Covid 19 and Earth
This morning I laid awake with the glint of the morning sun creeping through the blind and the sound of the birds chirping as they start their busy days. Only now and again did I hear a car pass by.
As my mind began to concern itself with the obvious crisis that COVID 19 brings to us all, I thank my lucky stars that I can work from home. Yes, my wife is self-employed, and we have 2 children at home, but I understand there are many less fortunate.
With the ongoing therapeutic background noise, it reminds me of a time I never knew but often read about, a time before overpopulation, cars, planes, global warming and a time in history somewhere when life was less fast paced.
In fact, I’ve often wondered what it would be like to live a simpler life, away from the rat race, away from the abundance of technology that surrounds our everyday lives. It seems that the rat race for many has indeed been put on hold yet ironically, we have never used technology as much to stay in touch with friends and family, something which has always been at the core of our lives.
When I think back even 3 Months or into last year, I am reminded of the chaos of business travel, work deadlines, constant reminders of the damage we are doing to the planet and the increase in global weather phenomena, mostly negative.
For years we have had warnings about stress and keeping calm for the good of our health, yet apart from a few occasions of exerted effort and the odd dabble, it’s fair to say that the fast pace life of recent times has carried on…. until now, when we have been made to listen by a virus which if it was indeed in a time before cars and planes etc, would have even worse catastrophic consequences.
The earth as we know it today has changed so much, even in my lifetime, with the invention of mobile phones and iPads etc, something which is now seen as a given as though it is an extension of our being. The population of the world in 1977 when I was born was 4.2 Billion and has increased today to almost 7.8 Billion.
At the start of the industrial revolution in 1760 it was just 770 million, reaching 1 Billion people at the height in 1804. In terms of CO2 output, which we know has a direct correlation with said global warming and the afore mentioned weather phenomena, this has increased by around 18 Billion Metric Tonnes Since 1977 to an estimated 40 Billion Metric Tonnes today, although it did level off somewhat in 2019.
Now, taking COVID 19 out of my thoughts for a moment I am reminded of the need for us humans to take a break now and again to avoid health issues and burn out and I am also reminded that I once ignored these warnings and I myself came very close to complete breakdown and burn out.
When simplified, is this another analogy of what is happening here? Of course, I make no light of the pain and suffering caused but consider it from the point of view from Mother Nature; perhaps a break of some kind is absolutely necessary, and if nothing else to make the inhabitants understand the gravity of the situation the Earth finds itself in, and therefore, Covid-19 is just a conduit to that realisation.
For whilst the world is on partial hold, the CO2 levels have been reported to significantly decrease, most people, although worried about loved ones because of the situation have had their material concerns put in perspective in terms of what really matters and life and the pace, for most, has slowed down.
There are some who truly believe that everything happens for a reason. A harsh point of view? Perhaps, but we cannot argue that for many years we, as a global society have ignored warning signs to slow down and change behaviours. Signs such as the extremely well documented and tested increase in Global Mean Surface Temperature and associated weather phenomena, in fact we only must look back a Month or so to the devastating fires that ravaged through the forests of Australia.
For those who are fighting the fight on behalf of the rest of the population, including the NHS and other healthcare systems throughout the World, Governments, Carers, Key Workers and those staying at home with their families and following the guidelines I salute you, and for those touched in the most devastating way personally by Covid-19, I have the utmost sympathy and offer my best wishes.
As for global society as a whole and from the point of view of Mother Nature, I believe we have been issued another stark warning that we are not above the laws of the natural world and during this “down time”, terribly circumstantial as it is, we have the opportunity to slow down, take heed and reflect on our lives, those around us and as society as a whole.
Perhaps we have one more opportunity to change our behaviours, and as figures are released on the knock-on effect this disease has had on CO2 output for example, we may be very surprised.
One thing for certain is that throughout this crisis we have seen and continue to see extraordinary efforts, adaptability of our behaviour and the beauty of the human spirit thriving as a global collective. We have also seen the pace of life forced to slow down by something seemingly beyond our control.
However, I have no doubt that we will gain control and going forward we can all reflect on this and perhaps use our experience to try and change our behaviours through choice, be a calmer society and increase the gravitas to preserve the natural wonder of our planet for generations to come, because we have proved that we can change, we can adapt and we can and do care. We just need to believe it and do it through choice.
Take care…. Darren