The coronavirus has taught us that it takes every single individual to do the right thing (self-isolation/social distancing) to curb the spread of this insidious disease. Going forward, can we take what we’ve learned from this pandemic to reverse the human impact on climate change?
It may be too late to wait for government and industries to pass the necessary laws but if each of us – every single person – changes our behaviour as abruptly as we have with this pandemic, I like to think it might be possible. Global warming may kill us at a slower rate than the coronavirus, but the predictions of climate catastrophes (droughts, deadly storms, melting polar caps) are frightening. For now the planet has been given a reprieve as there are far fewer planes in the sky and cars on the road (you can almost hear Mother Nature sigh with relief) but when this is all over, will we go right back to our old ways?
Frantic consumerism has been slowed as we stay home. Single-use plastic consumption may have risen temporarily as we focus on food safety, but If, at the end of this pandemic we all made positive personal changes perhaps we could stop choking the oceans with our plastic waste. We have seen how it takes everyone working together toward a common goal for it to be be successful. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could turn that same focus toward our beloved planet? And if not for us, for our grandchildren and their children? The changes would be much less difficult to put in place. We could still gather in groups, hug(!), eat at restaurants, go out and play. Is it too much to hope for? It’s easy to educate ourselves on how, we know the why but do we have the will?