Our habits are set to stand-by

Blue clean sky as a symbol of the reduces human activity under the corona crisis.

April 7, 2020

The corona crisis provides limitations, but also opportunities

The world has turned upside down over the past month. Everything we have taken for granted is in a second blown away. The children cannot go to school, we cannot take care of our work in the normal way, we cannot hold family parties, we cannot go out to dinner or to a concert, we cannot see our children and grandchildren, nor our friends.

We have been used to buying everything, but right now it just doesn’t matter. Everything is changed.

No one had imagined that the countries and cities of the world were closing down so quickly, because we are not used to the fact that politicians can handle major global problems – such as the climate problem. Certainly, this crisis management is not agreed at international conferences, but rather through more national strategies – albeit there is some uniformity across the globe.

But it opens up to the next big question – what’s next? The corona crisis does not persist. A pandemic has an expiration date when the world needs to get back on track and become more normal.

The debate on climate, which was the big topic during last year’s election campaigns, is completely muted, but it is not the same as that the problem does not exist. We have had countless climate demonstrations created by the young generation, but so far it has not had the utmost importance. We must build on the commitment of young people. It is their future.

It has been noted that the air in the cities has now become significantly cleaner, when car traffic is minimized and no airstrips are seen in the sky, as air traffic has also been limited. It clearly shows that it is possible to change the condition in a very short time. However, it is of no use if it is at the expense of the economy – after all, the money is needed for the green transformation.

But in fact, politicians should use the current crisis to lay new lines for the development of society in the coming years – for example. more renewable energy, more sustainable construction, more climate-friendly agriculture, get started in fast charging standards so that there is an incentive to replace the car. It would create a cleaner air in the cities – as we currently is seeing it.

For we are, after all, ready for change – we align as law-abiding citizens and currently spend time philosophizing and finding new ways to be together. It is positive, and it should make us think about whether the “old” way of life with over-consuming of material goods, which we may not need or have room for, is really the meaning of life.

There is no doubt that the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases is reduced at the moment, but it probably will not continue, because the world will soon be turning to the more normal – at least the kind of normality that we saw before the corona crisis, where we emit more greenhouse gasses year after year. We must therefore make changes as the current crisis erupts, but will it be possible at all?

Immediately it looks hard. When governments are lifting the restrictions so that everyone can get back to work, we will probably see that societies turn to the safe and well-known, which is to say that we do as we usually do. There are hardly many – if any at all – who will spend extra time for new green transformations, because there is a loss to be covered. We must produce and manufacture and re-ship goods around the world. So the most likely thing is that nothing will happen! Everything will be as before – or will it?

Because if we as individuals have changed and want to do things a little differently, then companies will have to adapt to the wishes of consumers. It lies in corporate DNA. After all, there is no need to produce goods that no one wants to buy. So here we, as consumers, have a huge responsibility, and we should ask ourselves what we really need.

In that context, my son gave me a thought-provoking quote by the Danish psychologist Svend Brinkmann, which puts contemporary people in perspective – because is that really how we are and are viewed by “society”?

»Try to look at the social system. Here we also only see people as resources that need to be optimized and utilized. Humans are not just human beings, but something we need to make the most of relative to an external set of standards, e.g. a bottom line, a BNP, a competency account, or whatever. It’s inhumane. We have reduced people to resources in line with oil. Just look at the fact that we are talking about human resource management, which is a pretty ugly term when you think about it. It reduces man to a raw material: man and mankind’s creativity must be exploited to the best of its ability. It permeates everything” .

However, it is strikingly positive as soon as we have adapted to new habits in our dealings with one another – because we could all see the necessity of the ultra-fast shutdown. May the same be applied when it comes to biodiversity and climate.

We have opened our eyes to each other and to the beauty of nature. We flow into nature, where we can sense what we really are part of on this planet that we have in common. It will be a historic mistake if we – governments, businesses and individuals – just continue as before the corona crisis and thus fail to make the necessary change, that we know will come. So why not take advantage of the opportunity when it is there – right now!

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