I hope you’re doing well as we hunker down to weather the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the other, slower crises don’t go dormant just because there’s a pandemic raging.
The climate emergency has slowed down a little while factories and shops are shuttered and people aren’t driving nearly as much — but that respite will end when they ‘reopen the economy’. Coronavirus or not, we now have less than 10 years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [GHG] by at least 50%.
The other slow crises continue unabated:
- resource extraction — not just coal, petroleum, and natural gas, but minerals needed to make all the devices we’re used to, far beyond what is sustainable
- an industrialized food system that undermines our health instead of building it, producing cheap food by passing on the environmental destruction to taxpayers and the health impacts to everyone
- widespread toxic industrial pollution that undermines our health and the health of all life
- ever-increasing militarism, with beneficial programs shut down to pay for the world’s most destructive force
All of these are made even worse by a government and regulatory agencies that protect corporate profits instead of protecting us. (And they have used the pandemic as an excuse to suspend some of the few effective regulations.)
One positive benefit of the pandemic might be that people realize that people can pull together and make major changes in lifestyle and in the economy, including renewed attention to local businesses and organizations.
The big question is whether we will do that — or return to the ‘normal’ that was killing us and other living beings?