Earth Day 2020 - What Have We Learned from COVID-19

April 20, 2020

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. While we can't all go outside and make a stand for climate action, we can take a moment to reflect on the lessons of the past few months.

The COVID-19 virus, which has been wreaking havoc on populations around the world, has also caused a major disruption to business as normal. Cars and automobiles are off the roads in many cities, airplanes aren't flying, ships aren't sailing, and in many places the air and water are rebounding quickly. People around the world are finding different ways to keep in touch with one another, whether it be by writing letters, making phone calls, or embracing new methods of online communication that are helping to make the world a smaller place. People are incredibly adaptive, and the environment is finding ways to bounce back.

People are also waking up and demanding change. There have been organized calls for a worldwide ceasefire and an end to sanctions. There are calls to release prisoners including Julian Assange and families being indefinitely detained in the United States. There have been renewed calls for universal health care and universal paid sick leave. There have been calls for a redistribution of wealth to include a universal basic income. Among our demands should be a lasting change in our sustainable habits and laws that regulate pollution and carbon emissions.

COVID-19 makes plain what many of us have known all along - that we need to be different. We need to learn how to live a peaceful, respectful existence with each other and with the world around us. However, decision makers are trying to roll back environmental protections and unleashing industries to dump waste and chemicals that will do long term damage to the climate and public health. It is our job to help ensure that all the pieces are put together - to include the environmental impacts of war and militarism.

Save the world, save humanity! #EarthDay2020