In all the news about the fast-moving COVID-19 pandemic, few outlets pause to remind their audience that pandemics are a byproduct of climate change and will be more prevalent as the planet heats up.
Creatures that act as disease-vectors – bats, mosquitos, rodents and ticks – thrive in warmer temperatures, thus accelerating the transmission of diseases. And changing weather changes human behavior:viagra pilule
“Even without rising to the level of a natural catastrophe, increased variation in weather patterns can result in changes in human and animal interactions, increasing the potential for zoonotic pathogens to move from animals into human populations. For example…[i]n the American Southwest, years of drought led to booming rodent populations as predators suffered, resulting in deadly hantavirus outbreaks.” – ContagionLive
Finally, as population increases, humans increasingly encroach on wildlife habitat, leading to more people eating more animals, which in turn leads to the rise of new viruses like COVID-19.
Pandemics will happen more frequently.
Some company policies made in response to COVID-19 merit permanent adoption: frequent hand washing, preference for teleconferences over in-person meetings, and limited air travel. These policies are good for people and the planet.
Climate change is among root causes of increased pandemics.
The planet is getting a collective crash-course in the economic cost of a pandemic. Untold billions, maybe trillions, of economic value is disappearing as COVID-19 ravages the planet. This, along with Australia’s wildfires, Africa’s locust infestation, and India’s water shortage should wake world leaders to the cost of ignoring climate change. Pandemics are just one of a host of threats – each with their own devastating economic and human toll – that climate change promises to deliver.
We can read this and wring our hands in anxiety, or we can take action. The options differ for everyone, but everyone has options.