The very first – Summer 2020 – edition of Bloomberg Green climate magazine aims to chronicle a new era of climate solutions alongside a frank appraisal of climate facts and figures: “The world has been brought low by the Covid-19 pandemic, but it has the means to rebuild itself better. Let’s take this era of climate solutions as seriously as our real fear of reaching a dead end.”
Why does this photo make me want to laugh and cry at the same time? On the one hand, I’m amused that people would want to queue (socially distanced) for hours in a car park – as the caption says – for meatballs. Or at least for something flat packed that can probably wait. On the other hand, I’m depressed that the lure of consumerism is so deeply ingrained in people that they feel the need to do this. Then there are the journeys these people have presumably made to get here, every one of them I would guess ‘non essential’ and contributing to the pollution load on our planet. I loved the silence of lockdown, the clean air, the bird song, the empty roads briefly colonised by wildlife (and cyclists). But photos of shoppers queuing outside furniture stores and fast food outlets somehow suggest we have learnt nothing. Especially this photo, from the air: the people look like ants, every individual choice adding up to a collective failure to understand that they are part of the problem. The store looks like nothing so much as a factory or a machine. People being fed into it. We are the meatballs.
A recent survey by Ipsos of 14 countries suggests that, on average, 65% of people want climate change to be prioritised in the economic recovery. Let’s take this chance to avoid going back to business as usual. Read this excellent recent article in The Guardian by George Monbiot.
Has anyone else noticed how beautiful the countryside is at the moment? Yesterday I was out for my allowed one period of exercise in The UK, which I intend to make the most of. The absence of traffic is a delight. The countryside is quiet, the air is clean and the skies are approaching the depth of blue last seen during the Icelandic volcano airspace shutdown. The night skies, too, are a joy. Let’s try to recognise and remember this and *not* go back to business as usual when Covid-19 is over, instead using it as a springboard from which to continue resetting our relationship with the planet. See here