We are ’boomers’, Hungarian citizens in our 70s, living actually in our quarantine-islands. Our generation is in a peculiar situation because the current pandemic which has led to a huge drop in air pollution endangers our lives the most.
However, climate and pandemic are related. In fact, both the fight against pandemic and the climate change have the same adversary and also a joint solution. On one hand, long distance transportation and global mass tourism contribute to growing air pollution and so to climate change while, on the other hand, they also help to spread the virus. Climate change itself is a hotbed for new diseases.
The social costs of long-distance transportation and global tourism (climate change, the pandemic and its related economic setback) have to be imposed on the responsible industries in the form of taxes. Price conditions changing as a resultof such taxation will lead to a change in consumer and travel preferences without restricting personal liberties. We can rediscover travel destinations closer to us. Global companies will be forced to transport their products from shorter distances, and the taxes they pay, can be used for fighting climate change and diseases.
The world economy is like an aeroplane. Once it stops, it will fall. Right now, it is on the floor. We are currently in a moment of grace, when new directions can be defined. Humanity needs to fight together for our shared aims, instead of indulging in intellectual isolation. This way, the current temporary reduction in air pollution can last longer after the end of the paralysis caused by the COVID-19 while, at the same time, no disease will be able to rush through the whole world endangering the health of hundreds of millions of people and making them poor.
With love and faith in our common future:
Péter Haumann, Actor of the Nation, Kossuth Prize holder
Ágnes Haumann, producer
Eörs Szathmáry, evolutionbiologist, Széchenyi Prizeholder
Péter Trokán, actor, Meritorious Artist, Jászai Mari Prizeholder
Zsolt Szathmáry achitect, UNO Habitat-expert
Mari Jásdi Mari, economist
István Jásdi, economist, Winemaker of the Year in 2017