Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

All are looking for what shall happen when this corona infection period shall come to an end. At the moment we do have no idea yet when we’ll find the end of the CoVid-19 intrusion on our life.

The many countries who had a lockdown are finding ways to ease those limitations on their citizens.

I am convinced this Coronacrisis should bring people and governments to look for new ways to order their life and society structure and consumption. The many coronaviruses we saw the last few years showed something is totally wrong with our use of animals and that we do have to find more hygienic ways to handle food. Sustainable food consumption and customer behaviour have now become even more important issues both in scientific and political circles, which are never losing their topicality with changing economic conditions. We have to identify the existing barriers for sustainable food consumption and have to make sure people come to understand our greed squeezing natural resources can no longer be continued.
Both the public health crisis and the climate crisis highlight the limits of humanity’s power over nature. Our consumption habits should change drastically. Our world has seen too many habitual behaviours which overload the natural environment.

It shall take still some more months before our battle with the unseen enemy shall be conquered. At the moment you can say the world is at war. But like with every war, after the damage shall have to come a “Marshall Plan” to recover and bring everything to normal. We for sure can need an A-Z or roadmap for bringing our badly damaged world back into a good fold. We also should take care certain politicians would not take this situation to give certain groups or peoples the blame or being the cause of this bad situation we are in, or that they would be an extra plague to our current crisis.

For sure what took decades and centuries for the climate has taken days or weeks for a contagious disease which was not controllable by man. We have seen that by the slow human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) – the retrovirus that attacks and gradually destroys the immune system, leaving the host unprotected against infection; the other highly contagious respiratory illness characterized by a persistent fever, headache, and bodily discomfort, followed by a dry cough that may progress to great difficulty in breathing SARS, the other Middle East, acute viral respiratory illness MERS and the virus of the family Filoviridae that is responsible for a severe and often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever, Ebola. That Ebola virus (EBOV) was already a great sign we had to prepare the world for more coronaviruses; having had already those mentioned above and: Coronavirus HKU1 , coronavirus-OC16, Human group II coronavirus OC43, New Haven coronavirus and NL63 coronavirus (just to name the few I can think of we encountered already) and for more dangerous illnesses coming to affect the whole world.

At first, eyes were directed at the efficiency of vehicles and buildings, but how products were made and consumed was often forgotten, though we should never forget that this also has a huge impact on emissions. Strategies that aim to reduce demand for materials and products will be essential to limiting rising global temperatures.

Simply telling everyone to reduce their consumption is unlikely to yield enough good results, also because we are aware that the majority of the population their first interest is their own well-being no matter at what cost. Not so many people are interested to know where the products come from at what cost (on human and other life costs). Government and businesses will also need to play their part, making sure that already here in Europe everybody got stimulated to come to respect the naturals sources and to demand a respectful wage for every worker or producer.

The governments should educate the people and raise awareness surrounding issues of waste and resource use. Incremental consumer changes will only lead to small emissions savings, therefore we need to challenge the wider system in which we operate, and shift away from the status quo towards a more resource efficient, low carbon society. We have to start thinking collectively to sort this crisis out.

Lots of people say we are just with too many. But I do think there is still enough place on earth. We just need to reorganise our placing in our natural environment.

Also the naturalist and environmental campaigner, Chris Packham who has always spoken his mind – and attracted death threats in the process got, by this CoViD-19 pandemic, a new perspective on how humans can live in harmony with the natural world. He says:

If you look at the recent work of the social geographer Danny Dorling, it shows that birth rates are already in decline worldwide; we are entering a natural slowdown. What we have not managed to slow down is rich people’s consumption.

People in developed countries need to lead the way and cut their consumption of the planet’s resources.

“You and I survive on the resource poverty of millions of other people in the world,”

Packham told Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur, explaining that this is the only reason the UK is able to consume two extra planet’s worth of resources and the US is able to consume four extra planet’s worth.

“At this point in time we have the capacity to cut our consumption and develop means of living a fulfilling life without consuming as much,”

Packham said. He continued:

In Somalia they only use a tiny, tiny fraction of the earth resources and we are using them all.

For him the growing population in Africa is not such a problem because the people are very poor and do not use so many resources as we do.

Even when a lot of people do not want to believe the world’s leading climate scientists, we should make sure in our surroundings that more people shall come to listen to their warning that there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. In Belgium we are now in our third year already that we have our reserves of drinking water or on the brink of shortage and that there is not enough water to irrigate the fields.

The half-degree difference may look not much but it can make a big difference. It could also prevent corals from being completely eradicated and ease pressure on the Arctic, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study, which was launched after approval at a final plenary of all 195 countries in Incheon in South Korea in 2018,  that saw delegates hugging one another, with some in tears.

Now we should be in tears because still so many countries have not kept to their promises. This year again we have abnormal high temperatures in Belgium; and we could find all over Europe, Australia and the West of the United States a lot of fires destroying a huge amount of acres of woodland.

The last 30 years has likely been the hottest period for 1400 years in the Northern Hemisphere, home to 90% of humanity. Since 1880, the global climate has warmed by about 0.85 degrees Celsius. Nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. By 2100, Earth’s climate is forecast to be at least 1.5 degrees warmer. The worst-case scenario envisages 4.5 degrees of warming.

Every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact on our daily climate which seems to go out of our control. And then I am not yet speaking of the problems caused by sea-level rise, creating now already ecological emigrants. This would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt.

