Home | About | Donate

'The Future We Want': London Joining Global Trend of Car-Free Streets to Cut Pollution, Fight Covid-19

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/15/future-we-want-london-joining-global-trend-car-free-streets-cut-pollution-fight

Well this is going to hurt, watching the rest of the industrialized world come out of this pandemic better off than when it started. While here in the US, the workers have to face the undeniable fact - we are viewed as disposable trash, not worthy of saving, while we race towards 3rd world status.
All together now:

USA! USA! USA!..We’re # One!

I’ll ask again, pitchforks anyone?

Such a focus on individual responsibility, necessary as it is, functions as ideology the moment it serves to obfuscate the big question of how to change our entire economic and social system. The struggle against coronavirus can only be fought together with the struggle against ideological mystifications, plus as part of a general ecological struggle. As Kate Jones, the chair of ecology and biodiversity at UCL, put it, the transmission of disease from wildlife to humans is “a hidden cost of human economic development.”

“There are just so many more of us, in every environment. We are going into largely undisturbed places and being exposed more and more. We are creating habitats where viruses are transmitted more easily, and then we are surprised that we have new ones,” Jones said.

So it is not enough to put together some kind of global healthcare for humans, nature should be included into it – viruses also attack plants which are the main sources of our food, like potatoes, wheat and olives. We always have to bear in mind the global picture of the world we live in, with all the paradoxes this implies.

For example, it is good to know that the lockdown in China because of coronavirus saved more lives than the number of those killed by the virus (if one trusts official statistics of the dead): “Environmental resource economist Marshall Burke says there is a proven link between poor air quality and premature deaths linked to breathing that air. ‘With this in mind’, he said, ‘a natural – if admittedly strange – question is whether the lives saved from this reduction in pollution caused by economic disruption from Covid-19 exceeds the death toll from the virus itself. Even under very conservative assumptions, I think the answer is a clear yes.’ At just two months of reduction in pollution levels he says it likely saved the lives of 4,000 children under five and 73,000 adults over 70 in China alone.

---- Slavoj Žižek

RT International
Slavoj Zizek: Biggest threat Covid-19 epidemic poses is not our regression to survivalist violence, but BARBARISM with human face

The impossible has happened and the world we knew has stopped turning around. But what world order will emerge after the coronavirus pandemic is over – socialism for the rich, disaster capitalism or something completely new?