Just Released! Order “Waking Up to Climate Change” by George Ropes, and receive 25% Discount. Learn More

Search
Close this search box.
Search
Close this search box.

HOME          CATEGORIES          OUR TAKE

Do Global Pandemics & Global Climate Change Affect Each Other? How?

Do global pandemics and global climate change affect each other? This is an interesting topic to analyze since we recently experienced the Covid-19 pandemic. It is two questions in one. First, I will speculate and theorize on how a pandemic can affect global warming and how global warming affected the pandemic.

Does a global pandemic affect climate change? This is a yes.

The perplexing question is how did it affect climate change? There are many arguments that suggest that the pandemic may have slowed down the effect of climate change. This argument can be supported by the fact that there was a global lockdown. This meant that there was less traffic, that there were fewer people going to and from work and to other activities. This resulted in less burning of fossil fuels and less emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.  The lockdown meant that people worked from home. This means that the energy consumption of office buildings would have been decreased. This would again reduce our contributions to global warming. Many people died during the pandemic. Fewer people means that we are consuming less which again reduces the overall carbon footprint of the planet. These are all arguments that can support the idea that a pandemic can reduce the effects or rate of global warming.

There are also arguments that we increased our carbon footprint during the pandemic. For example, we required many protective measures, including wearing masks, personal protection equipment for medical professionals and gloves. This increase in manufacturing increased our carbon footprint. Many emergency hospitals were built, and transport was used to move needed goods to specific locations. These are all high energy consuming processes which can contribute to increase the global temperatures. In the diagnosis of Covid-19 chest X-rays and CT (Computed Tomography) scans were extensively used. These machines require a lot of electricity. The research and production of vaccines also require a lot of energy. The pandemic also required work from home and in some cases many people were unable to work. This resulted in an increase in the use of computers and the internet. Many people spent their time online gaming and watching videos. Even physical activities, like exercise, had a component of electronic device (e.g., Pelathon Bikes). These are all factors that can be used in the argument that the pandemic increased our carbon footprint and thus worsened global warming and climate change.

The second part of this question could be addressed as follows: Does climate change affect how a global pandemic impacted our society? The answer here is another resounding yes.

Climate change definitely impacted how the pandemic affected us. I do not see how climate change made it better but there are many ways in which climate change made it worse. One example was the wildfires in Canada. Covid-19 is an illness that affects the lungs and makes breathing difficult for patients. The wildfires in Canada caused smoke particles to travel all the way to New York City. This in turn also caused difficulty breathing. This could exacerbate the symptoms of some patients with Covid-19. It would have also made it difficult for medical professionals to diagnose the disease, since this symptom could have another cause.

Does destroying forests invite pandemics and worsen the climate crisis? Definitely, it does.

Destroying forests can cause pandemics because animal life would be displaced out of their natural habitat. These animals can carry diseases that can cross over to humans. When the animals leave the forest, they can bite humans, or otherwise contaminate a food or water sources used by humans and thereby cause a pandemic. Destroying a forest can also worsen the climate crisis. Trees remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. They also convert heat energy to potential energy through photosynthesis. Therefore, getting rid of trees can worsen global warming.

The recent Covid-19 pandemic was horrible. There were about 110 million people infected with Covid-19 in the United States. Over 1.18 million people (about the population of New Hampshire) died.

image:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/03/26/what-the-coronavirus-curve-teaches-us-about-climate-change-148318

Comment on this article

ClimateYou moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (New York time) and can only accept comments written in English.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE


More Posts Like This

CITY TECH BLOG

The Role of Computer Engineering in Mitigating Climate Change

Computer engineering is the discipline that embodies the science and technology of design, construction, implementation, and maintenance of software and hardware components of modern computing systems and computer-controlled equipment. This multidisciplinary field intersects with climate action in diverse ways, ranging from energy-efficient computing to the development of sophisticated

CITY TECH BLOG

Climate Change & Agriculture, Industry, Tourism & Human Lives

One of the most important issues of our day is climate change, a phenomenon mostly caused by human activity. Its effects go far beyond temperature increases and altered weather patterns; they have a significant impact on important industries like tourism, industry, and agriculture. The people who directly depend

CITY TECH BLOG

From Farms to Cities: Adapting to a Changing Climate

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns. While such changes can naturally occur due to variations in solar activity or large volcanic eruptions, the current trend attributes climate change primarily to human activities. The primary cause is the extensive use of fossil fuels such