We decided to stop, and reflect, to then move forward on the best path.
In the present circumstances, our joint efforts must go in a univocal direction: respond to this state of crisis. For this reason, after devoting these days arranging the last details to launch our Open Science for Water Quality & Biodiversity Conservation campaign, we have stopped, reflected, and decided to postpone its launch.
Now more than ever, in the midst of challenging times, we confirm our belief that human and environmental health is a priority; that people’s power and coordinated actions contributing to a common cause, is the answer in moments of crisis.
Our response to the crisis is not limited to our immediate reaction to this general state of alarm. Behind what happens these days, very important ideological issues are raised, which force us to reflect and take sides regarding major issues:
we need to clearly position ourself on the side of the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to a water supply and a home, the right to be able to eat and continue living, even if we are not receiving a salary, even if we are sick.
More in general, we need clarity on how to guarantee respect for human rights and the environment, not only in situations of real or perceived crisis, but constantly.
The situation we are experiencing these days reveals a great number of contradictions and inconsistencies inside the system that we are desperately trying to maintain – despite its evident unsustainability and insufficiency when it comes to upholding human rights and respect for the environment:
– The response of the states to the alarm: the great indecision and inconsistencies in government measures regarding the choice between protecting businesses, the economy and/or the health of citizens, the closure of borders, aid received and denied;
– The evidence of how large social differences influence the ability to cope with health emergencies, included here in Europe (how many asymptomatic VIPs know whether they have this virus, and how easy it is for common people without symptoms to obtain a test?), and the evidence of the effect of cuts to public health;
– Today, life is work: many people in the world keep moving to go to work — healthy or less — so as not to lose their salary, having no other “parachutes”; being this the effect of insecurity and loss of workers’ rights through neoliberal policies.
– The human response to the alarm, mediated by the digital media: solidarity, xenophobia, hyper-alarmism and extreme measures, underestimation of risk, fear, feelings of unity in front of a common enemy, the disorientation caused by the overwhelming news;
– The incredible response of our planet to the slowdown in commerce and human activity and the ailments transmitted from animals to humans that are growing and worsening as wild habitats are invaded and destroyed by human activity.
Will we go on top to save the banks and companies responsible for the massive pollution of our planet? Will we support system maintenance or its change? Will we invest ourselves in the desire for survival that we will turn to massive consumption? Is our response fear, control, protectionism, xenophobia, solidarity, empathy, reflection, change?
We see that now, solutions and ideas that previously seemed unthinkable, seem to be the sole answer. Our answers are the ones that guarantee the safety and health of the majority.
Soon, this challenging moment will pass and we can win as a society. During this period, we actively continue improving our water monitoring system, the production and distribution of content, the organization and participation in calls about open source tools applied to safeguarding the environment. Keep following us!
We would like to share with you some articles that we have been reading these days and have inspired us to reflect deeper on the way humanity presents itself in times of crisis. We hope that these contents are a valuable accompaniment during the quarantine period:
1 – Coronavirus Capitalism — and How to Beat It – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niwNTI9Nqd8
2 – Abrir la ciencia para cambiar el mundo – https://ojs.library.queensu.ca/index.php/IJESJP/article/view/13724/9143
3 – Modelos de gestión de la crisis, derechos de privacidad y movimiento – https://www.eldiario.es/internacional/modelos-gestion-dominar-Europa-coreano_0_1006500506.html
4 – ‘The new normal’: China’s excessive coronavirus public monitoring could be here to stay – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/09/the-new-normal-chinas-excessive-coronavirus-public-monitoring-could-be-here-to-stay
5 – Epidemia de neoliberalismo– https://www.jornada.com.mx/2020/03/13/opinion/018a1pol/
6 – Impacts of social and economic changes on environment
7 – Interview: Naomi Klein – https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/5dmqyk/naomi-klein-interview-on-coronavirus-and-disaster-capitalism-shock-doctrine
8 – Coronavirus and State Action – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/14/eu-economies-divided-on-coronavirus-action
9 – Ghost Flights
11 – Coronavirus and Racism – https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-covid19-xenophobia-racism/607816/
12 – Coronavirus and gig economy – https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615350/coronavirus-covid19-gig-economys-sharp-inequalities-tech-business/
13 – A selection of articles by The Syllabus – https://the-syllabus.com/politics-of-covid19-readings-part1/