For the past two years, the world has battled the COVID-19 Pandemic. On a national level as well as individually, the pandemic has changed how we conduct our business, raise our families and go about our daily routines.

What if we approached climate change through our “pandemic lens”? Would that provide insight into how we can effectively reduce carbon emissions?

For over 100 years, scientists and politicians have debated Climate Change, Global Warming, and the Greenhouse Effect. This public discourse is polarizing, just as it’s been in the Covid pandemic. Yet, we can all agree that the weather is different today than it was when we were younger.

The difference between how we approach the pandemic vs climate change is the rapidity with which governments developed protocols to stop the virus’ spread and their support of the scientific community in developing and bringing an effective vaccine to market.

Sadly, there is no vaccine for climate change. Climate scientists study, observe and create models of what is and what will happen. Now we are beginning to see some of these scientific predictions become reality: more extreme weather, drought, and glacial melting. You can’t watch a modern nature documentary without seeing the devastating effects these events are having on our planet’s animal life. What kind of world are we leaving behind for our children?

Maybe the real problem is the lens we’re using to view climate change: our horizon is too short.

The Seventh Generation Principle is based on an ancient Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) philosophy that the decisions we make today should help foster a sustainable world seven generations into the future. We’ve adjusted our daily lives to work around the realities of the coronavirus and we can and should do the same with respect to climate change.

Bold action is required to slow and stop climate change. The countries that have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050 are on the right path. Holding that course is critically important for the well-being of our planet.

When human ingenuity, science, and policy come together, humanity can overcome almost any obstacle. Let’s don our pandemic lens and apply the same level of focus and attention to climate change to protect this planet for seven generations and beyond.