• Frederick Rickmann

Corona and the Climate

Through the thick fog of today's politics and the blurry picture of fake and real news there is a golden thread emerging. You could almost say that its could even be a sign of better things to come. The pandemic we are dealing with right now, and the climate challenge we are beginning to fix, seem to share very similar solutions.

Well of course a planetary virus and global warming are nothing like the same issue. But what they do have in common is that they force us to rethink how we do things, what we do and also how we live. The cures of the climate demand cleanliness and a marked reduction of pollution. Fossil fuels and the choking of levels of plastic need immediate attention. The health measures needed in the epidemic also need human distancing and less movement.

It can only be refreshing to read headlines that there are clear blue skies over New Delhi in India, that the streets of London are not clogged up, that people are discovering that meaningful contact isn't only digital. The solutions to the pandemic are also giving environment advantages.

When the virus threat is over, will the environment slump back again? Somehow I don't think so. The epidemic has been shockingly traumatic for many societies. That leaves an indelible footprint on the countries involved. New patterns of behaviour will effect us all in everything from materials and contacts and even where the world, things are manufactured.

I write this as a designer. I look intensely at what we are making, where the materials are coming from, what craftsmanship is involved (even though that craftsman is a robot) and where it is all put together - by whom, also. It is satisfying to move from being part of the problem to being part of the solution.


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