Stay at Home and Help Stopping Climate Change? It’s Possible -A VUCA Approach.
Build insights. Persevere actions. Influence people.
Jabar Nur Muhamad (email@example.com) — 16520294 — #165 OSKM Family
Undergraduate Informatics and Electrical Engineering Student, Bandung Institute of Technology
We are in the middle of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Stay at Home campaign sparks some hope about Earth’s health. Decreasing commuter activities, although temporarily, lower the carbon emission since people are required not to travel far. This situation inspired some to concurrently solve two of the world’s biggest concern: the pandemic and climate change.
Now since global issues are human responsibility, and yes, the main influencers are governments, we as common people are also the stakeholder of our one and only place to live. Take a moment to counter the dystopian paranoia about the future and try to understand what might be potent as a solution.
This article contains:
1. VUCA Concept
2. Climate Change viewed with VUCA
3. COVID-19 Pandemic viewed with VUCA
4. Counteract COVID-19 and Climate Change simultaneously
Disclaimer: This article is opinion heavy aimed to inspire and therefore may be biased, generalized, or contain logical fallacies. No simple solution included. Readers are encouraged to catch the idea, contemplate the content, and learn deeper about the topic independently.
A. Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity
This acronym was created and commonly used during military education in the US around the Cold War. Now it is applicable as a starting point of strategic leadership for education about large scale issues.
1. Volatility defines the tendency of a situation to change rapidly and unpredictably.
2. Uncertainty marks the lack of substantial information to commit big actions.
3. Complexity shows that large scale problems are always interdependent and linear solutions often unimplementable.
4. Ambiguity can be described as inexactness of information in which multi-interpretations are plausible.
While committing to research, one is not obligated to analyze VUCA in a sequence since the VUCA itself is interconnected.
B. VUCA for Climate Change
This topic often overlooked by most people not because of ignorance, but rather of despair that the world will collapse anyway unless complete coordination of men emerges.
1. Volatility: nature procedurally diminishes its sustainable properties as a reaction to human general destructive behavior. People as consumers can use the volatile trend so that industries who hurt nature could cease to operate and those who are environment friendly gets encouraged.
2. Uncertainty: whether we succumb to collapse or rather create worldwide solidarity is an uncertainty widely accepted as government dependent. Education is imminent to cancel out absurd protesters who reject the idea that climate change and global warming is happening. By then more people can strengthen a greater cause to save the earth.
3. Complexity: all the scientific cycles about climate is hard to miss. Forest fire happens naturally, artificially, or both. Lengthening drought or serious flooding are all the result of extremely complicated cause and effects. We can start to encourage small people such as our family to read more about scientific research and appreciate all the hard work that scientist put their best effort on. By then people would be more careful to give opinions and think with standardized procedures.
4. Ambiguity: Data analysis is prone to this section since it requires a lot of variables to put into consideration. Take the 2020 West Coast Forest Fire as an example. Some people who know that forest fire can be natural and act as a heal to the forest ecosystem itself argue that it is something not to worry about. From a scientific perspective, natural does not always mean that it is good. It is true that forest fires can act as a destructive fertilizer to rebuild the ecosystem of that forest, but recent occurrences are heavily influenced by global warming. Therefore, perceiving and communication skills plus an understanding of the category of the data itself is essential to prevent misleading headlines and ideas from getting popular, or for the least, get popular as a hoax. By then again, people's thoughts can be more synchronized.
C. VUCA for COVID-19
1. Volatility: Pandemic is a problem, but life must go on, and at some point, normal life problems like a political election or democratic protesters can influence the pandemic further. Ultimately, safety protocols should be enforced anywhere anytime.
2. Uncertainty: How the pathogen mutates or transmit is generally known, but not exactly understood. The genetic mutation is still mysterious and we can only take measures on what’s certain, reduce physical interaction. Vaccine effectivity also falls in this category. Again, not much we can do but to remind what is real and what is important.
3. Complexity: The number of cases depends on people. Talk about people and we have something volatile. Financial reasons, social behavior, and emotional conditions play roles in why cases are exponentially growing. We can enforce emotional support for each other and continuously implement what is commanded by health officials.
4. Ambiguity: Data can scare people and can desensitize people about the pandemic. Some officials mistaken death by COVID-19 as death which previously contracted COVID-19. Some also mistaken the total number of cases and the total number who've recovered. Perseverance about tasks and eagerness to evaluate should help human errors.
D. Simultaneous Counteracts
- Parties and social gatherings pre-pandemic look fun more than ever. We tend to feel things for granted, overfamiliarity numbs us, and it hurts when the cause is taken away from us. This also applies to Climate Change now or later when things start to collapse, we lose our belongings or our loved ones. We can learn to appreciate what we currently have and enjoy our current activities. Mindfulness helps.
- Work from home for certain professions went better during the pandemic. Forced WFH for offline workers which were essential now has a new method to be done online. This is something to cheer about. WFH reduce greenhouse gas emission mainly from daily commuters who go to offices or schools.
- If we can’t see something doesn’t mean the problem is nonexistent. Just as we get sick unnoticed by those pathogens, we tend to realize climate change is real after an extreme catastrophe occurred. Reconstruct our mindset to be more critical is the key here.
- Economic growth is neither to be conflicted with the pandemic nor climate change. Science is the solution. We need to do both by thinking a sustainable plan as an investment.
- Global action is a must. do health protocols and we might save others’ life. Care more about the environment and we might save the world.
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