Last month I wrote a short piece for a local online news site on COVID-19 as a tutorial level for the various global threats we face. I followed this up with an extended blog version. Both of these pieces were inspired by a course I teach - The Global Politics of the End of the World - where I explore the material threats we face. The question that haunted me while writing the two pieces was one I knew I would have to deal with next semester when I teach the course again: what will be our reaction to the pandemic?
It is at this point that I feel like I am watching a Greek tragedy. The protagonist faces a crisis. What choice will be made, and how will it play out? In our case will the crisis shake us out of our complacency, or will it distract us?
Yesterday an interview in the New Statesman quoted the political risk consultant Ian Bremmer as saying that the pandemic could be a 'Goldlocks Crisis': not too little a shock to lead to a return to the status quo, but also not too much that the damage overwhelms us.
... and this is the question that haunts me. How will we react to this crisis, and how will that reaction help or hinder us in dealing with the problems of the Anthropocene? It haunts me because I do not have an answer to it... and in the coming days I will be posting to this diary on this issue. I also hope to hear from others who are also wrestling with this issue.
My hope is that by September I will have something more substantial to say to the students.
The link to my blog on this subject can be found here: Dregs of Romulus
The link to my NL Independent.ca article can be found here: NL Independent.ca