I have shared with you in previous blogs the strong feeling that pervaded my consciousness early this year. These meandering thoughts were around the need for me to become an active participant in promoting healthy habits of consumption to conserve our planet from immanent destruction.
But, in the Past
I had been actively sharing my ideas, my habits and my theories on successful aging for the past decade. I had assumed that would be where I could make a contribution to the wellbeing of the human race during my lifetime. So what was this about consumption and its implications for the health of the planet which was dominating my thoughts?
It was in the third month of this year that Covid-19 reached the shores of South Africa and the ‘Stage 5’ lockdown commenced on 26th March. For the first time in the history of humankind, the occupants on this planet were forced by their government to give up their livelihoods. If you were in the tourism business, the restaurant industry, in the world of entertainment, your means of livelihood were directly forbidden by government decree.
Imagine it is the beginning of December 2019. You own a successful small restaurant which you have built from scratch during the past 5 years. You have just paid off you debt. The business is starting to offer you a livelihood. How would you have felt if someone had come along to you and said? “You know Grace, I have some bad news for you. Something unimaginable is going to happen in three months’ time which will mean you have to stop trading and close your business. Maybe, you should think of preparing yourself for this eventuality.” Would you have believed it?
I doubt if anyone would have taken such a pessimistic prognostication seriously. Yet, thousands of businesses throughout the world have been directed by government decree to close down. The knowledge that a deadly virus was threatening human life on the planet was sufficient to ensure that populations were compliant with government rulings. Millions of people have lost their livelihood. Such changes have devastated the lives of the vulnerable. However, there is a tacit realisation that these changes are necessary for reasons of life and death.
The Psychology of Changing Habits
It is my belief, based on the scientific evidence which I have studied, that the implications of unwise habits of consumption, harvesting and energy production pose a threat to civilisation and the lifestyle we have known during the past few centuries. Yet, business, industrialists and private people continue to follow habits they know are potentially destructive to our health and that of the planet. The only difference between the scenario of Covid-19 and Climate Change is that the threat of the former is immediate, and the threat of the latter is long term. It is easy to ignore the slow and gradual symptoms of Climate Change, but it is not easy to ignore an immanent death threat.
Since World War 2 the amount of noxious gas being spewed into the atmosphere has grown to such an extent that the carbon dioxide remaining in the atmosphere was caused massive disruption in climate throughout the world. The number of droughts, floods, fires and hurricanes have increased in number of volume year by year during the past two decades. We are assured by the experts of the relationship between the production of noxious gases by the use of both chemical fertilizers and the creation of power is a direct cause of these extreme weather patterns.
Our new lifestyle since the lock down has provided us with both challenges and opportunities. I have always been an early adopter, and my migration into the zoom room was inevitable. Yes, it did come with some teething problems. The anxiety of running a meeting in zoom and not being able to cope with the requirements of the technology were quite over powering in my early endevours. The blips in the ability of the participants to enter the zoom room caused me much anxiety. Acquiring the skills of facilitating a dialogue with this new method of communication was a challenging learning experience.
However, I also experienced some great excitement with this new method of communication. So many opportunities for learning new skills and information were enticing me to participate and explore areas of expertise which had previousaly been unavailable. I learned that Al Gore’s Climate Reality was offering a free nine day course on line. It was at no cost. Here was my opportunity. And, now I am entering this new field of activity as a Climate Reality Ambassador with this 24 hour challenge
“For 24 straight hours, Vice President Gore and Climate Reality Leader activists across the planet will lead digital presentations and discussions exploring the historic conjunction of climate change, COVID-19, and structural racism that not only threatens our lives and deepest values, but opens the door to truly transformative change” It is hoped that 3000 presentations will be made either face-to-face, or on zoom.
Here is the link to my presentation which will take place at 16h00 South African Time
It would be such fun if this could provide me with the opportunity to meet many of my readers on zoom! A great chance for us to get to know each other. I encourage you to diarise this event, as well as signing up your attention to attend on the webpage.
The time is now. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to become aware of the role we can play to promote conditions which result in the health of the environment. We need to co-create the conditions which will push back on the continuous climate devastation of recent years. Please join me in this challenge.