From the Executive Director
IN 1940, the English author Dorothy L Sayers wrote, “War is an ugly disaster; it is not a final catastrophe.” The same can be said for pandemics. Sayers went on to say, “There are no final catastrophes. Like every other historical event, war is not an end, but a beginning.” Let us hope this pandemic has opened our eyes to the failures of our society, and has given us the chance to reimagine—and work toward—a more just and sustainable society.
The future is no longer in the future, but here and now. Second by second it is upon us, and every moment in our lives is a fresh beginning. The end of one civilization is the beginning of another, and it is the people who are living through the upheaval who will decide how society moves forward. Into another few years of Economic Growth Over All Else? Until the next wave of pandemic hits and we all run indoors again? Or a recognition that our slowing down, our under-consuming, our focus on local life, may be a very good thing. Most of us are enjoying the clean air and quiet that the “stay at home” orders have brought us. We are enjoying the songs of birds and the re-emergence of wild animals. But we do not enjoy the loneliness, the limitations, and the loss of life and work.
How can we move from being Economic Person to Whole Person? That is going to take imagination, hard thinking, and courage to test the unknown. If we want some hard thinking done, we must think for ourselves, or others will do the thinking—and decision-making—for us. The time has come to set our feet upon the road to sustainability. The task is urgent; we must not push it into the future; we must not leave it to others: we must do it ourselves, and we must begin here and now.
BLUE PLANET UNITED resolves to bring the theory of sustainability down from the clouds of vision into the community of local and personal action. We will provide action ideas that span all facets of human endeavor.
CLIMATE CRISIS: The Really Big One
From the Executive Director
The global—and local—response to the pandemic is in a sense a testing ground for the capacity of communities to deal with the biggest and most complex challenge of all—the climate crisis. It has not gone away.
In terms of recognition of the danger, and co-operation for the common good, the Covid-19 experience so far yields a very mixed report. And the tensions that are likely to persist in the post-pandemic world will complicate things greatly.
The question remains: How and when will we change? Will there be a renewed sense of urgency and purpose? Will there be a new global order? Will that allow for rapid progress on this hugely complex issue?
In order to slow lurking climate disasters, we must greatly reduce our use of fossil fuels. What can we do as individuals? The chart below gives us a start.