The overshoot of human activity is driving the planet from the stability of the Holocene to the instability of the Anthropocene.
The biome and the virome are us. When we wage war on the biodiversity of our forests, our farms, and in our guts, we wage war on ourselves.
The coronavirus pandemic is, among other things, a tribute to human ingenuity and our relentless pursuit of globalization, an impulse thousands of years old. Previous civilizations, from the Romans to the Mongols, traded aggressively and invaded new ecosystems. It didn’t end particularly well.
As we turn our attention to our closest neighbours and seek to support those within our own communities, let us not forget our responsibility to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the human race. Even as we are forced to live locally, it is critical that we think globally.
The renewable energy industry, which until recently was projected to enjoy rapid growth, has run into stiff headwinds as a result of three era-defining events: the COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting global financial contraction and a collapse in oil prices. These are interrelated, mutually reinforcing events.
The greatest enclosure of the commons is that of the mind: our capacity to imagine better worlds, to be kinder to each other and to the Earth. This will not be an easy or straightforward process. We need to hold each other through the loss and pain. We need to keep finding the others among all of us, until there are no more.
The fight for ecocentrism, like the fight for human emancipation, is a fight for universal values. Without ecocentrism, that is not just an intellectual point of view but a genuine love for nature and for life on Earth, there will be no humanity and no human emancipation.
It’s hard to take much comfort in our collective cultural and institutional experience with thinking through the kind of pandemic we now confront. Nor do we seem to have anything as valuable and practical as a paddle with which to leverage our movement out of the hole we’ve fallen into.
The ways that nations respond to the pandemic today will largely determine their fortunes and fates over the next couple of decades at least, and perhaps beyond.
One of the organisms that make up Gaia, thanks to a mutation, has converted into a pandemic that is putting it at serious risk. The coronaviruses of Gaia are anthropocentrism, capitalism, and technocracy. Therefore, we need to banish them urgently, taking the draconian measures that are necessary.
The global spread of a new pathogen has exposed the fragility of modern life. As it moves around the world, the coronavirus has compromised the circulatory system of globalization, dramatically reducing the international flow of money, goods, and people.
The key is to prepare not just for disease, but for a broad-scale societal disruption. Consider how you’ll maintain access to food, water, and money during the next few months if things really start to come apart. Even if the best outcome ensues and COVID-19 is soon contained, this kind of preparation is vital given the suite of existential threats that industrial society faces.
Now is the time to think, talk, build trust, and take action.