South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (SANEM) conducted a survey late last year to appraise the socio-economic condition of families in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings of the survey contain enough negatives to alarm the policymakers and the concerned citizens alike.
According to the survey findings, the proportion of Bangladesh’s total population living below the poverty line has doubled from 21.6 percent in 2018 to 42 percent in late 2020 and the proportion of extreme poor tripled from a mere 9.4 percent to 28.5 percent over the corresponding period. The pandemic has caused serious economic hardship, especially for the poor, all over the world. But such a mammoth slippage is unfathomable, especially when the country achieved nearly 4 percent growth last year compared to negative growth posted by most South Asian countries.
The findings raise serious questions about the efficacy of the government’s recovery packages in reaching the population in dire need of government assistance. The population living marginally above the poverty line or in poverty are always vulnerable to slip into one level down at the slightest sign of any economic instability.
Our policymakers should keep in mind that no degree of economic growth is fulfilling if its benefits fail to reach the downtrodden masses. Development, no matter how glittering it appears, carries little value to the poor unless its benefits trickle down to them in some form or other. Else, they feel left behind as then they only see the glitter of development but not its benefits.
Moreover, such a substantial spike in poverty level may derail Bangladesh in its journey to achieve middle income country status. Apart from maintaining the required per capita Gross National Income (GNI) level, which it likely will, the country must also maintain the threshold level in one of the two other criteria, the Human Assets Index (HAI) and Economic Vulnerability Index (EVI) criteria, in the next triennial review to be held in 2021. Only then the chances of Bangladesh being recognized by the UN as a middle income country in 2024 will remain alive. Otherwise, there will be, at a minimum, three-year delay in Bangladesh achieving middle income status unless the UN relaxes the conditions due to the pandemic.
As of today, the chances of Bangladesh slipping below the threshold level on both counts appear real, demanding immediate pragmatic measures to counter them.
Now the question arises, what went wrong with the government’s relief packages. Why did they fail to deliver the desired benefit to the population in direst need? Was sufficient resources allocated for the vulnerable population in the relief packages? Did the mechanisms used for the delivering the resources to the target beneficiaries work? Well, the time has come to look seriously into the foregoing questions as a first step to mitigate the suffering of the people living below or hovering around the poverty line.
Understandably, the major goal of the relief packages is to keep the economic wheel rolling at a time of unprecedented difficulties caused by the pandemic. It’s common knowledge that preventing the consumption level from rock bottoming is pivotal to succeed in achieving this goal. The following measures may help the country in improving the poverty situation as well as giving the economy a boost:
1) Delivery of increased food and cash resources to the population in dire need;
2) expansion of agricultural grant or loan, as appropriate, to subsistence farmers; and
3) enhancing employment opportunities via increased assistance to small and cottage industries.
Both cash relief and cash freed through food relief will help increase purchasing power of the target population enabling them to buy more manufactured consumer goods, essential for steady economic recovery.
Much thought should be given on formulating the best possible path of achieving speedy economic recovery. The path on which poverty alleviation and economic recovery walks hand in hand. A path on which each complements the other.
It is heartening that the country has attained the economic capacity to make it happen. What’s needed is due diligence to develop necessary plans and programs and their effective execution.
ASM Jahangir is a former Senior Program Manager of USAID/Bangladesh.
“But for somebody whose fate was unmistakably written in tragedy, how could one expect normal joyful life? Her husband back to his country found a niche in the writers’ corner and gradually started to prosper. That made Sudha happy endlessly and she even started sending money to him so that he could devote his whole time uninterrupted in writing. Sudha’s dream of a cultural hub, a centre of attraction of poets and writers in her house is gradually coming into reality. But, as it is said, “Man proposes, God disposes”, life started to get sour for Sudha again”, said Adit.
“What happened then?”, asked the Police Officer.
“For the first few years, things were going more or less as planned – Sudha was rearing her children in Princeton and her husband was pursuing his career back home without contributing anything to the family finance in New Jersey. Then news started percolating to Sudha that her husband was seen many times in the company of a young female news reporter. Initially Sudha refused to believe that, but the news became more and more persistent and even Sudha’s mother told her on the phone that it was not a rumour anymore and they were living together. Sudha was devastated by this betrayal of her husband. She stopped sending him money. That prompted her husband to take a retaliatory step and a few months later they got married.”
“The plot is thickening. Now the divorce would follow”, commented the Police Officer.
