by Mud Editorial
It's approximately day 7 in what some high-schoolers on Tik Tok are calling the "modern apocalypse."
I'm gonna be honest: when I thought about the end of the world I imagined there'd be a bit more toilet paper and a lot less racism and xenophobia.
Think about it: every movie about the apocalypse–whether it is zombie, alien, or natural disaster–always brings together a group of very different characters who manage to survive because they work together.
So, I bet you're also surprised that during this "modern apocalypse," a large part of the population has taken their new extra time to get into Twitter fights, hoard toilet paper like it's the new iPhone on launch day, and isolate themselves entirely.
If this virus has taught us anything is that the human race is NOT READY for an actual apocalypse.
The speed at which the world has stopped to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak is incredible. Yet, climate activists, lawmakers–hell, even some of your overly-friendly classmates with clipboards–have tried to raise awareness about the climate crisis, and its existence continues to be debated.
A lot of very smart scientists have predicted that we are the generation to perform immediate action. Our way of life, economy, energy sources, and a shit ton of things we do must change drastically for us to prevent a future of extreme weather events, diseases, hunger, and well, death.
And that's not us saying it.
Like I said, there's a lot of smart scientists, climate activists, and lawmakers who continue to fight in the big stages for our governments to pay attention. That's not to say that we should just sit back and retweet them.
When Corona reached the United States, lots of us began singing full Beyoncé songs while washing our hands, wearing face masks and gloves, and stocking piles of toilet paper and Ben & Jerry's.
Why don't we react the same when it comes to the climate crisis?
Don't get me wrong–I fully support our decision to mobilize when COVID-19 started growing. After all, we're talking about human lives at risk. If anything, this virus has proved that we have the resources and rapid transformation capabilities to confront a crisis. Hence, we need to address climate change as such.
If you're wondering how this could potentially look, here's a doodle:
This is not to say that the climate crisis should be treated exactly as COVID-19. They each represent unique situations that affect us differently, and hence, what is being implemented now wouldn't necessarily be effective in the other. Yet, the response should mirror the one now.
Dealing with COVID-19 was a reaction, but treating climate change must become a way of life.
It's not about going nuts for a couple of weeks and stopping our consumption of everything bad. It doesn't mean we need to isolate ourselves and never leave our homes again. Neither does it represent a loss for some and a recurring thought for others.
A huge mistake of the COVID-19 response is that many vulnerable people have been left behind, and stripped from their protections as if the whole thing was an "unfortunate mishap."
We need climate justice education in all levels of schooling. We need to plant a shit ton of trees in an effort to reforest our green areas. We need to introduce new jobs in clean energy fields and infrastructure, which will not only save our planet, but also give employment to people who need it. We need immediate action and acute social consciousness that begins in our homes and extends to public spaces.
We need to do the equivalent of washing our hands twenty times a day but for the planet.
So, when the face mask comes off and you're able to go back to brunch, or your job, or school, don't just go back to normal.
This time we shouldn't wait to deal with the apocalypse until it's too late. We all know how that movie ends and it's never good for anyone.