Mom’s Across America 10 July 2020

Theresa Church

The global pandemic of Covid-19 has challenged the notion of business as usual and exposed a systemic crisis rooted in capitalism and the neoliberal economic model. The pandemic has proliferated in unpredictable numbers, killing thousands in a flash and spreading unhesitatingly beyond borders and boundaries. Millions of people are unemployed and in need of food, medicine and other basic necessities as a result of the collapse of an economic system already stacked against them. On all fronts we are in a physical, mental and spiritual crisis.

Covid-19 was the tipping point that launched us into this crisis, but we have been on this trajectory for a long time. Despite decades of dire warnings on the mounting impacts of climate change, environmental destruction and historic economic inequality, we desperately cling to the models of growth that are leading us down a road of demise. Still, we are pushing for a return to “normalcy,” which Arundhati Roy refers to as the doomsday machine.’ According to Roy[1], ‘Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.’

It is this ‘doomsday machine’ that led to the destruction of wild ecosystems from deforestation, logging and industrial farming. This ecocidal model will, according to numerous scientists and NGOs like GRAIN, result in the emergence and spread of ever more new viruses. Despite this, business as usual continues on for researchers who have developed a genetically engineered (GE) American chestnut tree designed for release into natural habitats. They are seeking government approval to release this unprecedented and irreversible experiment into our forests with no idea what the implications will be, ensuring the ‘machine’ keeps running.

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Theresa Church is the Assistant Director of Global Justice Ecology Project (GJEP) and is on the Campaign to Stop GE Trees Steering Committee. She is currently located in Buffalo, NY.

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