Covid and Climate Crisis


If we are ‘all in this together’ for Covid, we must be ‘all in this together’ for the climate crisis!  Covid will eventually pass away; the climate crisis is at or beyond several tipping points, feedback loops that scientist say will spiral out of control.  Imagine if the medical personnel in NYC decided to stand down in the battle against Covid because they noticed that other areas were not doing as much.  “Why should we have to suffer the personal hardships that are required to fight here, while you are lax over there, and will undoubtedly spread more virus to us later as a result!”

That translates to, “Why should we curb fossil fuels in America when they are building coal plants over there?  Why should our economy suffer?  Everyone’s carbon is pouring into the same air, land and sea that comprises the blue planet where we all live.  Some would point to a leak in our planetary lifeboat, and dismiss it because it’s at the other end of the boat.  But Covid is teaching us that we must work together…or sink.  If Covid is an “all hands on deck” moment for the world, how much more so should it be for climate change?  The stakes are far greater when talking about the climate crisis.   

The great pandemic “pause” (to use Governor Andrew Cuomo’s terminology) may be a blessing in disguise.  Rabbi calls it the Great Shabbat.  Seems like everything is up for consideration now.  I am holding out for a shift in human consciousness…one that will allow us to create governments and businesses and systems and communities that will serve everyone best.  As Bernie Sanders said yesterday announcing his non-candidacy, his core beliefs are healthcare justice, economic justice, racial justice, environmental justice…and the understanding that we are all in this together.  None of that happens without a shift in collective human consciousness.  Covid is providing the opportunity to “reset” many of our institutions and systems, an opportunity that won’t come along again soon.   Maybe they’ll reset for better; maybe they’ll reset for worse.  I’m acting as though it will be the former!  Tikkun Olam!

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