A few weeks ago, in the midst of the mass quarantine currently happening all over the globe, a few tweets went viral on how the planet was supposedly healing, now that much of the world’s operations have been put on hold.
On the surface level, this certainly isn’t untrue — since the quarantine began, multiple sources have reported on many of the earth’s natural resources beginning to thrive in the absence of human activity — water canals are cleaner and city skylines have cleared with decreased levels of smog. Animals have also supposedly returned to heir natural habitats, although these claims are yet to be confirmed by experts.
Wow… Earth is recovering
- Air pollution is slowing down
- Water pollution is clearing up
- Natural wildlife returning home
Coronavirus is Earth’s vaccine
We’re the virus
- Tom (@ThomasSchuIz) March 17, 2020
All this is certainly not an inherently negative thing, at its surface, that the earth’s natural sources are thriving. However, given the current circumstances, claiming that the earth’s previous afflictions — that is, air and water pollution, climate change, among countless others — are a product of human being’s inherent atrocity and cruelty is virtue-signaling that isn’t just incorrect — it’s downright harmful.
For starters, the straightforward truth is that although it’s true that humans produce massive amounts of waste and garbage, this is primarily due to the system we have no choice but to be part of: capitalism. It’s simpler at times to point fingers towards fellow humans as the main polluters of the planet, and while this isn’t entirely untrue, the majority of waste actually is generated by a small group of large corporations, all owned by those at the very top.
Indeed, CBS News reports that the four largest producers of consumer goods — Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, and Danone — generate a staggering 6 million tons of plastic every year. Overall, the packaging industry produces a total of 141 million tons of plastic waste every year.
Which isn’t to say that us ordinary folks shouldn’t be held responsible for taking care of the the planet — there are several easy ways that many of us can take towards a more sustainable lifestyle, and eventually reduce our carbon footprint. Instead, as Morocco World News’ Mackenzie Galloway writes, this pandemic’s effect on the planet instead shows what the world could be, given a responsible enough global economy — one that prioritizes the planet’s well-being just as much, or even more, than its own profit.
On the one side, it’s undeniable that we try to look towards the bright side in the midst of all the anxiety and uncertainty the global pandemic has put all of us in. And it’s certainly not a bad thing that the ecosystem as a whole has gotten somewhat better. But what isn’t right is claiming that human beings are the virus to the earth, or the cause of its suffering. By this time, it’s almost an inevitable fact that nothing will ever really be the same after this pandemic. The coronavirus and its impact have seeped into every corner of human life, and recovering will not be an easy task. But it’s also shown us the flaws and cracks in the systems we’ve long upheld, that we now have to rebuild, moving forward — and that includes having the same attention and enthusiasm towards the environment that we all seem to have now.
Originally published at https://share.snippetmedia.com.