Earth Day 2020

The one consistently positive impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had globally is on the environment. We have been given the opportunity to see what happens when we make the kinds of changes that can have significant impact, even if we made them for a different reason.

People have been willing to change their behaviors in order to survive a virus. Perhaps now, too, is the time to change in order to ensure our survival as a planet. We have the chance to build on this unique momentum.

The fact that a virus could spread across the planet in a matter of weeks has made us more aware of our interconnectedness. Just as we have responded to the pandemic, we can see that global problems like climate change need global strategies.

Humans can and do change when they see the need for it. In the current crisis, people have been given both scientific information and high-profile rumors. Scientists, researchers, experts—their input should be critical to making policy decisions, not only on health, but on climate as well.

With scattered clouds and temperatures in the upper 60s predicted today, I hope you found time to spend outdoors (with proper social distancing) to enjoy the beauty of Earth’s returning spring and to take in a moment to look at the bright blue of the sky, breathe in the cleaner air, and listen to the voices and birds around you that are normally obscured by the constant hum of cars and planes.

When the time comes for us to return to a version of the life we knew before, we will have a decision in front of us. Do we try to go back to business as usual? Or do we use the lessons we have learned during this time to restart society in a way that restores what is essential and good? If we are to have endured such a difficult time, I hope we use it to our benefit to move forward taking better care of our planet and each other.