the super-challenge of climate change that threatens the lives of all human beings on our planet. [8] Collaboration is necessary and can provide a better future for all territories affected by climate change. Further collaboration between politicians, universities, and climate change-related institutions could lead to innovations. Innovations that can create opportunities to further replace new energy with fossil fuels. The political realm is so real today that a partisan agreement would help our nations and the world.

But what the problem is? The simple answer is that the financial benefits of investing in fossil fuels are perhaps the biggest obstacle to such cooperation. And the preference for short-term profits over longer-term benefits is the only ailment, meanwhile, our planet is suffocating. As researchers, we feel that the short-term financial benefits are not more important than the challenges that threaten human survival. Indeed, capitalists and politicians have not yet realized the importance, the seriousness, and the urgency of this threat. We must care about the land as a home for survival, growth, and even financial gain for all its inhabitants. Indeed, an applied solution to the climate change crisis is the common interest point between the Republicans and the Democrats of the US, the Conservatives and the Australian Labor Party, and all humans across the globe. The key lessons of the pandemic and the Ukraine war are necessary to overcome the challenge of climate change. And we will highlight these lessons in this article. This article can be a road map to alleviate the suffering of the people across the globe and build a more stable future for them.

Learning from the COVID-19 Crisis and the Ukraine War Crisis

The global crises taught us how to fight climate change more effectively. People look at fossil fuel differently since the Ukraine war. We hope that many world political and business leaders have learned from the COVID-19 Crisis. The COVID-19 crisis killed millions of people around the world and taught political leaders a lesson. Lesson learned; we must heed expert opinions. In the United States of America, one of the most important statements President Biden made in his speech was that “He would be willing to take the vaccine publicly as soon as Doctor Fauci says it’s safe, in an effort to boost public confidence.” [9] Now it is time to implement the lessons in battling the climate change crisis and make more use of climate change experts for macro-political and economic decisions. Expert opinions can prevent wrong decisions, provide positive personal experiences, and improve perceptions.

As we face the energy crisis today, sensitivity to environmental change has grown more of a concern than ever. COVID-19 revealed to world political and business leaders the importance of butterfly theory which showed how a seemingly small phenomenon can have a profound effect on political and economic systems around the world. The world’s political and business leaders are now becoming more sensitive and more aware of the events and their consequences for the company or country under their leadership. Political and business leaders need to be more sensitive than ever to the consequences of this global super-crisis on their companies and economy, and they can adopt effective strategies and policies to successfully battle the climate change crisis. The task of environmental activists here is to focus on the climate consequences and highlight them in order to increase the level of sensitivity of political and business leaders to facilitate responses to this crisis.

Focusing on long-term consequences rather than short-term issues is another lesson that is better understood today in the energy crisis. Many countries lost hundreds of thousands of people in the COVID-19 crisis, and they have come to terms with the crisis, realizing the long-term dangers of dependence on Russian oil and gas through international cooperation and greater investment in alternative energies. Expanding international cooperation between countries and companies is needed to expand investments in emerging and cleaner technologies. International cooperation and investment are warranted.

In Closing

Political and business leaders can now apply lessons learned and prepare for the consequences of the climate change crisis. Lessons will help leaders prepare for a crisis that may occur much sooner than expected. Closer communication between academia and researchers in the climate change area with industry and politicians is necessary. Let us manage the climate change crisis before it is too late.

About the Authors

Mostafa SayydiMostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies, and helps companies – from start-ups to the Fortune 100 –succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders.

Michael ProviteraMichael J. Provitera is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Barry University in Florida, an author of the book titled “Mastering Self-Motivation” published by BusinessExpertPress.

References

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  • [2] Silverstein, K. (2019, Feb 6). Australia Is Burning Up While The U.S. Was Freezing To Death. Global Warming’s Role?. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kensilverstein/2019/02/06/australia-is-burning-up-while-the-u-s-was-freezing-to-death-global-warmings-role/?sh=3452f76f37d8
  • [3] Foerster, J. (2013, June 13). No Relief In Sight For Drought Affected Areas of Southeast Australia. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimfoerster/2019/06/13/no-relief-in-sight-for-drought-affected-areas-of-southeast-australia/?sh=613528363b0e
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  • [5] Leiserowitz, A. (2020, June 30). Building Public and Political Will for Climate Change Action. Yale school of the Environment. https://environment.yale.edu/news/article/building-public-and-political-will-for-climate-change-action
  • [6] Kamarck, E. (2019, Sep 23). The challenging politics of climate change. Brookings Institution. https://www.brookings.edu/research/the-challenging-politics-of-climate-change/
  • [7] Gurría, A. (2088, June 3). Climate Change: A Matter of Political Will. OECD. https://www.oecd.org/env/tools-evaluation/climatechangeamatterofpoliticalwill.htm
  • [8] THE TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD. (2022, March 9). What’s better than a ban on Russian oil imports? Ending our dependence on fossil fuels. The Lost Angeles Times. https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-03-09/ukraine-fossil-fuels
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The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.