“Precisely. Following a flurry of letters between Sudha and her husband, it was agreed that a divorce proceeding would be initiated by Sudha and her husband would not contest, as he was the guilty party, who married someone while being married to someone else.”
“Even then it took a couple of years to settle the dispute of custody of children and financial matters, however little asset they had. By late 1980s the divorce was finally granted”, said Adit.
“So, Sudha was then free to get married.”, said the Police Officer.
“Yep, in theory. But she neither liked to get married nor did she get someone she fancied. Her husband’s utter betrayal made a huge big dent and a deep scar in her heart from which she did not recover for quite a while,” said Adit.
“So, where do you come in?” asked the Police Officer.
“I will be in the scene soon. But we will have to skip through a long period of 30 years of her life”, said Adit.
“Wasn’t she looking for a man she liked all those years?”, asked the Police Officer facetiously.
“Not really. Sudha had numerous approaches from her colleagues and even from her bosses. Incidentally, she changed her nursery job to a newspaper editorial job. The money was good and that gave her some financial stability. But she resisted approaches from males, primarily because she could not trust male folk after the betrayal of her ex-husband for whom she sacrificed so much. How could one leave his own children and his wife and go after another woman, particularly when his wife was not only looking after his children but also supporting him to fulfil his ambition?” Adit said in exasperation.
“You seem to be very much in sympathy with Sudha. But where do you exactly fit in?”, asked the Police Officer.
By that time dinner trolley came close to their seats. They unfolded their tables and got ready for the dinner. Dinner was served. The flight was nearly half way through when they finished dinner.
After the dinner, Adit continued, “My married life also came to a sudden halt. After more than 40 years of married life, my wife suddenly decided to leave me and the matrimonial home. I did not know where she went. As far as I could say, there was no third party involved. I only saw her few times at the Magistrate’s Court on divorce hearings. I had no intention of getting involved in any romantic affair whatsoever after my divorce. But I must admit that living alone in a house without any companion was not very pleasant. Apart from tackling day-to-day matters, loneliness could occasionally be over-powering. So, when Selina joined up two sides across the Atlantic together, there were no impediments for a morally acceptable friendship between me and Sudha.”
“As I said I am an investigative officer, I looked into your affairs on a request from New Jersey State Police to see if you had any role in Sudha’s present predicament”, replied the Police Officer.
“What do you mean by Sudha present predicament? Is she not alright? Are you suspecting me of some wrong doing? Is that why you are sitting next to me?” a flurry of questions blurted out of Adit.
“No, you are not a suspect nor of any wrong doing. However, you got the ticket from the NJ Police Department, who is investigating Sudha’s situation. That’s why you got the MoD allocated seat in the plane. I don’t know Sudha’s present condition, but they wanted you to be in their office to clear up few things. I will transfer you to NJ State Police official when the flight reaches JFK airport.”
“Am I under arrest?” asked Adit.
“Of course, not. It is not a criminal investigation. We are just trying to find out if there is any foul play by anybody. As far as I can see, you are on the right, so far. By the way, coming back to the question of third-party involvement in your matrimonial affair, I have to tell you that your wife left you to live with another man, who was married and his wife was away to live with her grown-up children. When his wife and their children came to know about this affair, they descended on the house immediately and he had no option but to evict your ex from the house. She then rented a house, in fact, a single bed apartment. She had to file a divorce case quickly to settle financial matters with you before the scandal broke out. She kept her address hidden from you under the pretext that you may harm her”, said the Police Officer.
Adit was totally stunned and shaken. How could that woman whom he trusted so long become so dishonest and vulgar? He even agreed to give more than the share of asset the Court wanted him to give. He wanted to let her lead a life as comfortable as it could be. Now the scandal was coming out behind her abrupt departure. Adit was shaking his head in agony.
“It seems that it was a good thing that your ex kept her address hidden from you for her safety. Otherwise, things could possibly turn nasty”, said the Police Officer.
“When we were exploring each other’s background, we found that there were lots of common likings and dis-likings, common attributes between us. We were students of the same university, but she was one year junior to me. We had lots of students’ tittle-tattle to share,” said Adit. “Although the name Sudha was familiar to me from my contemporary male friends, as there were always so-called Romeos among my friends; but I never saw her and probably she never saw me. I gathered from those Romeos that she was a stunning beauty, but she was also very proud of her beauty and very conscious. She would not even talk to a male student whom she did not consider smart enough, or not interested in contemporary arts and literature and, of course, in contemporary music; just being a very good student and academically brilliant did not cut ice with her.”
