Because of a cursed Pangolin?
How did we get into such a pandemic panic ? Is there a possible link with irresponsible consumption and production methods, or is it simply a harsh alert as to the insufferable exploitation of nature by humans?!
“For the want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost,
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.” Benjamin Franklin
It is amazing how seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences. Small events, big impacts. Bad luck you say?
60 years ago, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring”. Based on 20 years of scientific research, Carson sounded the alarm over chemical use, especially DDT, describing the pervasive and persistent effects of pesticides on water systems, birds, and people even. Carson, a pioneer spokesperson for ecology and conservation, was also a visionary:
“We stand now where two roads diverge. … The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less travelled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.”
30 years later, the prodigious Brundtland Report drafted an extensive roadmap for Sustainable Development with an ethics narrative, covering new issues: “Energy choices for environment and development”, “Industry: producing more with less” and “Managing the Commons”. Report Chairman Gro Harlem Brundtland, in her introduction echoed, "The choice is ours".
“…Unless we are able to translate our words into a language that can reach the minds and hearts of people young and old, we shall not be able to undertake the extensive social changes needed to correct the course of development”.
The Brundtland Report caused such a chock that it provoked the first Earth Summit, held in 1992.
And here we are 30 years later in 2020, with a pandemic in full swing. COVID 19 will go away one day I am sure, but my question is why did it happen and how can avoid creating such monsters in the future? Is it possible that COVID is somehow tied to our perception of nature (including animals) and its corollary, our exploitation of nature (including animals!). I googled “Do humans need nature?” and the answer was :
“Nature provides vital basic services to support human survival, such as food and clean drinking water and the absorption of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.”
I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry! Such crazy earthlings, we saw away at the branch we are sitting on, but forget that without branches, and leaves, trees would just be sticks!
In the end, 2020 will be forever remembered as the year of Covid 19. And although the science is not yet conclusive, one thing seems beyond doubt: the And although recent studies have exonerated the Pangolin, there is a good chance that the poor pangolin, who no one had ever heard of a year ago, will be remembered as the “cursed nail” that caused all our bad luck. Bad luck, according to google is “an unpredictable outcome that is unfortunate”.
But “In fac', sir, there is no bad luck but what comes out o' the man hisself.”
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