“It is an example of the sort of thing we will increasingly experience if we don’t start tackling our relationship with the planet.”
Emerging diseases are a symptom of disrupted ecologies.
There has been a lot of speculation about the spread of Covid:
Although research just published suggests it is not this particular endangered creature at fault:
Nevertheless, as Attenborough’s recent expose demonstrated, hunting and other environmental disruption can spread disease:
Research Director of emerging risks at Chatham House, Tim Benton, has an interest in environmental risks (particularly climate change and biodiversity loss) and how they impact on human systems (particularly food systems), with a major interest in how we can mitigate the risks.
He has just written this piece:
Failure to reset our relationship with nature may lead to more frequent pandemics
In the last decades, we have seen a range of new or emerging infectious diseases, which have jumped to humans from animals. HIV/AIDs came from great apes, birds gave us H5N1 (causing the 2004-7 Bird Flu pandemic), pigs gave us the Swine Flu (H1N1); and SARS came from bats, via civets. Bats also gave us Ebola, and probably COVID-19. COVID-19 has now caused over a million deaths worldwide, and its implications for human health and wellbeing are devastating. COVID-19 is, however, more than a ‘health issue’, and more than an economic one; its emergence was an evolutionary and ecological issue, and a predictable consequence of species brought into new and close contact…
COVID-19 and ecology
Emerging diseases are a symptom of disrupted ecologies and new animal-animal and animal-human exposure.
This is happening for three main reasons…
It is an example of the sort of thing we will increasingly experience if we don’t start tackling our relationship with the planet.