“Was she one of those girls on high pedestal looking down on boys?” queried the Police Officer.
“Only, I guess, on cultural issues; that is what Sudha led me to believe. Financially, academically and socially she was just an ordinarily girl. Probably her family background had influenced her in molding her attitude. Her father was a prominent journalist. Her house was always journalists’ meeting place – editors, reporters, writers, poets and so forth used to throng in the house. On top of that, her father was a keen musician and used to organise musical soirees in the house on various occasions. Life was very pleasant and enjoyable for Sudha at that time. However, good days came to a shuddering halt when she was about 15”, said Adit.
“What happened, then?” asked the Police Officer.
“Her father suddenly died of cardiac arrest, although some suspect foul play. But no untoward elements had ever been found. That event was nonetheless extremely painful, heart-wrenching experience for her and an end of an era of cultural life in the house. That joyful home atmosphere left a lasting impression on her that would last all her life”, said Adit.
“In the university, the good and the bright boys in her department and in other departments approached her, with roses in their hands, so to say, but she would not budge except for an outwardly smart, culturally inclined boy. She fell in love with that boy, who was even one-year junior to her. Her presumption was that he was a budding poet and a writer.”
The whiskies and cashew nuts were served at that point and they had a little sip. They were only couple of hours in to their journey.
Adit continued, “Although Sudha studied political science at the university, she embraced cultural life whole-heartedly. Her boy-friend was a rather pretentious poet with hardly any accomplishment. He projected himself as a poet of great promise and associated himself with established and semi-established poets and writers of the day. That pleased Sudha to no ends. She welcomed the budding poet with warm hearts along with his writer friends to her house in order to create an atmosphere of cultural life, which the untimely demise of her father drew to an abrupt end. Not long after the completion of her university education, they got married.”
“Sounds like it is heading towards a happy ending”, said the Police Officer.
“Far from it. That was the beginning of the tragedy. After the wedding reception at a local hotel, the couple had nowhere to go for the night. A relative attending the party, out of pity, offered them a place in his house for few nights, they had no honeymoon. Married life could not have started worse than this for a girl like her”.
“Did she say all these things to you on the telephone?” enquired the Police Officer.
“Yes, everything and much more. The vagrant husband would not do any work to earn his living. He would beg money from Sudha so that he could pursue his so-called literary career, but more likely to continue with his vagabond life! Sudha took a job at a local college to maintain some semblance of a married life. But the money was not enough to have a separate abode and so Sudha and her husband had to move in to her mother’s house”.
“You are right, it is getting worse and depressing”, said the Police Officer. Then he said, “I am going to the toilet and be back in a minute.”
Adit then looked around. The front two rows were empty as well as the back row. This separation from other passengers gave Adit a feeling of privacy in the plane. He started sipping his whisky again.
The Police Officer then returned to his seat and said, “Sorry for the interruption. Would you please continue with the story?”
“Are all Police Officers good listeners like you?” enquired Adit.
“Who knows? Investigative Police Officers always like to hear interesting stories. They can detect any gaps, mishaps and mis-statements.”
Adit was somewhat surprised by his statement but continued unabated.
“Life for Sudha was going from bad to worse. Her husband had no job, no earning. But he used to go out of the house in the morning and not return till well in the evening. He would not disclose even to Sudha, what he did throughout the whole day. Sudha also did not press hard and intrude into his personal life for the sake of family peace. Around two years after the marriage, Sudha had the first baby. But her husband would not change his lifestyle at all. His vagabond lifestyle continued while Sudha had to assume the role of the bread winner for the family.”
“That was a terrible situation. How long did it continue?” asked the Police Officer.
“When the baby boy was about three years old, her husband started coming home very late at night and sometimes not at all. Sudha was obviously very distraught. In one-night, past midnight, there was a knock at the front door. Sudha was alarmed. Anyway, she opened the door and there were a few policemen in front of the door with a search warrant and an arrest warrant for her husband. Her husband was declared a terrorist. However, he was not in the house and so he escaped arrest.” Then Adit continued, “Few nights later, in the early part of the morning, her husband came to the house totally dishevelled and said in a hushed voice that he would have to leave the country and when he would be able to come back, he did not know. Sudha broke down in tears, she begged him to take her and the boy with him. He could not do that. Eventually, with Sudha’s mother intervention, it was agreed that the family and friends would try their best to get visas to a foreign country for all three of them.” “A couple of weeks later, all three of them flew to Bangkok en route to New York. That was mid 1970s”, said Adit. “How they managed to get the visa for the whole family so quickly was a mystery to me.”
