This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While we can’t all go outside and make a stand for climate action, we can take a moment to reflect on the lessons of the past few months.
The COVID-19 virus, which has been wreaking havoc on populations around the world, has also caused a major disruption to business as normal. Automobiles are off the roads in many cities, airplanes aren’t flying, ships aren’t sailing, and in many places the air and water are rebounding. People around the world are finding different ways to keep in touch with one another, whether it be by writing letters, making phone calls, or embracing new methods of online communication that are helping to make the world a smaller place. The truth is that people are incredibly adaptive and so is the earth and our environment.
People are also waking up and demanding change. There have been organized calls for a worldwide ceasefire and an end to sanctions. There are calls to release prisoners, to include Julian Assange who is still being detained in Belmarsh Prison. There have been renewed calls for increased support of the National Healthcare System. There have been calls for a redistribution of wealth to include a universal basic income. Among our demands should be a lasting change in our sustainable habits and laws that regulate pollution and carbon emissions.
COVID-19 makes plain what many of us have known all along – that we need to be different. We need to learn how to live a peaceful, respectful existence with each other and with the world around us. However, decision makers are trying to roll back environmental protections and unleashing industries to dump waste and chemicals that will do long term damage to the climate and public health. These same decision makers have also persisted in going forward with military exercises and arms trades – despite that the money could be put to better use helping society and our planet deal with COVID-19 and all forms of environmental damage. It is our job to help ensure that all the pieces are put together – to include the environmental impacts of war and militarism.
To join the Earth Optimism Digital Summit – From 22 April through 26 April 2020, visit HERE. If you have not yet signed up to be on VFP UK Zoom calls about this and other important topics, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the world, save humanity! #EarthDay2020