If you are able to work from home, relatively free of anxiety about your job and so far untouched by either illness or death, isolation might come with compensations: you may, indeed, be living the Sunday-supplement lockdown dream of craft projects with the kids and demolishing your backlog of novels. But that is the experience of a tiny minority, even if it is informing some of the media’s apparent neglect of what so-called lockdown actually means for millions of people…
John Harris, Guardian, ‘For millions, lockdown is not novels and quality family time but food parcels and hardship’
The crossroads at which we now sit has no sign pointing the way forward. This much is clear, though: the shutdown of the economy cannot go on indefinitely; but neither can ‘business as usual’. We harbour an instinctive desire to get over COVID and fire up the virus of consumer culture as quickly and robustly as possible. But in this unplanned cessation of what we call normality, we need to clearly understand that our economic system is set up, like COVID-19, so that it can only thrive by seeding death. We also need to understand that no ‘new idea’ can save us from its death spiral. The ideas of the head have been in charge for too long, and the body of the world is bleeding out as a result….
Philip Shepherd, ‘Covid is Us’
Sometimes you get a win.
Just earlier this morning, a Court of Appeal ruling declared that the proposed expansion to Heathrow Airport was illegal according to our obligations to the Paris Agreement climate talks.
I’m hoping that this ruling indicates a shift towards a more broader recognition of climate laws, not because I think that legislation is going to fix our wounded relationship to the rest of the natural world… That sort of work has got to happen on a much deeper, and much more radical level. But this ruling should give us some joy because legislation, in the general theory of societies, is supposed to rely upon the notion of Common Justice. Or what is ‘naturally held to be true’. What are the principles that we wish our society to live by, and be known for?
What do we hold sacred, as environmentalist thinker Charles Eistenstein asks?
Every win is a step towards a better, wider horizon. Every win for this sacredness of the earth means that, tomorrow, we might be able to do more. We might be able to make bigger shifts. We might trust companies a little less, and our own feelings about the environment a little more.
The Paris Climate Agreement (as limited as it may be in some ways) is about the future. It’s about caring for the future of the planet, and that means all us creatures and beings on this weird little ball, and who will be born or sprout here after. I’m hoping this judgement means that in some small way, the UK cares for the same things, too.