However, in America, in New Jersey to be precise, they found a tranquil life for some time. Her husband found a job as a courtyard attendant at a patrol station and she as a nursery teacher. So, life settled down to a rather peaceful non-turbulent life. They had a daughter in early 1980s. But her husband was getting restless and disheartened that his writings were of no value in America, there was no appreciation whatsoever of his work. Sudha also was not getting the buzz of a cultural hub in her house. Her dream of a centre of cultural activities, musical soiree etc were in tatters. So, it was agreed that her husband would go back to his native country and Sudha with children would stay in America until they finish their education. Once her husband established himself as a poet and a writer in his country, Sudha would join him and lead a life full of song and music”.
Adit was then allowed to get in to the Virgin Atlantic flight to New York. Although the time was post-pandemic and air travel should be relatively hassle free, but it was not completely out of COVID-19 tentacles. There were lots of lingering formalities to go through to ensure to the security authorities that a passenger was not knowingly or even unknowingly carrying the virus in himself. Adit had to give his body temperature, his genetic material in the swab from which the authorities could trace, if they liked, his ancestry right up to the Homo sapiens stage and, of course, his body possessions in case he was carrying a suicide belt in his body.
His exasperation was palpable. But he thought that all these hassles could have been due to the fact that he got this air ticket to New York suspiciously from somebody whose whereabout was unknown. However, he assumed that it must be the work of his girl-friend in New Jersey implicitly asking him to come immediately.
He got into the plane and he found that his allocated seat was at the second last row of the plane. There were quite a few rows ahead of him empty. Anyway, he took off his top coat, put that and the small briefcase in the overhead locker and settled down in his window seat. A few minutes later, a middle-aged gentleman dressed immaculately came to the back of the plane and, as it transpired, his seat was next to Adit’s. He put his top coat and other belongings in the overhead locker, but kept a small queer looking laptop in his hand.
Before settling down, that gentleman introduced himself to Adit. “Good morning, sir. I am a Police Officer flying to New York on an official duty”, he said but he did not give his name. Adit, being a thorough and thorough civilian, gave in response his name to the Police Officer and disclosed that he was a retired civil servant.
“Are you going to New York on family business?”, asked the Police Officer.
“You can say that”, replied Adit. “Actually, I am going to see my girl-friend in Princeton, New Jersey, from whom I haven’t heard for the last 12 days, except receiving this air-ticket,” said Adit.
“Sorry to hear that your girl-friend is keeping herself away from you. I am sure she would be delighted to see you in person.”
“I hope so. But first she will have to recognise me. I have not seen her ever in my whole life, nor has she seen me ever.”
“How then did you develop your friendship?” asked the Police Officer.
“It’s a long story. But first tell me what do you do as a Police Officer?”, asked Adit.
“Oh, nothing much, just usual mundane work. I am an investigative officer, dealing with family matters and family issues, marriage disputes, large insurance claims, inheritance claims etc. They are all desk-bound work with only occasional site visits,” said the Police Officer.
“What made you to go to New York now?” asked Adit.
“You will come to know about it in due course. But you haven’t told your girl-friend’s story yet.”
“Our love story is the by-product of the pandemic lockdown. A couple of years ago, when my wife abruptly left home, I decided to concentrate on writing to take my mind off from the mishap on politico-economic issues, social issues, scientific topics etc as a free-lance writer, contributing to newspapers, journals, blog-posts etc. I used to write occasionally even before my wife’s departure.”
Adit paused for a while, composed himself and then said, “One of my old girl friends from my school days called Selina sent me an email saying that she finds my articles interesting and informative. But she feels that they are at times too difficult for her to grasp. She, however, thinks one of her bright school friends, by the name Sudha, who was a political science student, would enjoy and appreciate my articles, if I allow Selina to forward my articles to her. I readily agreed. A few days later, Selina asked me that if I don’t mind, I should contact Sudha on the telephone – she is a divorced lady, lives on her own in a New Jersey suburb. And during the pandemic lockdown period, she is desperately lonely and suffering from depression. It gradually became clear to me that Selina made this plan to put me in touch with Sudha, so that both mine and Sudha’s loneliness can be alleviated.”
