This is what we all wonder. If this will come out better or crazy, as the meme says. And the question is not only relevant from the point of view of individual or social well-being. It is key because COVID has come to interweave at a time when we had to be moving towards a change in the economic model. Planetary risks have not improved. Even Bill Gates warns it: the impact of the climate crisis is going to be much greater than that of this pandemic.
Either we start with the change of model or we face a period of much suffering, more than the one brought by the happy virus. Has this pandemic helped us develop individual skills or community capacities to cope with the transition? The truth is that there are signs both ways.
On the one hand, there is a slowdown in the bulimic life that we led that can help us to become aware of what is fundamental, to reorganize priorities or change ways of life. The choice to live in a rural area in a period of telework development shows us that it is possible to redistribute ourselves and take advantage of technology to avoid consumption and emissions typical of an urban environment. We want the forest and those of the city invade the nearby areas of the mountains every weekend. And this, which seems / is bad, has a good side: it leads us to realize how much we need nature to be happy. Because we will only protect nature if we learn to love it.
On the other hand, a certain anomie is setting in, a reluctance that often affects hope as well. This is called ego depletion: resilience demands resources, and the longer we must be resilient, the more we deplete reserves. It would be terrible if the pandemic left us with the counter to zero: to promote and carry out social change we need to have full energy deposits. Citizen movements in digital are losing steam. Community life works best in physical settings and the obligation to migrate to digital encounters has weakened them.
On the one hand, we have reduced impulsive consumption and some categories such as organic products or plants have grown. There is a greater responsibility of the ordinary citizen for sustaining the economy, buying from local businesses. On the other hand, we are increasingly pulling digital commerce and home delivery. And this model, compared to the fact of going to collect what you need at a central point, generates more emissions and urban congestion, not to mention that it is sustained so many times in a precarious work model.
On the one hand, this pandemic has shown us that it is possible to have a common goal (avoid the bug, avoid deaths, flatten the curve); that the public powers can mark paths and norms and enforce them; that neighbors can unite to go where the state does not go, creating mutual aid groups, volunteer chains or putting what each one knew how to do (yoga, bingo, magic) at the service of the common. That we have all been clapping at eight for 12 weeks and there were no hours a day to do all the activities that they offered us. On the other hand, it is clear that there will always be a group of skeptics who deny the problem; and another group, perhaps more numerous, that ignores it and continues to put their personal benefit above the common good, and does not sacrifice their parties, their meals, their meetings, even if they break the curve.
On the one hand, we come out better. On the other hand, we were crazy.
The thing is that we cannot abandon ourselves to skepticism, reluctance or ‘yovoyalomío’, nor can we continue in this social madness where each one follows the voices he hears in his head and pulls aside. We have a clear project ahead of us, the Green Pact, which seeks to change the economic and social models in almost all industries and which leads, rebound, to change the organization of urban-rural life and life at home. Shorten supply chains, regenerate agricultural areas with sustainable crops, conserve or increase water reserves, defend and restore ecosystems, fully decarbonize the energy system, circularize all production systems avoiding waste, improve buildings to make them safer and more efficient. There is nothing. And in this process, we cannot leave anyone behind.
This change will only be possible if we join forces. The Green Pact will only be achieved if at the other scales – the national, the regional, the municipal – we generate alliances where we all row in the same direction. Time is running out. We cannot waste any more time in futile disputes. Nor can we put ourselves in profile, because our apathy puts our own survival at risk.
This alliance belongs, of course, to the public powers, but not only. We all have to get involved: educational centers, teachers, influencers of all conditions and sizes, religious communities, scriptwriters, creatives, journalists, artists, athletes, singers, actors and actresses … We need a soundtrack that sounds us every day and reminds us the goal and that we can. And a story of the future to which we are going to give us the impulse to get there.
We all have to play a role to generate individual change, and the most difficult, the cultural one that the Green Pact will make possible. Because the barriers to change are not in the lack of solutions, but in the resistance to adopt them. Sometimes because the more sustainable alternatives are perceived as less effective, they are a bit disgusting, they do not serve to indicate social status, or they do not anchor well in our particular ideologies. And to change that, it is necessary to mobilize other logics, other myths and other cultural frameworks so that the change in lifestyle that the Green Pact implies is adopted.
We have many examples that it is possible to do so. If you think about how the vision of tobacco, bullfighting, palm oil or the diesel car has changed in Spain in a very few years, you will have reasons for optimism.
That you can, but with a plan. Doing bottom-up, top-down and diagonal processes, zigzag or circle. But now, because we are late.
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Source: ElDiario.es – ElDiario.es by www.eldiario.es.
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