The Lancet medical journal asserts in its latest issue that the effects of the dual crises of climate change and the coronavirus are “converging” and require a concerted response.
“The climate crisis is still raging,” the once-venerable journal insists in a December 2 article titled “Climate and COVID-19: converging crises.”
“A year ago, news headlines were dominated by the climate youth movement and a sense of urgency,” it states. “But COVID-19 has displaced that interest and awareness.”
Despite their apparent dissimilarities, the causes of both crises “share commonalities” and “their effects are converging,” it declares. “The climate emergency and COVID-19, a zoonotic disease, are both borne of human activity that has led to environmental degradation.”
The journal asserts that both the coronavirus and climate change “have led to the preventable loss of lives through actions that are delayed, insufficient, or mistaken,” giving, of course, no examples of death by climate change.
Aligning responses “presents an opportunity to improve public health, create a sustainable economic future, and better protect the planet’s remaining natural resources and biodiversity,” it declares.
While climate change “has slipped from the top of the global agenda because of political indifference and the need to deal with the immediacies of COVID-19,” the time is ripe for “seizing the opportunity to refocus interests on sustainability [and] the co-benefits of protecting our future health, the environment, and our planetary systems.”
“As governments embark on economic recovery plans in the wake of COVID-19, concerns for climate change and equity are rightly focused on a green recovery,” it adds. “A global rapid transition to clean energy sources is needed, ending the stranglehold of fossil fuels.”
“Decisions being made now must tackle both crises together to ensure the most effective response to each,” it concludes.