With the new spring comes the question: Can the human race finally aspire to belonging in its own ecosystem?
As I look forward to getting back to a normal life I realize that I don’t think I can. We’ve moved on. Those of us who have been lucky enough to have survived 2020, know that it was a lost year. To call it historic would be an understatement. In the history of economics, 2020 was the first year that both supply and demand fell sharply. And still, more and more, the new-normal conversation turns to questioning the way we live–what way is better, what is worse? It’s not about how we live anymore, it’s about the future of our life on Earth.
If it wasn’t obvious before, the pandemic forced us to acknowledge that we are part of the planet’s ecosystem. Our species, that has for millenniums enjoyed its role as the supreme predator, has been warned: a small, invisible predator could have the audacity to eliminate us. And, if that was not enough, we see something else happening that will alter the course of history: a new rapidly changing climate.
So, what are we to do? There’s a long list of good things that can and are being done and getting started, and none of it matters. It’s spit in the ocean, as a boss of mine was fond of saying.
Because it doesn’t scale.
And it won’t until our species stops deflecting its humanity–as in the way we deflect the gun control issue.
It’s not about change, it’s about transformation. It’s happened before. In the 16th-century it was known as the Reformation. But this time we must reform our footprint on the face of the earth, like eating protein from plants instead of livestock that makes up 50% of the biomass on Earth, contributing methane, a harmful greenhouse gas. That is just one of many conversations in which we all must participate.
And what about covid, that silent predator? While scientists have produced miraculous vaccines, the conversation won’t end until we identify the root cause: how the genesis of the virus starts in bats and is passed on to wildlife that is traded for (in the case of pangolins) their scales. (Read my eco-thriller, Atone for the Ivory Cloud to see how demand for ivory has funded cybercrime and put elephants on the endangered list.) It’s time to focus on the root cause of these viruses. And when we do, we’ll find out that we haven’t been disrupting the balance of nature with impunity. Environmental justice must be enforced. “Traditional medicine” that relies on illegal wildlife harvesting must be prosecuted.
So, if we don’t like like the planet’s changes in lifestyle we better change ours.
Join the reformation of the ecosystem.
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd made this sculpture after the murder of John Lennon. One copy was originally located at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park. In 1988, Luxembourg donated it to the United Nations, and the sculpture was moved right outside of the headquarters of the UN.
“The Drowning Bay is more than a gripping thriller. Mr. Wells skillfully navigates questions of climate change, environmental activism, and ethical choices within a deliciously entertaining plot. The characters and love story grow and evolve through the wonderful Trilogy for Freedom. Bravo!”
~ Amazon reviewer – 5 Stars