For many people, this shows how fragile our civilization is.
The crisis has come as a new movement called “colapsology” – which warns of the possible collapse of our society as we know it – is gaining ground.
With climate change revealing how unsustainable economic and social models based on fossil fuels are, they fear orthodox thinking might speed us toward disaster.
This theory first emerged from the Momentum Institute in France, and was popularized by a 2015 book, “How Everything Can Collapse”.
Covid-19: Is this the end of civilization as we know it? https://t.co/WePHx4mYCr
– MCO – stay at home (@ahkmlog) April 9, 2020
Some of his supporters, such as former French environment minister Yves Cochet, believe the coronavirus crisis is another sign of impending disaster.
Virus domino effect
While the mathematician, who founded the French Green Party “was still hesitant” to say whether the virus would be a catalyst for the domino effect, he cited insinuations that it was “too early to say whether it was too late”.
But Cochet – whose book “Before closing“Predict the devastation in the next decade – confident that the virus will lead to” a global economic crisis with a greater severity than imagined “.
The 74-year-old man, who retired to rural France in Brittany so he could live more sustainably, was also worried about “the coming global disaster with many victims, both economic and other”.
“What is happening now is a symptom of a series of weaknesses,” Professor Yves Citton warned from the University of Paris VIII.
“This is not the end of the world but a warning about something that has been moved,” he told AFP, “the whole series of collapse has begun”.
Slides may be slow, said Jean-Marc Jancovici, who heads the Shift Project think-tank aimed at “freeing the economy from carbon”. But “few steps have been taken (with viruses) that there is no turning back”, he argues.
Pablo Servigne, an ecologist and agricultural engineer who co-wrote “How Everything Can Collapse”, has a more dire view.
“The great lesson from history … and about the Horsemen of the Apocalypse is that pestilence, war and famine tend to follow one another. We have a pandemic that can cause another shock – war, conflict and famine,” he warned.
“And hunger will make us more vulnerable to other pandemics …”
An opportunity to change
Sad for his prospects, influential philosopher and sociologist Bruno Latour said the crisis had given us the opportunity to imagine alternatives to neoliberal capitalism.
He warned on his blog that the world must “ensure that, after a virus crisis, things do not start again as before.
“Let’s take advantage of the forced suspension of most activities to take stock from people we want to stop and who we want to see developed.”
The virus also pointed out, he wrote in an article for the online daily AOC, “that maybe in a few weeks to suspend the global economic system that until now everyone said it was impossible to slow down or adjust.”
Servigne can also look on the bright side, comparing locking with someone “pulling the alarm signal on the train”, with countries now interfering in social and economic policy in a long-taboo manner.
He is also “inspired by the way nature reacts as soon as we stop our madness” and takes back the spaces released by our confinement. The world, therefore, might collapse.
The good news from an environmental perspective, said Jancovici, is that “money is no longer a problem” for political leaders. “‘ Need 500 billion? We will find it! “” He added.
But the economic rescue and rescue plan that is being made should not cause pollution, Jancovici argues, adding that we must use this opportunity to move towards systems that are not based on carbon.
However, he worries that “the only plan that will come to mind is to continue as before to save work”.
And that is not only a matter of government. If the first thing people do when the lockdown is over is to order a flight to get away from it all, said Citton, then we will truly seal our own destiny.
AFP with additional input from the GVS News Desk.
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