Many of us have felt the anger, frustration and fear caused by our government’s inaction on climate change. Many more of us have felt the devastating consequences of the drought, bushfires, storms, floods, heatwaves and water shortages. Our country is so large that we can be experiencing all these things at the same time.
Scientists’ increasingly strident warnings have been ignored in favour of greed. ScottyFromMarketing went with “I will not take any action because I cannot look Australians in the eye and tell them how much it will cost and what it will mean for their jobs.”
Seemingly miffed at being ignored, Mother Nature decided to up the ante and send us the corona virus to remind us that there are more important things than a surplus.
All of a sudden, when the rich and powerful find themselves equally vulnerable, advice from scientists is paramount. We will listen to them and spend whatever it takes to deal with this crisis.
All of a sudden, the value of early preventative action and mitigation is being stressed. No-one is suggesting there have always been viruses and we should just adapt.
All of a sudden, the stock market is revealed for the hollow construct that it is. One speech by that fool in the White House wipes trillions of dollars away in an instant.
We are being forcibly made to rethink our values and, so far, we are not covering ourselves in glory with our generosity and concern for others.
We are being made to realise the down side of globalisation and the loss of domestic industries and manufacturing. The obsession with maximising profit has diminished our capacity and resilience and has made us dependent on a world that is a long way away.
Privatisation has delivered profits to shareholders but has exposed industries to risk that the taxpayer is now having to bail them out from.
I wonder if the wealthy rue their tax avoidance when it leaves us with over-worked under-equipped hospitals?
We will get past COVID19 but, unless we learn some lessons about curbing our greed, listening to experts, and mitigating risk, this current crisis is just a taste of things to come. The disasters and deprivation caused by a hotter planet could cause global anarchy. As we line up hoping we can buy a few potatoes, people in the US are lining up to buy guns.
Can the world heed the cleansing of the temple? Can we learn there are more important things than wealth? Can we change our priorities from profit to sustainability? Can we learn to share?
Or will future wealth be measured in toilet rolls and bullets?
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