Could Nature be warning us through the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ever-escalating global warming emergency to "repent" our over-consuming, over-polluting, and unsustainable lifestyles and livelihoods before we experience a Great Collapse?
Happy Earth Day 2020!
We have a surprise Earth Day message for you in this monthly newsletter. This may be one of our very best newsletters in the last 12 years.
We have included the best April blog articles dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the global warming emergency and, we have a new section called guest editorial.
Our Surprise Earth Day Message
In the first line of this posting, we say that the COVID-19 global pandemic and the ever-escalating global warming emergency are "telling" us to "repent" our over-consuming, over-polluting, and unsustainable lifestyles and livelihoods. Repent is a word that you do not often hear on websites focused on science, but that is where we are on this Earth Day 2020. Repent means to feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one's wrongdoing or sin. The good news here is that genuine remorse usually propels life turnarounds and real improvement.
Is repenting appropriate?
Even people who love the environment are still doing much they know that hurts the environment. When you then include all of the individuals living lifestyles and livelihoods with no care or concern for the harm they are doing to the environment, you can see how it could be wise to start this Earth Day with humble repentance for our collective and individual ongoing wrongdoings against the Earth and her biological systems.
The big problem appears to be that we are not listening very well to the increasing loud consequence feedback (COVID-19, escalating global warming, etc.,) that Mother Earth is giving us about our polluting and over-consuming behaviors. Once we fully allow ourselves to sincerely feel and express remorse for what we are still doing to the Earth (and what we are not doing for the Earth,) we should be more inspired to do more to protect the Earth (and ourselves,) from the Great Collapse that is likely coming.
Many of you probably expected us to tell you about all of the positive progress we are making during the COVID-19 pandemic and with the global warming emergency. You most likely also did not expect us to ask you to repent, but there are several good reasons for this:
1.) We caused the COVID Pandemic. Yes, you read that right. (Click here to read the new COVID-19 article that explains this. Then click here for a second article that takes you into the biggest COVID-19 picture.)
2.) We are not making the needed progress on the escalating global warming emergency and many of our other major global challenges.
Because of our critical failures to act as needed to protect our beautiful Earth, remorse for our inaction or failures is now an essential and appropriate step critical to clearing out and moving beyond our past failures so we may make a new and better path to the future.
For many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is also a cathartic time, and we are re-evaluating our lives, even using the pandemic shelter-in-place order for a personal retreat. If we utilize the appropriate and needed remorse at this crucial time, our COVID-19 pandemic "retreats" will be more fruitful.
Take the time to deeply feel and express your remorse (to both your self and your friends,) for what we are still doing to destroy Mother Nature. Hopefully, this new level of heartfelt remorse will then propel you to new levels of positive, sustainable actions and help you expand your proactive engagement in doing your part to help lessen the global warming extinction emergency.
Several last thoughts before this month's guest editorial and our best new articles for April
If you don't like the suffering you are going through with COViD-19, you will absolutely hate what is coming with the escalating global warming emergency. While we can do little about COVID-19 until a vaccine is found, there is still time to do a lot about our global warming emergency. We can take action before it too blows up in our faces and brings us far more suffering than COVID-19 ever will. We can do two things at once. We can deal with COVID-19 while we also radically reduce our individual and collective fossil fuel use to hit the life-critical 2025 global fossil fuel reduction targets.
This Earth Day do not forget to sign the global warming emergency petition to our government leaders if you have not done so already!
And finally, please do not forget to help support our non-profit mission us with your tax-deductible donations during this difficult time! There are also donation links for this at the bottom of the page.
by Jean Arnold, Director at the Association for the Tree of Life
ONE HOT HEALTH MESS: CRISIS OR CRISES?
We Are Really in It Now
Jean Arnold: Corona Planet!
Despite lovely spring flowers bursting forth, storm clouds have gathered. An overarching, all-consuming crisis has gripped us…..we are now in a global emergency, with a shared threat to all of humanity. Millions, if not billions of people would be threatened if the crisis were to unfold unimpeded. It is not an exaggeration to say that we are all threatened.
