Human activities are changing our climate to be more dangerous and this isn’t a new topic for us. We all agree with it, but is it making the corona virus pandemic worse? That’s our new concern now. One of the major changes we can see is caused by deforestation, which, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, is when trees are cut down and burned or allowed to rot, their stored carbon is released into the air as carbon dioxide. This is how deforestation and forest degradation contribute to global warming.
All these changes are affecting not only just humans but also all kinds of species simultaneously. Deforestation leads wild birds to migrate to different places and can carry different types of diseases like flu or other viruses, which we’ve already seen can spread by wild birds. Warmer weather can force some animals to move to different places that they normally live. Arctic ice melt can raise sea level and because of that humans will lose lands to live or farm, so there will be a huge chance that we will interest in wild animals more often. When human and wild animals interact that could spell disaster for us because wild animals can carry unknown diseases and, if contact with humans, we can easily get infected. Not only humans will be affected by climate change but also animals can be affected too. Some animals can totally extinct because of climate change like Polar bears, Whales, Giraffes, Oceanic birds etc. are few of them.
In 2020 one of the century’s biggest threat emerged is COVID-19.
Although scientists haven’t found any direct link that climate change influences the spread of this virus directly, climate change can relate to other diseases. Recent research at Harvard’s Chan School of Public Health has found that “people who live in places with poor air quality are more likely to die from COVID-19 even when accounting for other factors that may influence the risk of death such as pre-existing medical conditions, socioeconomic status, and access to healthcare”. It means climate change can indirectly make this pandemic worse and more dangerous. In some developing and poor countries like Indian, Brazil and Bangladesh, we see populations already contracting different types of diseases because many don’t have a strong immune system and diseases like COVID-19 can easily spread. Since poorer countries are the ones most affected by climate change, they are also getting a long term hit from the virus, COVID-19. Their economy is shrinking and the poverty rate is increasing rapidly. Mostly climate change, together with COVID-19 is creating a global crisis.
To protect our future generations from this type of global crisis we have to talk about climate change and work together to prevent global warming from impacting a deadly virus like COVID-19. Wealthy countries should lead this effort from the front lines because they are the ones who are most negatively impacting the climate. They should come up with some smart ideas and enough funding so the world can see the change quickly. First and foremost, we have to identify the countries that are affected most and then create a global task force to work together. We have to stop deforestation, air pollution, and invest more in renewable energy sectors. We have to educate our next generation about climate change and its risks, spend more money on research for new technology to stop climate change. We may not see this change right away but the sooner we start, the sooner we will get the results. I believe it’s not too late to take the necessary steps for our better future and better health.
“Coronavirus and Climate Change.” C-CHANGE | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 6 July 2020, www.hsph.harvard.edu/c-change/subtopics/coronavirus-and-climate-change/
Curseu, Daniela, et al. “Potential Impact of Climate Change on Pandemic Influenza Risk.” Edited by Ibrahim Dincer et al., Global Warming: Engineering Solutions, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 Oct. 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7122279/.