New World Order
‘Something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway round the world’. And so, says chaos theory, emerging as it did from the study of weather in the 60’s & 70’s by the eminent mathematician and meteorologist, Edward Lorenz.
How ironic then that the stilling of a bat’s wing in a rural corner of Asia has triggered a chain of events that could prove to be the biggest and most important shift in mankind’s behaviour and one that just might help us to stop climate change in its tracks.
A third of the world is in lockdown and cities are stilled. Our personal communities are shrunk to the size of our families. Our work distilled to being key or not. New values emerging, as the vital overtakes the desirable.
It feels like a film from the 70’s. Living in a dystopian future. But it’s happening now.
But will it last? Will we simply go back to normal or will there be a new normal? What might a new normal look like?
After the AIDS crisis in the 80’s there was great progress made, but the AIDS crisis was preceded by a movement and desire in society to make huge strides with the LGBT community that then gathered pace fuelled by the urgent need to respond. The financial crash in 2008 was different. The whole of society became the victims and we looked for someone to blame, in this case the banks. As a result, our emergence and recovery from that deep and dividing experience has been long and painful.
So, what about Climate Change? We know that travel has a huge impact, we know that we can make choices and we are seeing quite dramatically how we can live alternative lives, value local communities and remain globally connected through a tech platform that seems to have been waiting for this moment to shine.
At the moment this is a huge social experiment but as we stumble back into the blinding daylight of reality what might normal look like? What will we still need or desire?
Crowds and intimacy might feel different for a while, the need for the daily commute hard to fathom and the desperate urge to escape from here to get to a better there might not be quite so important.
And so travel patterns will change and with it, we should hope, a dramatic drop in CO2 emissions. Because when we do travel it will be considered. Giving thought to our impact and both the nodes and modes of travel that we choose.
The world has pressed a pause button and before we play again it is vital that policy makers and innovators make the most of it to really define the roadmap to meet and maybe even exceed the obligations we have to our planet and our society.
In time a new order will emerge. Where people make better, more sustainable travel choices. Travel Better.