#Consumption & Lifestyle
- Even a tiny rise in temperature would lead to the melting of permafrost, which could release many viruses trapped within
- Meanwhile, to tackle the current crisis, the production of reusable masks and disinfection sprays should be scaled up
Instead of pointing fingers at each other, political leaders must build bridges and develop cross-boundary measures to limit the spread of the Covid-19 disease. And, once the pandemic is under control, they must explore long-term solutions to deter a recurrence.
Local companies and universities have also developed sprays that can kill many types of viruses, including Sars-Cov-2. Should such solutions become widely available, we could use them on surfaces such as handrails, allowing the public to go back to work safely and help in the revival of the economy.
Permafrost is located in extremely cold regions where dead plants, animals and microbes have been trapped for millennia. As permafrost thaws due to global warming, this trapped organic matter becomes exposed and starts to decompose, releasing even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and creating opportunities for viruses to be revived
It is estimated that permafrost holds 1.5 trillion tonnes of carbon, three times the amount that human activity has generated since the industrial revolution. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted that even if humanity can cap the world’s temperature rise at 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, 25 per cent of the existing permafrost would still melt.
World leaders are currently focused on preserving their national economies and stopping the spread of the deadly virus. But, should they want to save lives and the global economy in the long run, they must transform all nations to become carbon-neutral ones.
Edwin Lau Che-Feng, executive director, The Green Earth
This article originally published in SCMP, Reprinted with permission from the author