The crisis reminds us that we ultimately live subject to the laws of nature – moreover, it does not care about political parties or national borders.
Scientists have warned us for decades that this crisis was coming – it was not a matter of if, but when. Denial, delayed responses, and lack of preparation have allowed the crisis to explode – despite all the warnings. Now we are really in it. Graphs depicting the calamity are deeply unnerving, with hockey-stick-like upward trajectories.
This is an invisible threat, difficult to grasp; it is not directly perceivable with our senses. Therefore, it is difficult to rally people, and our leaders tend to deny and delay action. Our culture of distraction and immediate gratification is averse to feeling and facing deep-seated, threatening fears. Yet fear is a necessary motivator: we must embrace fear and act on it, not avoid it.
Time to REALLY Respond Like We Are in an Emergency
Time is of the essence: the only sane response is dramatic action to stave off complete catastrophe. Both individual and collective action are needed, and we must mobilize all levels of society.
A centralized federal mobilization, with coordination and planning, is the essential core response – coupled with action at all other levels of government and society. Yet sadly, here in the US this is anathema to our anti-government, individualistic approach. This current administration is asleep at the wheel, even undermining state and local efforts – resulting in compromised, piecemeal responses. This is making the situation much worse.
Unfortunately, there is a delay in seeing the positive effects of actions taken. Therefore: (1) we are always behind where we think we are; (2) actions taken seem too soon; and (3) the needed measures go far beyond what is considered "politically possible". Delay has allowed the crisis to proliferate beyond control – the horses are out of the barn, galloping wildly.
The crisis calls upon us all to live more simply. Drastic constraints on human activity are needed. Yet our self-entitled culture perceives this as a loss of “freedom”, resulting in angry pushback and denial. Now more than ever, cooperation is desperately needed but is sadly lacking for many.
The Shattering of Normal
Our system's vulnerabilities and brutal shortcomings are now exposed. Meaningful action requires enormous economic sacrifice, displacing and devastating the lives of tens of millions of people in the US alone. A just transition is needed, requiring retraining and support for millions of displaced workers. The working class and poor are more vulnerable and exposed, further adding to the miserable inequities already burdening large swaths of society.
The crisis is shattering “normal” business as usual – pointing to the need for complete system transformation. Shattered means broken, beyond repair. There will be no “normal” to return to. Effective responses needed to adequately meet the threat will cause a global depression. The future viability of entire economic sectors is now called into question – especially the fossil fuel and travel industries.
What Is This Crisis?
Well, what threat are we talking about here? If you think this describes the COVID-19 crisis, you would be right. If you think this is about the global warming extinction crisis, you would be right, too. The parallels are quite amazing.
Of course, there are some differences. To contain the spread of coronavirus, physical distancing is required – urban density and mass transit make it worse. Not true for climate. The pandemic has gripped us with breathtaking speed, while the climate crisis has crept quietly toward us over decades. The scope and scale of the climate threat vastly overshadows the COVID threat. As enormous as this pandemic is, it is a mere opening chapter or dry run for what is coming with the looming climate catastrophe.
Jean Arnold, "HOW HOT IS HOT?", 2020, acrylic and collage on canvas, 28" x 20"
Somewhere in the world right now, a brainy kid fears for his future. He grasps that in his lifetime, the world will get hotter and hotter, and that there will be more and more fires. He wonders if winter will even exist in the future.
Many citizens of Pompeii actually fled to safety before the fatal eruption of nearby Mt Vesuvius in 79 AD. Fossil fuels are our “slow-motion Vesuvius”, but where can we flee to? Our only option for survival is to leave fossil fuels within this decade, for a chance to stay below a 2°C heat increase in the atmosphere. We believed “progress” would deliver ever-greater abundance, but instead, our pursuit of infinite growth on a finite planet is now delivering calamity. We have scarcely begun to walk the tightrope of this arduous time. At the bottom of it all, our extraction-based economy (here, depicting a coal mine) drives the whole process onwards.