“So, you contacted her and then you became friends, is that right?”
“Correct. What surprised me most is the speed with which we became close friends, very close friends indeed. Probably we were both primed to seek companionship in our loneliness. I was lonely in this country and she was lonely in her country!”
“Very interesting. It has got all the right romantic ingredients”, said the Police Officer and occasionally fiddled with his queer looking laptop.
“It is only the beginning. Pandemic may have devastated the lives of many, but at the same time it can implicitly bind together many lives far and wide. We did nothing other than talk, talk and talk on the telephone for the next few days. Modern technology offering Messenger, WhatsApp etc services facilitated endless use without incurring any cost. We never used the video facilities like Skype, Zoom etc. Don’t know, why. But I guess. it was Sudha’s reluctance to appear before a video camera.”
“Let me get some drinks to moisten our throats. It seems you have lots to talk about”, said the Police Officer. “After all, we are at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) allocated seats and we should get priority treatment,” said the Police Officer.
Adit was totally taken aback. “I did not know that I am seating in the MOD allocated seat. How come Sudha managed to send me this ticket in the MoD area?” Adit enquired in complete surprise.
“You have to ask that to your girl-friend.” Then he pressed the overhead button to attract flight attendant’s attention. He placed orders for two whiskies with ice and some cashew nuts. “OK, please carry on with your riveting story,” implored the Police Officer.
Human beings had been fighting against the nature, against other animals and even against other human beings for centuries; in fact, ever since human consciousness arose. In doing so, the prevailing science and technology and natural defence were the main armoury of human beings. But now this little virus called Covid-19, so little that it is invisible even to the microscopes, has brought home to human beings in no uncertain terms that human existence is at the mercy of this virus or any similar strain of virus or mutated viruses.
What is this insidious virus that has brought virtually the whole world to a standstill, that is banging the heads of ardent capitalists, committed communists, socialists, devoted Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, mullahs, ayatollahs, rabbis, priests, atheists, agnostics and all other strands of human dogmas come together to fight against it? Political, social, economic, religious divisions are now totally irrelevant against this virus. This virus does not distinguish or differentiate between the prime ministers, presidents, princes, ministers, millionaires, billionaires and destitute, paupers, street beggars etc. This virus can strike anybody at any time and that’s why it is a pandemic now.
This coronavirus is a virus – a miniscule biological entity, a microscopic parasite – that can infect living organisms. The coronavirus is a collective name for a group of viruses that covers everything from common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). The covid-19 is a particular strain of coronavirus which had popped out, or one can say evolved, only a few months ago (in late 2019) in the wholesale fish market in the city of Wuhan, China. However, Covid-19 strain is somewhat different, more aggressive and contagious than SARS or MERS. Even Covid-19 has a number of strands
This Covid-19 is a variant of SARS that can go from human to human in aerosol form and through body contacts. Although some virologists speculate that it may have jumped from animals or reptiles to humans through food chain, there is no definitive evidence to support this hypothesis. Few days ago, there had been a report that some animals in the zoo in Bronx, New York had developed coronavirus symptoms, probably due to infection from zoo-keepers. This means that this virus or some variation of this virus has the ability to jump back and forth between men and animals.
The virus consists of a nucleic acid molecule (typically RNA or even DNA) with a protein coating to protect itself and distinctive spikes at the outer surface to anchor into a particular type of human cells. As it is a virus, it hasn’t got the ability to replicate itself and multiply. Nevertheless, it does want to survive, as all genes do, by multiplying and moving from body to body to improve its chances to live. To survive and replicate, it needs to find a host cell where it can make use of host cell’s genetic material and protective coating and then it strangulates the host cell so that the host cell cannot hit back and the host cell gradually withers away and dies. This virus when multiplied many times within the safety of a host cell bursts open and spreads out and each one of them then attacks surrounding cells and the process proliferates.
The victory by the virus following the first attack is by no means a smooth affair; it’s a bloody war. When the parasitic virus attacks the body, the immune system of the body (which is a system of proteins and cells that are distributed throughout the body) responds to the invasion. These proteins include antibodies, which lock on to the bits of the virus such as the spike ‘S’ protein. It was this spike ‘S’ protein that was used by the virus in the first place to home in to the body cell and go through the cell membrane. Now this very spike is used by the defence mechanism of the body to identify and target the virus.
