Last year, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, conducted the most comprehensive planetary health check ever undertaken, it was led by Professors Josef Settele, Sandra Díaz, and Eduardo Brondizio.
It concluded that human society was in jeopardy from the accelerating decline of the Earth’s natural life support systems.
Rampant deforestation, uncontrolled expansion of agriculture, intensive farming, mining and infrastructure development, as well as the exploitation of wild species have created a ‘perfect storm’ for the spillover of diseases.
These activities bring people into contact and conflict with animals, which leads to 70% of all emerging human diseases.
“This is the human hand in pandemic emergence. Yet [Covid-19] may be only the beginning,” they warn.
“Future pandemics are likely to happen more frequently, spread more rapidly, have greater economic impact and kill more humans if we are not extremely careful about the possible impacts of the choices we make today,” they say.
We have buried our heads in the sand for far too long. The current pandemic is a slap upside the head, begging us to awake from our 1950s dream and start acting responsibly toward each other, toward the other plant and animal species that share the Earth with us, and toward the Earth itself. Time is getting critically short.
The conclusion of the study and the message of the current pandemic is- that humanity itself is a virus sucking the life out of the planet and we really, really ought to stop doing that if we seriously intend for human life on Earth to continue much beyond the end of this century.
Our mania for “getting back to normal” suggests we have learned nothing from this pandemic and are destined to repeat this tragedy in perpetuity.
Reference- The Guardian, Forbes, National Geographic, Statista