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A Rare Opportunity

by Sathwik Thomas

It's the economy, stupid!" That was the catchphrase that swept Bill Clinton into the White House in 1992. It was simple; Then President Bush missed an opportunity to deal with a crisis, and Clinton took advantage and not only dealt with the crisis, but got a lot of help from a new thing called the "Internet", which has changed everything about our lives.

Now, we have another rare opportunity for change, only this one is much bigger and much more important. The pandemic has caused the world to hit a pause button. We've had to stop, do things differently whether we like them or not, and learn how to survive together. We can look at this as a test that the planet is giving us, and waiting to see what we do with it.

For all the talk of "getting back to normal" the only thing I hope we do is stop wearing masks unless we really, really want to wear one. Otherwise, my hope is that we create a new "normal", because the old "normal" has accelerated climate change to the point where we may not survive the rapid change of wind, weather, and eventually water patterns that control our food supply, and sustain or survivability on this planet. In short, the "old normal" is going to get us evicted from the planet.

Now, hear me well; Humanity will survive whatever the planet throws at us. The real question is; how many of us will survive? If we believe seven billion people can survive drastic climate change, I think we are just small children whistling in the dark so we don't have to admit our fear. We have, right now, the rare opportunity to stop and do things fundamentally diff

erent. We can all get vaccinated, for example, and accelerate our reentry into mask-free life. That would be one example of working together to solve a common problem.

But that won't be nearly enough. We can also create an economy that doesn't leave out fifty percent of all the people in the world. We could start common sense population control to reduce the number of us humans, who use more of the planet's resources than any other animal. We could be better to each other and better to the planet, and begin to recognize that the cost for taking so much is too high. We can build a sustainable society of humans if we stop putting money and control before the common welfare of all life on the planet, including ours.

This is indeed a rare opportunity for us to create something good that will last. And I can't help but think that the planet herself is just waiting to see what we will do with it.

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