The Leading Cause and Effect of Climate Change
Climate change is an agent of change, something that can completely destroy the entire planet if something is not done by governments around the world. The global temperature is rising rapidly. Many, especially in the world of government, do not see global warming and cooling as an immediate threat; climate change is much more far-reaching than what is simply seen with the naked eye. Everything is a balance of cause and effect. According to Sarah Kaplan in her article “Climate Change Affects Everything — Even Coronavirus”, climate change leads to a disruption in the habitats of animals. Humans are the main cause of deforestation and in turn, certain animals no longer have a habitat due to the greed of the human race. This leads to animals having no other choice but to move closer to cities which shows an up-spike in animal-to-animal disease transmission as well as animal-to-human disease transmission.
Habitat Destruction Caused by Extreme Weather Events
Kaplan also makes reference to studies that link several animals that originated from outbreaks to extreme weather events like floods, which are to be much more common as global temperatures rise. The warmer the planet becomes the more off-balance the weather patterns are to be expected to be. More animals are expected to move to “low-quality habitats” due to human destruction of their habitats as well as climate change converting areas into inhabitable habitats for these animals. A low-quality habitat is defined as “places where a species can survive, but don’t have everything it needs to complete its life cycle” (“How citied could help animals fleeing climate change”). According to Mark Tutton, a journalist at CNN, mentioned that urban areas, as well as the suburbs surrounding it, can become the new low-quality habitat for animals (Tutton, par. 11).
Suffice to say that the “cause” in this situation is humans deforesting; the “effect” is animal habitats moving to cities, this also becomes a “cause” and the effect is an exponential increase in transmittable zoonosis, which is a disease that can be transmitted to humans from animals, such as coronavirus or COVID-19.
Humans and deforestation are clearly linked, but something which is mostly hidden and/or ignored is the fact that around 150 species go extinct every single day (World Wildlife Fund). The equilibrium of the Earth is unbalanced; prey that once had predators are now able to repopulate at alarming speeds. Climate change is included in the killing of prey which forces predators to hunt closer to cities looking for new food sources; one such case is the village Narasapuram in India which is overrun by monkeys (“Indian village raided by troop of 400 monkeys residents flee in terror”).
Future Outcomes of Diseases Caused by Climate Change
Essentially, all diseases are expected to worsen as the threat of climate change increases, with coronavirus included. With already how widespread the disease is, which started as a localized epidemic and making its way to becoming a pandemic, it just goes to show what the future of disease may look like if humans don’t change the way they utilize natural resources. Climate change leads to more animals near cities; more animals near cities lead to an up-spike in zoonotic diseases. It is quite simple, humans cannot continue using non-renewable resources, and coronavirus has exposed just how dreadful diseases caused by climate change will look like in the future.
- “How Many Species are We Losing?” WWF, World Wildlife Fund, (n.d.), https://wwf.panda.org/our_work/biodiversity/biodiversity/ Accessed 21 May 2020
- Tutton,Mark “How citied could help animals fleeing climate change.” CNN, Cable News Network, 14 May 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/14/world/climate-change-cities-animals-scn-intl/index.html
- “Indian village raided by troop of 400 monkeys residents flee in terror.” The Jerusalem Post, JPost Inc, 2020, https://www.jpost.com/omg/indian-village-raided-by-troop-of-400-monkeys-residents-flee-in-terror-614217. Accessed 21 May 2020
- “How citied could help animals fleeing climate change.” Express Informer, Express Informer, Inc., 15 May 2019, https://expressinformer.com/how-cities-could-help-animals-fleeing-climate-change/