A viral climate of fear

coronavirus 11

Where the virus may potentially claim the lives of hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, global heating above 4oC is bound to claim the lives of billions, yet most governments hardly listen to the science

By the 25 March 2020 more than 4% of Covid-19 patients, nearly 19,000 people, tragically died worldwide, with more to come, and each death its own heartbreaking story.  Many governments are listening to medical science, implementing essential measures to combat the plague, instigating social isolation and economic support systems in order to avoid a potential demise of hundreds of thousands or even millions of lives.

Climate change is already causing deaths, according to a new report global warming would cause an additional 250,000 deaths per-year from heat and extreme weather events, yet most authorities continue to ignore the scientific evidence of climate disruption that threatens to exceed +2 degrees Celsius and toward 4 degrees Celsius. Potentially this is leading to a demise of billions of lives and many species through extreme weather events.

Between 1998 and 2017, 526,000 people across the world died due to extreme weather events caused by climate change.

Health protection measures to restrict the effects of COVID-19 are essential, but the looming social and economic collapse is something else. It is not entirely clear why, in the majority cases, populations cannot continue to operate at safe distances using protective gear?

There has been no social and economic collapse in the west when:

  • The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 405 000 in 2018
  • Seasonal flu kills 291,000 to 646,000 people worldwide each year,
  • Each year there are 1.3 million to 4.0 million cases of cholera, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera.

Nor have societies and economies collapsed in the western world during genocidal atrocities such as in Korea, Viet Nam, Rwanda, Myanmar, the Middle East and Yemen, which killed millions, namely:

  • When 6 million people were bombed in Vietnam
  • When millions were killed in Rwanda and the Congo
  • When millions of people were killed and fled the Middle East
  • When half a million refugees had to escape Mien-Mar

Media reports depend on the profile of the victims. The effects on the share market are elevated above the health issue. Poor and dark-skinned people receive less attention. Memories are short and most people worry about one problem at a time. Nowadays the fatal consequences of a deliberate or accidental nuclear war and of global warming toward four degrees Celsius, as real as those of the pandemic, are hardly mentioned.

Andrew Glikson, Earth and climate scientist




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