Former Green Party leader, Elizabeth May, has penned an op-ed for the National Observer. She concludes that there might be a silver-lining to the pandemic if we're lucky and we're smart enough to grab for it.
Will this bring about long-term change? The climate emergency remains a much larger public-health threat than COVID-19. We have been told for decades that societies cannot turn on a dime to embrace a new climate reality. Does that feel true anymore? Does it seem possible to insist that humans will not accept rapid transformational change after watching people all around the world accept that they now work from home?
We now find ways to help each other. We band together in the hope of saving lives. Is this not a moment to proclaim that is what we must continue to do?
In a recent opinion piece in the Globe and Mail, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-the-coronavirus-is-a-collective-problem-that-requires-global/ Thomas Homer Dixon wrote:
“Today’s emerging pandemic could help catalyze an urgently needed tipping event in humanity’s collective moral values, priorities and sense of self and community. It could remind us of our common fate on a small, crowded planet with dwindling resources and fraying natural systems.
“We won’t address this challenge effectively if we retreat into our tribal identities and try to wall ourselves off from each other. COVID-19 is a collective problem that requires global collective action — just like climate change.”
Pandemics cause long-term change. What will the legacy of this one be? It is too soon to know, but it is not too soon to hope.