Six months ago, I learned a new word, anthropause, and wrote about it in a December postAnthropause means “a considerable global slowing of modern human activities, notably travel.”  This is what happened as the world locked down to control the spread of COVID-19: human activity slowed.

Things are returning to ‘normal.’  As an example, last Tuesday, the European soccer championship featured a match between Hungary and Portugal.  I watched it because I am a fan of Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo.  He did not disappoint with a pair of goals.  What I didn’t expect to see was a full stadium of 60,000 people in Budapest, most not wearing masks.

My initial reaction was a positive one, but then I reflected on the picture I used that accompanied my December piece on anthropause, a picture of the snow-capped Himalayas taken from the city of Jalandhar, India, more than one hundred miles away.  Because of the anthropause, air pollution in India had dropped so much that the 850,000 inhabitants of this city in Punjab could actually see the Himalayas for the first time in more than thirty years.

I thought about that image this morning.  The anthropause is all but over.

Then it hit me…

If the human race does nothing to control our collective culture’s negative effects on planet Earth, the human race is doomed.  We are our own nemesis.  Our indifference to our environment will eliminate us, not COVID-19 or any other Stephen King nightmare.  I believe that to be true, but you know what…

The planet will survive, albeit without humans, but with new flora and fauna that will adapt to the destructive environment we are creating that will remove us from the equation.  The thoughts on COVID I voiced in December 2020 have not changed:

COVID-19 is nature’s way of restoring balance to our ecosystems, the balance that has been seriously threatened by human interference on many levels.

All is far from lost IF we pay attention.  Affirmative action can stem the tide and reverse it.

Pond Builders

In April, my friends and I created a 150,000-gallon pond on the 20 desert acres we are trying to develop to grow organic food.  It has been a challenging task.  A month ago, we observed tadpoles in the pond.  Last week, a Great Egret found our pond and visits it frequently.

Life can and will go on in the harshest of circumstances.

Our planet will survive, with or without us.

I prefer to be part of the solution, but it is difficult to not be part of the problem under the circumstances.  With that admission, I know there are things I can do to positively affect the environment, things as innocuous as wearing and using my clothes longer with the conviction that there is no need to replace my ‘wardrobe’ because it is ‘out of style.’  As I read in one article,

“Newer isn’t always better. Using what you already have reduces the amount of resources (like water and energy) needed to create and ship new products. Reusing is friendlier to the environment, and your wallet.”

Give it some thought.  What can you do to make the world – all the magnificent creation that surrounds you – a better place to be?  What can we do as individuals, families, communities, and nations to be less a part of the problem and more a part of the solution?  The future is in our hands if we are willing to grasp it.

Mitakuye Oyasin.

 

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  1. One of the things that hit me about COVID-19 was that it affected the entire planet. Every human on earth was dealing with the pandemic. It might be the ideal time, while we have the entire planet’s attention, to emphasize things that affect all of us as humans.

    1. Very well said! As Chief Seattle told us, “… whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth… All things are connected… We did not weave the web of life; we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.”