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Everything is connected

Posted on 28th March 2020

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This article in The Guardian, written for Australia, makes the case that we cannot separate climate change from the Covid-19 pandemic.

There has been a sea-change in the Australian public's attitude to environmental issues, since the bush fires this winter (their summer). They are no longer a nation of climate change deniers; about time.

The point made in the Guardian article has merit. The root cause of both crises (the pandemic and the various environmental issues) are the same: overpopulation. Solutions which try to address problems in isolation are therefore likely to fail, or to be only temporary solutions.

It is therefore such a shame to see that the USA apparently didn't get the memo. In the news today (here on PBS News, and on many other new sources) is the announcement that the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) has stopped enforcing environmental laws because of the coronavirus crisis. This is exactly the opposite of what they should be doing. If they defer environmental protection enforcement until after the pandemic:

  • There is a risk that it will make it impossible to control the pandemic,
  • Environmental protections could end up being deferred indefinitely.

This is simply more of the same kind of lame and unsound excuses that are rolled out every time that environmental protection is discussed: we can't do anything that costs too much, we can't do it until we have dealt with the current crisis, blah blah blah. Enough with the excuses: the pandemic is a symptom of a wider environmental malaise and even if we get it under control, there will be another, and then another, until we address the root causes.