Building the World

Earth Day 2020: Golden Anniversary, Golden Opportunity


“Blue Marble.” Image:

If the coronavirus crisis has shown one thing, it is that our society is not sustainable,” stated Greta Thunberg, climate activist who spoke on Earth Day 2020 with Johan Rockström, director of the Potsdam Institute and earth systems scientist. There is a correlation between the health crisis and the environmental crisis: deforestation has threatened wildlife habitat, allowing virus and disease to leap species; air pollution has weakened human respiratory systems, making people more vulnerable; air travel has promoted rapid spread of disease. According to Rockström, “We are living beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.

Post-pandemic, Earth’s global community should set new goals:

  1. Create new jobs in clean, renewable energy;
  2. Invest in the future rather than the past;
  3. Incorporate climate risk into the financial system;
  4. Promote international cooperation.

Today is Earth Day’s golden anniversary, celebrated on the 50th year. The pause caused by the pandemic has given us a new view of what is possible. Energy has already changed. An unprecedented amount of money has poured into recovery and rebuilding. How can we use this golden anniversary as a golden opportunity?

Rockström, Johan. @jrockstrom.

Thunberg, Greta. @GretaThunberg.

Watts, Jonathan. “Earth Day: Greta Thunberg  2020 Calls for a New Path after Pandemic.” 22 April 2020, The Guardian.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G. Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unpo

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