Earth Fighting Back?
In times like these, when life as we know it has been forced onto a slower, more cautious and frankly fearful trajectory, we humans start looking for answers to some very big questions.
Once we have got over the shock of change, secured our essential provisions and adapted to the new reality, we start to speculate. Some will turn to their religion, some to their family, others to their favourite conspiracy theory or finger-pointing to focus their anger.
But I wonder if, when we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, we will look back on this period and realise that the world can function in a different way. That we don’t need to be rushing around in trains, planes and automobiles in order to prosper and enjoy life. That we don’t need to expend all that energy and poison the planet. That life can be slower and more enjoyable without these excesses.
Perhaps the earth has been forced by our inaction to take matters into its own hands and prove that there is another way of living. Maybe the earth is fighting back with a giant nudge, reminding is of our vulnerability and helping us to do the right thing by taking the path of sustainability before it is too late. Maybe the earth has decided that the only way to stop us fighting each other is to provide a common enemy: a chance to come together with a unified purpose; a rehearsal for saving the planet after we have saved ourselves.
Whether I am right or wrong, whether the earth is a conscious system or not, there is no doubt that we are entering a defining period in our history. The way we handle the coronavirus, the way we pull together in adversity, the lessons we learn along the way, the behavioural and lifestyle changes we make afterwards, will all be crucial in deciding the future of the earth and its continued tolerance of our presence.
Let’s hope our leaders and their advisors are up to the challenge of managing both the risk and the opportunity in the fight against coronavirus, our new common enemy. And let’s hope we all have the confidence, patience and fortitude to follow good leadership and support each other.