The Coronavirus and the Climate Crisis are more connected than you think
Deforestation, air pollution and factory farms are a major factor in the proliferation and intensity of infectious diseases.
|Branch Out||Apr 5, 2020|
I hope you are all handling our current crisis. Branch Out is here to provide the analysis that you won’t see on mainstream media outlets. Our latest piece, “Coronavirus and the Climate: A Singular Crisis” is a deep dive into how both the cause and the response to COVID-19 are directly linked to the forces driving climate change. Please use the extra time you may have on your hands to read the whole thing, and here are some key excerpts to start:
“Remarkably, many of the epidemics that have occurred over the last several decades – including West Nile, Ebola, Dengue, Lyme disease, Malaria, Nipah, Lassa, Madariaga and many more – are linked directly to deforestation. To highlight just one example, a 2017 study found a positive association between deforestation and malaria outbreaks in an astounding 67 countries. “
“While ordinary people across the country (and the world) are struggling to pay for bills and provide for their families, U.S. airlines spent 96 percent of their cash profits in the last decade on stock buybacks to enrich investors and their own executives. The disparity has led to calls for more funds to go to individuals and families struggling because of the economic impact of COVID-19, (particularly people of color who will be disproportionately affected by the economic crisis) and for public funds to be used to facilitate a just transition to environmentally sustainable jobs and clean methods of transportation. “
“A recent estimate found that China’s reduction in air pollution has saved the lives of 4,000 kids under 5 as well as 73,000 adults over 70 in China. Industrial society today not only facilitates the emergence and spread of infectious diseases; it is also responsible for the leading cause of preventable deaths worldwide – air pollution – estimated by the European Heart Journal to cause about 8 million early deaths per year. “
“But what is certain is that as social, political, and economic circumstances continue to be volatile, we must do everything we can to support each other in the immediate ways that are available to us now, and strengthen our solidarity in the future. With a Green Stimulus blueprint to create millions of family-sustaining, career-track green jobs while lifting up and collaborating with frontline communities, we must grow and invest in the energy, food, transit, and social systems we need to avoid the disruptions and exploitation exhibited by the system’s failures in responding to COVID-19. “
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