Read Day 39 4.23.20
This past week was Earth Day having me think about COVID 19 Virus and the possible effects it may have on climate change.
After the 2008 economic recession, within two years, despite the decrease by 1.3 in carbon emissions we returned to the same ole ways by 2010. Since then we have been on the rise despite the Paris agreement and funding for renewable energy like windmills.
There is no doubt that the pandemic, has changed our norm crucially which in return has affected the environment around us. Gas emissions have decreased due to extensive travel restrictions; wildlife in parks, usually over packed by humans are becoming more daring and recapturing their territory; air pollutants have decreased in cities as we work more from home and travel less; and places that we normally gather are closed down.
What can we do differently this time, as opposed to 2008 for instance, to keep the decrease of CO2 emissions from increasing shortly after we return to the norm?
“In a story with no predetermined ending, we all have a role to play that is empowering as much as it is restraining. The virus is raging, but we all can help stop it. When’s the last time you felt you could freeze a glacier, or actually help extinguish a forest fire? What we do here – and what we learn - could save lives and help us all endure and thrive as individuals, as communities, as a species.” (WorldEconomicForum.org)
This time we can make a difference. First by understanding that by doing our part to decrease the spread of a deadly virus we are interconnected to the bigger picture making the virus and climate change for that matter, something that us as individuals can influence. I always had a problem deciphering the minuscule effect I may have on changing the outcome of our overpopulated and overused natural resources on Earth- maybe I was wrong?
This time I want to try to make a change and not just for my children but because it is something I value. I value the lives of others and I value the environment!
Making Lemonade out of Lemons
When the factories come back to life and airplanes start flying again, emissions will inevitably (and regrettably) pick back up. But within our hands we will have the choice to learn from COVID-19 to live better in our own ecosystems, and within the greater natural system of Earth.
Yesterday, in my blog I suggested that we make Play an essential need for children not only because right now it is the only way young children exert energy, but because play is an essential need for proper development, coping, well-being and learning. More so, I wrote that we need to temporarily rethink how we use our busy and residential streets. Turning more spaces for individual pedestrians and cyclists instead of cars. Car traffic has decreased due to restrictions of working and travelling so why not make the roads safer from cars and safe for actively social distancing. Maybe this does not have to be temporary and streets can be more inviting for play and safe for young bike riders- to school and to work, playing and enjoying with our neighbors out on the streets of our neighborhoods (not secluded in our backyards)!
Secondly, for the first time we have been able to show a decrease in the amount of food waste. This “means tremendous resource savings throughout the supply chain and the avoidance of doubly harmful methane gas emissions from landfill waste. It’s impact with a multiplier”. If we just eat what we need and not over indulge.
What I have learned is that we do have an individual and collective impact on changes needed to save humanity and the Earth we live. Think of ways your family can make a change. I hope there will be federal changes (maybe only in Nov 2020) in the way our world runs in order to make it more livable, economical and safe for all.
I know my expertise lies far from this topic but I am sure that as a parent, an educator and a playworker making sure our children believe in making a difference is no longer a naive thought. It does take all of us though to rethink the importance of our values and then to collectively act on them.
What would you change/practice/think as a way to make lemonade out of this horrific situation?