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Mon Apr 6, 2020, 08:44 PM

HIV, Ebola, SARS and now #COVID-19: Why some scientists fear deadly outbreaks are on the rise

very interesting article. scary also.



HIV, Ebola, SARS and now COVID-19: Why some scientists fear deadly outbreaks are on the rise

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-04-06/ebola-sars-zika-covid-19-deadly-outbreaks-on-the-rise

By Joshua Emerson Smith
April 6, 2020 11:30 AM

The social upheaval and death caused by the new coronavirus has awoken many to what some infectious-disease experts have been warning about for more than a decade: Outbreaks of dangerous new diseases with the potential to become pandemics have been on the rise — from HIV to swine flu to SARS to Ebola.

Many experts now believe that this surge in new infectious diseases is being driven in part by some of humanity’s most environmentally destructive practices, such as deforestation and poaching, leading to increased contact between highly mobile, urbanized human populations and wild animals.

“The evidence is clear; we’re driving disease emergence through less sustainable use of nature,” said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, interim director of the Center for Climate Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“It’s happening more often, and it’s mostly happening because of spillover of pathogens from animals to people,” he added.


The number of emerging infectious-disease events in the 1990s was more than triple what it was in the 1940s, according to a prominent study out of University College London that looked at 335 cases over more than half a century.

The report, “Global Trends in Emerging Infectious Diseases,” found that about 60% of these emerging disease events could be traced back to wild animals and, to a lesser degree, pets and livestock.............


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Reply HIV, Ebola, SARS and now #COVID-19: Why some scientists fear deadly outbreaks are on the rise (Original post)
riversedge Apr 6 OP
zipplewrath Apr 6 #1
mr_lebowski Apr 6 #2
Igel Apr 6 #3
mr_lebowski Apr 6 #4

Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 08:53 PM

1. Probably more likely gobal mobility

Humans have always been in close proximity to livestock. Probably more so than in the distant past. But much like the plagues of the middle ages, they were associated more with trade and movement of people across large distances associated with trade. Europeans arriving on the American continents resulted in wide spread pandemics among the native americans. We may be going through a period (multiple generations) where world wide "immunity" is created to common diseases.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 08:58 PM

2. The root of the problem is OIL

Insofar as oil is used to create liquid fuels that propel the vast majority of transportation forms used by humans on the planet.

This fuel ... allows people and goods to move all over the world rapidly. People and goods moving all over the globe is what makes pandemics.

It also facilitates the rapid deforestation and sprawl mentioned in the article, and causes pollution and climate change of course.

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Response to mr_lebowski (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 09:26 PM

3. So little to no mobility is a good thing?

Decouple means from the end. They're distinct.

If we could move everybody by the power and glory of solar energy or wind energy, it would have the same effect.

Note that HIV was first recorded and preserved in a sample in the 1920s. But it wasn't until movement 50 years later that it spread--and once it spread in the US, that, too, was because of increased mobility.

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Response to Igel (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 6, 2020, 09:37 PM

4. It's a good thing in the sense that pandemics wouldn't happen without easy movement

Or at minimum they'd spread slowly enough that we could take steps to prevent them, sans oil.

Just because this is a cold reality doesn't mean I'm personally advocating for a lack of mobility.

And yes, mobility via renewable sources would have the same effect.

But almost nobody gets on battery-powered airplanes or ships their products via solar-powered container ships.

So ... at this moment, the reality is that oil is the root cause of the danger from pandemics.

Esp. when you consider the direct and indirect environmental impacts of oil use.

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