There’s nothing like a crisis to showcase the qualities of a civilization. For instance, the global wars of the twentieth century had some of the most amazingly displays of cruelty and some of the most wonderfully compassionate moments. And, plagues like the Black Death or Spanish Influenza swept over defenseless populations which then rebounded. There’s even ongoing swarming locusts in Africa that’s causing widespread, temporary challenges. The common factor to all these is that the event ends and, usually, a wiser civilization emerges.
The current international crisis is the COVID-19 pandemic. While much is being said about its characteristics, including its lethality, there is no doubting its global impact. Everywhere people are being asked or ordered to remain isolated at home with only occasional sojourns for essential matters. Less travel, and less work has an immediate effect on resource consumption and especially energy consumption. This reduction has an effect. A barrel of oil is cheaper; now costing the same as it did twenty years ago. Fewer airplanes traverse the skies. Mass fuel storages are full. And bankruptcies challenge the oil fields. It’s as if this pandemic has set our civilization’s feast on energy to pause.
This pause should be considered as just that, a pause. Our civilization will continue on the other side. It can continue as it did before COVID-19 or it could alter. Is there a wiser direction for our civilization? Is the free market and consumerism the optimal path? Perhaps now is the time for people to realize that we constitute one big global civilization. And people should realize that they are wise enough to consider and choose an optimal future. Let’s use this pause to consider the qualities we most admire and cherish and then let’s pursue them as we rebound from this crisis.
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