Change is in the air, but it’s not here to stay unless we act.
In myriad ways, the experience of COVID is a first in our modern history. Many of us have never been through anything like it before, and Lord willing we won’t have to endure anything like it again. We are in the midst of untold pain and suffering economically, socially, and physically.
But while (most) of us are at home binging Tiger King or holding a tiger pose during an insta live yoga session…
Our planet is taking a breather.
Now I’m not an atmospheric scientist and aside from something about cow farts and reducing my use of single use plastics, I know very little about pollution (working on that).
But just look at this photo comparison of downtown LA:
Downtown LA before COVID (bottom) and during COVID (top)
What fascinates me is this isn’t a picture of improvement. It’s not a picture of garbage being cleaned up, coral reefs being restored, or more of us driving Teslas. Its a picture of the finished product — what the world will look like when we work those eco-trends to their logical conclusion — a clean city, clean country, a clean planet.
For the first time in my life, I am able to see a living portrait of what the world will look like when we get our environmental act together, and I mean all the way together. My cover photo for this piece isn’t a green utopian rendering of some modern city full of glass buildings surrounded by lush green grass and windmills.
It’s a portrait of LA.
For a rare and fleeting moment the third largest city in North America, normally buried under a blanket of pollution… is manifesting that green Utopia before our very eyes.
Here’s what that same portrait looks like from space:
It’s amazing what happens when we humans collectively sit still for a little bit and let the world rest. I don’t even need words for this.. just scroll and observe:
Nice eh? Thanks Covid.
Now It’s Our Turn
COVID has us in the midst of a great planetary reset of sorts. It seems at least on the surface, a vast cleansing is being observed in almost all corners of the globe. For a brief moment in our lives we have the opportunity to stroll outside and peer directly at what has only been manifested in green utopian renderings — a bright blue atmosphere and crystal clear waterways.
The only problem? It’s not our doing.
You know what the biggest difference is between right now and everyday eco-friendly initiatives?
Covid has forced all of our hands in a single, united fashion (staying home) and as a result, we are able to experience an immediate and immensely powerful positive consequence on our environment.
But don’t kid yourselves.
This wasn’t us.
This wasn’t some eco-initiative we all signed up for. We didn’t orchestrate this. It happened to us. It took a devastating event to level us into submission. And yup — we are paying a price (some of us more than others). But our planet is breathing cleaner air. And revealing to us, before our very eyes… what it wants from us. It wants us to unite and achieve the same level of mass orchestration that’s been forced upon us during the pandemic. The proof is in the air, and in our water. Just ask the dolphins in Venice.
I know we’re aching to get back to work. To restore our normality, and look after our needs, and I totally get that. Our livelihoods depend on a return to “normalcy”. But before that happens (and it looks like it’s starting too), take a moment to stroll outside. Especially if you are in a big city like me (Toronto).
Leave your phone at home (instagram will be there when you get back).
Just take a walk.
Observe the stillness.
And while you’re at it, I invite you to appreciate the clarity before you. Allow yourself to be inspired and reflect on what your return to normalcy will look like. What’s a single thing you can do each day that will get you closer to that clarity? Mass orchestration doesn’t have to be some far out concept. Its as simple as each us acting when our hand isn’t forced, to do something that will look after our environment. Much has been written on what exactly that means for you and your household so look it up. My encouragement is simply to start.
Make no mistake. What you are seeing in your own city, and in these photos… is temporary. We don’t deserve the credit for it. And if we ever want to see these views again.. we’ll have to act.
Now it’s our turn.
So let your first turn be towards the sun if it’s out, close your eyes and soak up some vitamin D (God knows we could use it) and suck in as much oxygen as you can…while you still can.
What a breath of fresh air.