Environmentalists have long warned of a coming shock to the system. COVID-19 exposed fragility in the system and has the potential to result in radical social change. With socioeconomic interruptions cascading through tightly intertwined economic, social, environmental, and political systems, many are not working to find the opportunities for change. Prefigurative politics in communities have demonstrated rapid and successful responses to the pandemic. These successes, and others throughout history, demonstrate that prefigurative politics are important for response to crisis. Given the failure of mainstream environmentalism, we use systemic transformation literature to suggest novel strategies to strengthen cooperative prefigurative politics. In this paper, we look at ways in which COVID-19 shock is leveraged in local and global economic contexts. We also explore how the pandemic has exposed paradoxes of global connectivity and interdependence. While responses shed light on potential lessons for ecological sustainability governance, COVID-19 has also demonstrated the importance of local resilience strategies. We use local manufacturing as an example of a possible localized, yet globally connected, resilience strategy and explore some preliminary data that highlight possible tradeoffs of economic contraction.
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