Thus, the immune system tries very hard to exterminate the invading virus. A life and death struggle ensue; the virus (Covid-19) knows that unless it can colonise the host cell, it will die and the host cell also knows that if the invading virus wins, it will suck life out of it and the cell will die.
Thus, the immune system tries very hard to exterminate the invading virus. A life and death struggle ensue; the virus (Covid-19) knows that unless it can colonise the host cell, it will die and the host cell also knows that if the invading virus wins, it will suck life out of it and the cell will die.
As this struggle continues, the host body – the survival machine – is blissfully unaware of what is going at the cellular level. There is no outward symptom, no discernible ill effects. It is called the asymptomatic condition meaning no symptoms. After a few days, if the body immune system wins, the invading viruses are crushed and disposed of. On the other hand, if the invading viruses start winning and keep attacking cells after cells, alarm bell starts ringing and messages go out throughout the body that it is under attack. The organs which are lost or partially lost start showing up symptoms. These are sore throat, headaches, persistent coughing as respiratory tract cells gradually become dysfunctional and high body temperature. There may be reduced functionality of other body organs. For example, there may be loss of appetite, aches and pains, dizziness etc.
The body nonetheless keeps fighting. If the invading army of viruses attack and destroy lung cells, which in turn affect alveoli sacs, breathing becomes difficult and artificial breathing using oxygen masks and, in extreme cases, ventilation units may be required to supply oxygen to the body. All is not lost even at this stage and the body can recover. It is anticipated that at least another week or so would be required to recover. However, if there are pre-existing health conditions wherein the immune system was weakened already, such as pre-existing diabetes, heart conditions, kidney problems etc., then the chances of recovery become that much difficult.
Once the viral attack has been successfully overcome, the cells of the immune system would ‘remember’ the virus and its characteristic make-up and any future attack by this virus would be immediately repelled. However, this immune system memory would not last for very long period. Normally two to three years is the maximum for this memory.
To counter this virus, a vaccine is needed to be developed. The vaccine is likely to be a harmless subcomponent of the virus, and the idea is that the vaccine would stimulate the immune system, to develop antibody by lymphocytes and get the body well prepared in anticipation of viral attack.
The presumption among the political and economic leaders of the world is that once the immediate Covid-19 pandemic is overcome and the fatality figure is brought down to nil, everything can be scaled down and life will turn normal again. The reality is likely to be far from this situation. When fatality is brought down to zero in an area or in a country, it does not mean the virus is finished; it is just contained away from human beings. It can come back at any time, despite some precautionary measures.
The graph above shows that a physical system – an earthquake, a disease, a pandemic and so on – may appear multiple times, albeit in damped condition, after the first incidence. The first peak may be much bigger than the second peak, but the second and subsequent peaks cannot be ruled out. Moreover, the time gap between the peaks would depend on the measures taken to terminate such occurrences. The Spanish Flu of 1918 is a case for pandemic example; it came back and ravaged the world number of times over a number of years. So, every precaution must be taken to counter such recurrence.
Admittedly this pandemic is causing untold misery and pain to millions or billions of people round the world. The economy of each and every country is suffering and will bear unimaginable strain due to this pandemic. The social structure is irrevocably strained: social gatherings, public performances, national and international sports and games would be severely curtailed, if not completely abandoned. The education system is at doldrum. In fact, everything that the present civilisation pursues has to be reconsidered.
But much of it, if not all of it, is due to our unbridled activities, as if there is no tomorrow. The Earth had been poisoned endlessly with greenhouse gases (CO2, NOx, CFC etc) leading to unprecedented global warming – the devastating impacts of global warming are yet to come, the Earth and the seas are endlessly exploited, the population is going up and up and within 20 to 30 years it is likely to be over 12 billion. The worst thing is that there is no recognition that we are destroying this planet.
Take, for example, the actions of Donald Trump, the president of the most powerful and flamboyant nation on Earth. He has withdrawn America from the Paris Agreement of 2016 (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) meaning that he can pursue whatever he wants to do regardless of what happens to Earth’s climate. Only about a month ago, he was dismissive of coronavirus as a common flu and asked people to have common flu precaution. Now, when thousands of Americans are dying in all major cities every day in America, he is blaming the States for not taking measures in time!
Political leaders must understand that short term measures to boost their public rating are causing long term damage to the Earth and the livelihood of common people who live on it. The leaders must be made to bear the consequences of their actions. World order needs to be rearranged and made favourable to the Earth. Otherwise, the existence of humanity will be at stake.