COVID 19 and Sustainability are top of mind issues in the 21st Century. Both are the focus of global attention for very different reasons. Yet there are points of intersection and connection that link the two.
In fact the simultaneous occurrence of global pandemics and societal survival is nothing new.
Geographer and historian Jared Diamond says there are countless examples throughout history where a civilization takes resources to sustain modern life. Equally, humans have plundered their worlds and seriously affected chances of survival. Including major pandemics.
With the ‘new normal’ being defined by CoVID-19, there is increasing pressure on people, at an individual through to global level, to put into effect sustainable practices. Particularly in regards to coordinated policy and effort.
Over and above the influences of the SARS-CoV-2 (CoVID-19) climate change by itself demands fresh thinking and action.
In fact, the United Nations has stated that this unique situation offers countries an opportunity to build recovery plans that will reverse trends and change our consumption, and production patterns, towards a more sustainable future.
Events have highlighted the relationship between people and nature. Humans have unlimited needs, but the planet has limited capacity to satisfy them.
The challenge and opportunity is to appreciate the limits to which humans can push nature before the impact is negative. Those limits reflect our consumption and production patterns. In short, CoVID-19 can be a catalyst for social change. Older people have the chance to make differences and be an example of change and protecting the planet now and into the future.
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Published: July 2022
To be reviewed: July 2025