There are a lot of people feeling anxious and uneasy these days, and obviously for good reason. There is a lot of uncertainty around this pandemic that we are all a part of. I feel it too, but I think I can honestly say that my over-all level of uneasy feelings hasn’t increased significantly over this time last year. In fact in some ways I feel a bit more at ease.
You see, for some of us we’ve been feeling dissonance for a number of years now. We have recognized that experts have been telling us that we have things that need to be urgently changed in order to ensure our future prosperity and even our survival. And yet, the majority of our world leaders and business leaders have done little to implement the changes that are badly needed to ensure climate change doesn’t render our wold uninhabitable. This difference between what needs to be done and what has been done, and the lack of urgency in the response, has made me feel pretty uneasy over the last few years.
Then along comes a pandemic, and all of a sudden world leaders are united in a common cause, and the majority of people in the world are reacting in a way that is in line with the severity and threat of the problem. They are worried and fighting for a common cause. They are reacting rationally given the situation.
And in many ways things make more sense to me in this situation. Instead of going about our lives pretending (or not believing) there is a problem, we are now united towards a solution. The “enemy” in this case is a virus and not the causes of climate change that need to be addressed, but to me seeing a whole lot of people working toward a common goal and recognizing that things need to be fixed at this moment, is enough to remove that dissonance for now.
This is a rational response to the danger that we are seeing, and that means that in some ways the world makes more sense now than before the pandemic, when the majority of people were just going about their lives without any sort of urgency about the impending climate catastrophe that awaits us if we don’t change our ways.
The other thing that this pandemic has made clear is the relative fragility of our economy vs. the resiliance of our environment. A novel virus outbreak has brought our economy to its knees in a very short amount of time – a matter of months. Meanwhile humans have been assaulting the environment for over a century, causing more and more damage as we go. And yet it still functions somehow and keeps us alive. But the experts tell us we don’t have much more time to fix things before it will be too late.
We need to work with nature, not against it or in spite of it. It is what keeps us alive and it can easily take away that priviledge. Let’s find a solution to keep people from dying from this disease, then when that’s done let’s keep going and save our world. The consequences of not doing that will be much worse than the current pandemic.