Big problem for the environment at the moment is the popularity of such presidents as Trump and Bolsonaro who do not care about the environment. Last week I saw Jair Bolsonaro on television so proudly showing how much forest he had pulled down for giving an income to ‘his people’. But for sure that are not the local indigenous people. For Bolsonaro, they can go somewhere else if it does not suit them.  Bolsonaro and his henchmen ravishing the Amazon wanting it for agricultural land and polluting the rivers by increasing gold mining, making the indigenous people to eat fish with mercury poisoning. Gloriously, Bolsonaro explained how his friends could now grow soy, have more place for their cattle and have an insured income because that can be sold to Europe and that’s because people eat it. Brazil and Argentina are good examples of how meat consumption is not only rising but also debitting our environment. If more people would eat less meat, we could sustain more people and by reducing piss, poo, and winds from the cattle, the air can also be kept cleaner.

Brazilian Amazon fires in 2019 (Image Source: Victor Moriyama /AFP / Getty Images)

When in lockdown we could find many more people walking in nature. It was as if people were reconnecting with nature. For me it was also great to hear and see more wild animals, whilst we could enjoy the silence and for what we mostly have to go abroad, the sound of nature. But people, according to Packhan on Hard Talk (yesterday on BBC World) have to look more rather to see and listen instead of hear.  He says of the lockdown period.

“It’s been an absolute joy to see people posting pictures with ladybirds on their fingers and frogs in their ponds and birds singing in their gardens, but they will now have to join our ranks and remember what they took from that, because we do have to fight for it.”

As the pandemic confined us all to our homes, he and his 25-year-old stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin, launched The Self-Isolating Bird Club: a virtual space for wildlife watchers and enthusiasts alike to share their pictures and videos of wildlife across the world during this COVID-19 crisis. There are beautiful pictures to see on it. Also the BBC got to recognise their reconnecting with nature is important during this time and the producers of Springwatch liked their on-screen rapport.

About Covid-19 Packhan says:

 “Speaking entirely biologically, what the whole, horribly harsh, tragic lesson of the virus has taught us is that we are part of nature; we’re not there to hold dominion over it, we’re not above it.

And that is what too many people have forgotten. Now should come the wake-up call! We have to know that we are no more than one part of an infinitely precious ecosystem, in which we as human beings are the violator. We are the part causing the problems, not nature. Packhan hopes that

“there will be a huge peaceful shake-up and people will start moving in the right direction.”

That is also what I do hope, and where I see some light after the long dark tunnel. We demanding the animals for food production shall be receiving enough space to mover around and to feel free. Also that they will receive proper food and that factories shall also be urged to produce food for human consumption without all those chemical additives. Furthermore, the energy used to produce all our goods should come from renewable energy. Climate scientists are 95% certain that burning fossil fuels, clearing forests, farming and other human activities are the primary driver of climate change. In 2001, they were only 66% certain of anthropogenic climate change. New evidence has reinforced the consensus view.

We should force our government to get away with the atomic energy, away from fossil fuels and demand that all fuels shall properly be taxed so that all those cheap flying trips shall be in balance with long-distance and cheaper train transport. Governments should also advise the public on the way it consumes and to avoid the overuse of junk food.  Away from careless consumption should be the target; away from considering the natural world a resource to exploit.

It might well be that man can be good at solutions, but it seems that this can only be under pressure. And the pressure is now at our doorstep.

As close as humanity is to the point of no return, we aren’t quite there yet, and there is an opportunity to make serious changes to avert complete climate catastrophe. The

“most positive thing that we’ve seen,”

according to Packham, are movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future.

We should lead the way because we have the capacity to cut our consumption, is what I believe but also what Packan believes. concerning that e could find the means to find a fulfilling life without consuming as much.

Those who are believers in the creation should stand up for that natural world and give

a voice to the song flash, the poiisened eagle, and the voice of that oak tree which is being cut to facilitate a …. glorious railway project

A few days ago in the very good morning show Breakfast (BBC 1) they showed how many endangered species there are in Europe. One million out of eight million species globally are threatened with extinction. This should put us to shame, because for most of them it is the human being who is the most dangerous being, them bringing to extinction. those plants and animals that are threatened with extinction are threatened by the loss and degradation of habitat, but also by among others pollution, climate change and invasive alien species. However, biodiversity is key for healthy ecosystems and human life. It is up to us now to bring this all back into balance.

The post-pandemic period should have us to reconstruct our way of living, working, consuming and our way of recreation.



Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources

2014 To remember our Earth

The unseen enemy

CoViD-19 Curation

An A-Z for a world which has to change.

Going for sustainable development

How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]

Reducing effects of environmental disasters

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

The Hero of the greatest …. failures

Dependance a factor of weakening

Stopping emissions will not stop the warming of our planet

High time to to put the environment at the heart of people’s lives


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In case you are allowed to watch Hard Talk in your country by i-Player (In Belgium we could watch it on TV but can not see it again on i_player): The Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted huge economic damage, but it has also offered the natural world a little bit of respite – room to breathe. What will come next? Will it be a return to the old ways of resource exploitation and consumption? Stephen Sackur speaks to Chris Packham, one of the UK’s best-known naturalists and environmental campaigners. Are we humans capable of fundamentally changing our priorities?


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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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