It will take months, maybe years to recover emotionally and financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. Vladimir Lenin once said “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” What kind of climate calamity will force a similar global reaction we’ve seen with COVID-19? And is there a silver lining with the reduced carbon emissions connected to the human and economic distress?
It’s true that global satellite images have detected significant reductions in carbon emissions from car and airplane travel, industry and more. Hopefully this won’t be ignored, but rather blended into the focus of our social, economic and health care systems as we rebuild them for future resilience. Will we be able to change course and rethink our business-as-usual ways?
Folks now are befriending technology out of need – reducing travel demands and working from home. This has potential to save businesses money. Families are saving money from not driving as much, watching their energy, water and food bills more carefully. As governments assist businesses, could efficiency rules be placed? Could carbon be taxed and renewable alternatives be incentivized for airlines, cruise ships, industry and corporations with equality in each market? If bail outs occur without requiring environmental stewardship, opportunity will be missed. We all need to do our part: individuals, businesses and government.
In the end what matters the most is the health and safety of our family, friends and community. Any pandemic threatens this as do actions from climate change. A Finer Future addresses having the foresight to plan accordingly with health, social justice, the environment and economy into one package.
Recycle Utah, your community non-profit drop off recycling center, provides these weekly tips.