Our pandemic slowdown has been good for the planet

What if we kept it going?

As COVID-19 sweeps disastrously through the United States and elsewhere, some communities have taken action in a way that just a few months ago might have seemed unimaginable: slowing down, doing less. In order to flatten the curve, people with the privilege to do so have stayed home from work, school, and events. They have slowed down, compelled to find new rhythms and different patterns for life.

This has all happened at the very same time that our planetary home is, in Greta Thunberg’s words, on fire.

Anthropogenic—or human-caused—climate change is the result of an economic model that suggests that limitless growth is possible despite the very real ecological limits our planet presents. This perspective encourages accelerating, streamlining, and generally increasing production—all for the sake of profit, and with little concern for the earth.