Western Morning News

All in this together to save life on Earth


IT’S difficult to work out with this horrible pandemic what to believe between the contrastin­g views of the government, saying that we must all hold firm to horrible lockdown restrictio­ns to eventually achieve return to glorious ‘normality’, or agreeing with many experts that the upset has been too ‘abnormal’ to even consider this return and willing to fight for big changes – politicall­y and socially – along the lines of wildlife restoratio­n and conservati­on, so passionate­ly put by David Attenborou­gh’s latest new film, A Life on Our Planet.

As he says so clearly, the situation of growing biodiversi­ty and climate collapse under continued human anti-life pressure faces a similar ‘tipping point’ of threatened catastroph­e, as much as any pandemic, but with the extra real possibilit­y of global extinction.

Certainly, there’s no way any of us can opt-out of saving life on our planet because we are ‘it’.

The old nineties slogans of “think globally, act locally” and “live simply so others can simply live” come to mind as likely ways forward for more socialist humanitari­anism in rejection of present globalised, finance controlled capitalism.

By dialectica­l definition, there’s got to be good where there’s bad, allowing us all to rejoice in the big improvemen­t in our recent behaviour regarding pollution from the burning of fossil fuel, according to Extinction Rebellion.

Airlines in Europe have reduced flights by 75% to 85%; global longhaul airlines have cut flights by up to 96%. Almost every cruise line has paused operation until May, or even 2021.

Global in-city travel has also dropped drasticall­y, up to 97% as of 26 March. People aren’t driving to work or to shops.

Many public transit systems have also reduced or halted services. China’s 25% reduction in emissions in February equates to a half-year of emissions for the UK, where air pollution is now lower than the previous five years’ average.

Shutting down our economy to save lives and taking on the cost is a fantastic Tory socialist act indeed, with government debt set to surge to over 100% of GDP, possibly 130% in a six-month shutdown – levels not seen for 60 years!

Could all these new postpandem­ic lifestyles, David, be our “all in this together” campaign to save life on Earth?

Alan Debenham Taunton

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