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The pandemic is a warning: we must take care of the earth, our only home | Bruno Latour

The climate crisis resembles a huge planetary lockdown, trapping humanity within an ever-deteriorating environment

There is a moment when a never-ending crisis turns into a way of life. This seems to be the case with the pandemic. If so, it’s wise to explore the permanent condition in which it has left us. One obvious lesson is that societies have to learn once again to live with pathogens, just as they learned to when microbes were first made visible by the discoveries of Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch.

These discoveries were concerned with only one aspect of microbial life. When you also consider the various sciences of the earth system, another aspect of viruses and bacteria comes to the fore. During the long geochemical history of the earth, microbes, together with fungi and plants, have been essential, and are still essential, to the very composition of the environment in which we humans live. The pandemic has shown us that we will never escape the invasive presence of these living beings, entangled as we are with them. They react to our actions; if they mutate, we have to mutate as well.

Bruno Latour is a philosopher and anthropologist, the author of After Lockdown: A Metamorphosis and the winner of the 2013 Holberg prize

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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