There are dark times ahead of the corona pandemic. The corona pandemic is linked with climate change and darker times may be ahead.
The above has both a somewhat literal and figurative meaning. The literal is that our sun is going into a solar minimum. It is not all doom and gloom though, but the sun is simply completing an eleven year cycle. The surface activity on the sun will be at a minimal, but this does not mean solar darkness. It simply means a change of form for our sun.
So no we will not be going cold or freezing over while suffering from plagues and what not. According to NASA even if the sun were to be in solar minimum for over 50 years, temperature on earth would not plummet.
Greenhouse gases emitted by human activity plays a much larger role in keeping the earth warm than solar activity on the sun’s surface.
We come to the figurative meaning of our first sentence now. Human activity on the planet has not exactly been pleasant. Our consumer fueled culture demands more and more from natural resources. We cut down more trees, we farm to consume in large quantities. What of the poisonous waste we create that is detrimental to humans and the entire ecosystem.
Well scientists believe that the corona pandemic is a result of human activity on the planet. Virus outbreaks such as Ebola, Sars, bird flu and covud19 are viruses that live in animals and which cross over to humans.
This species to species jump is typical to viruses but is now fuelled by humans invading natural habitats and coming into contact with viruses that we had otherwise not been in contact with.
Further informal meat markets typical in some parts of Nigeria and China are perfect breeding ground for outbreaks. Wild animals such as monkeys, rodents, crocodiles to name a few are sold for consumption by large populations of the poor. I say this with caution of course because the correlation between informal meat markets and virus outbreak is not as straightforward.
What is worrying is the growing devastation human behavior has on the ecosystem. This is what causes a danger of coming into contact with new viruses which could in turn infect hundreds or thousands. The corona virus pandemic is linked with this destruction of nature. A cause for concern in the science community.
What human health experts do not pay attention to is how much of an effect disrupted ecosystems are to human health. As a response to this a new discipline of planetary health is emerging in the science community.
This discipline wants to show that there are links between displaced ecosystems (which often is the result of urbanisation) and human health. This is an issue that needs to be addressed or we risk a future of more pandemic outbreaks.
This is a rather grim tone I realise. What is important is not the bleak future that seems to loom near us but rather the action that we take today. When this shutdown is over, we will have to really go back to the drawing board so as to tread carefully in our relationship with nature.