The Coronavirus outbreak has the world firmly in its grip. No one could have imagined that a small headline on the 31st of December would overcome the entire planet. Moreover, countries are in complete lockdown, and the global economy is at a standstill. However, this swift action for Coronavirus makes us think of another emergency that needs similar action – Climate Change. What’s worse is that the two share the same origins!
What is the single cause?
Previously, we talked about the origins of COVID-19. We discussed how the Chinese wildlife industry, valued at $74 billion, is the reason for the outbreak. As viruses travel from animals to human beings, they need a way to transmit into humans. And China’s wildlife industry and wet markets provide that channel. That is how the COVID-19 was able to travel from bats to pangolins and then humans.
But, we need to go greater depth in understanding the power structures responsible for this mess. Only then can we see the reason that caused Coronavirus and Climate Change. That is Capitalism.
How is Capitalism the cause?
Right now, it’s clear that Climate Change is a reality. But first, we have to look at how capitalism functions and then join the dots with Coronavirus and Climate Change.
In capitalism, there is a constant race towards growth and production. For that, countries put to use every natural resource that is available on Earth. That includes water, wood, fossil fuels, ores, plants, animals, etc. All these resources are used in industries for creating products and a lot of waste (like CO2 from fossil fuels)
Such mindless use of resources and uncontrolled generation of waste messes up the balance of nature. When ecological cycles are disturbed, it depletes the natural ability for our environment to balance itself. That’s how capitalism led to Climate Change, but it has also made humans vulnerable to diseases like Coronavirus.
How does Capitalism cause Coronavirus?
It’s easy to explain how this hunger for growth has led to Climate Change. But, it has also led to diseases like Coronavirus.
When humans cut down forests, we’re invading the natural habitat of thousands of wild animals. Moreover, this exposes us to many viruses as we invade those spaces. It becomes worse when some of us decide to consume those animals.
Like we explained in a previous article, eating exotic animals is fairly common among the Chinese elite. And that is how Coronavirus made it into humans. The $74 Billion industry made a commodity out of innocent wild animals. So much so, that they made massive breeding farms of animals like bears, crocodiles, bats, pangolins, etc.
To make matters worse, globalization and ease of traveling spread it beyond control. That is how it ultimately became a pandemic.
After the SARS outbreak, China had imposed a permanent ban on this industry. But they made a comeback due to lobbying and influence of the elite. As a result, we now have the Coronavirus pandemic at our hands. And we have corporate greed and elite influence to thank for that, both of which are by-products of Capitalism. However, we still have time to learn.
Climate Change and Coronavirus must be dealt with together
Luckily for us, it’s still not too late. We recently learned how COVID-19 has reduced our carbon emissions and cleaned out environment. It’s a massive drop in our carbon footprint for the last 100 years. But, we have to be careful with how we move ahead. There are chances that it can make Climate Change worse if we return to our bad practices as humans.
It’s important now that we sit as one to finally put our bad practices to stop. By understanding that capitalism is the origin and cause of Coronavirus and Climate Change, we can be better prepared to deal with the situation. We have to put a stop to rampant capitalism and our decadent practices. Only then can we have a sustainable future for ourselves and other forms of life on planet Earth. Instead of waiting for a cure, we need to fix ourselves first.