See Jean discuss this painting here.
Opportunity to Remake Everything
We are now fifty years on from the first Earth Day. The planet now carries over double the humans in 2020 than in 1970. Our increased impacts have only further devastated our Mother Earth and all her wild creatures. Measures enacted after the first Earth Day have been undermined by the Trump Administration. Nations have taken little climate action, wasting decades of precious time. This Earth Day provides us with little to celebrate.
However, crises of this magnitude tend to turn systems upside-down and inside-out – providing an opportunity to usher in a new order. The Emperor is now exposed as stark naked. As eco-footprint originator Bill Rees says, “The Earth and the Covid-19 Pandemic Is Telling Us We Must Rethink Our Growth Society.”
The pandemic has shown us that leaders in politics and business can act quickly and extensively, taking into account scientific knowledge. To fight coronavirus, the majority of peoples and nations have been engaged and motivated to sacrifice for the sake of the whole. Most people understand we have to work together to beat COVID. Is it too much to imagine that we cannot work together to address global warming, and her morbid sisters such as soil depletion, plastic pandemonium, and ecosystem collapse?
Here are our best new Articles for April:
How Pandemics Like Coronavirus (Covid19) Are Caused or Exacerbated by the Hidden Global Warming Emergency
You be the judge on why our governments are not talking to us seriously enough about how global warming is creating pandemics?
COVID-19 is giving the world a sobering preview of the pandemics global warming will cause as it exposes us to new, old, and even prehistoric diseases that will be far worse.
An “Ambition Alliance” — that’s what 120 nations announced at the December 2019 UN COP25, repeating their intention to “upscale” their emissions action by 2020. It hasn’t happened.
Most people by now will have heard that the Covid-19 pandemic is a frightening global emergency demanding immediate drastic government action and public behaviour changes, even though the measures are collapsing the world economy — and that’s because the growth of the virus infections is exponential. (See, for example, from Forbes on 17 March 2020: “Why 'Exponential Growth' Is So Scary For The COVID-19 Coronavirus.”)
The COVID-19 global pandemic previews an even larger and soon following social and economic disaster.
Global Warming is Hitting 1.5°C Already — and Accelerating … Please, Just Say No to Fossil Fuels, for Our Children's Future
Lost in the Covid-19 pandemic news coverage is the current rapidly deteriorating state of the climate, which is more of an emergency than ever. This global threat to our survival is more real than ever. It will not go away by itself, we cannot make it go away, and our leaders, particularly the US Republican Trump government, are denying the threat. They are pouring more gasoline on the global warming fire.
Why didn’t every American newspaper report this news? It should have made the front-page headlines. This is an enormous American and global — now unavoidable — climate catastrophe in the making.
In April 2020, the journal Science published “Large contribution from anthropogenic warming to an emerging North American megadrought” (by A. Park Williams and colleagues).
As usual for momentously bad research news on climate disruption, although it was reported, it would not have seen by the average reader as it did not feature under general science news.
It was announced on April 1st, but it is no April’s Fools joke. There will be no UN COP26 in 2020. Nor is the Covid-19 virus playing tricks on the world. It was inevitable. Due to the virus pandemic, the United Nations 26th Conference of the Parties to the climate change convention has been postponed to next year.
Windfall pandemic profits for a few corporations and massive suffering, sacrifice and financial ruin for the many. Is it fair?
Something has to be done fast, so that as one national community, we are ALL sharing the pain and sacrifice of this Covid19 global pandemic fairly.
What will it take for governments to fix the global warming extinction emergency which is unfolding over the following decades?
At this very late stage of needed fossil fuel reductions, only government-enforced actions to reduce global fossil fuel use to the required 2025 global target levels can save us from a soon-arriving global warming-caused extinction nightmare.
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