CNN reporter Bill Weir joined the chorus of environmental activists claiming that coronavirus has had a positive impact on climate change, suggesting that the temporary lockdown has “helped humanity” buy time to address the effects of global warming.
Like many environmentalists, it appears Weir is looking on the bright side of coronavirus-related lockdowns, which have had an economic impact on an estimated 43% of Americans and left at least 26 million out of work, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor, issued Thursday.
Weir also appears to claim the virus comes as the result of increased deforestation in his Earth Day CNN segment.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 23, 2020
There are, of course, competing theories as to how the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 became a national pandemic, but most center on events in Wuhan, China, and focus on either the consumption of endangered species, like the pangolin, or the possibility that the virus “escaped” from a research lab that was investigating a number of coronaviruses without taking proper precaution.
The coronavirus has had an impact on pollution, as many outlets noted in their Earth Day coverage Wednesday.
“Researchers from IQAir — a global air quality information and tech company — studied 10 major cities around the world which have relatively high numbers of coronavirus cases and Covid-19 lockdown measures,” CNN reported. “Seven out of the 10 cities studied, including New Delhi, Seoul, Wuhan and Mumbai, saw significant improvements in air quality. Those with historically higher levels of PM2.5 pollution witnessed the most substantial drops in pollution.”
Even American supporters of the Green New Deal gleefully pointed out that there are clear measures that can be taken to reduce the effects of consuming fossil fuels, as evidenced by the impact coronavirus lockdowns are having on pollution levels. Former Secretary of State-turned-climate activist John Kerry even tried to compare the two in an Earth Day interview.
But most seem reticent to consider the wider impact of such a theory. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has infected nearly three million people worldwide and killed more than 100,000. In the United States alone, the virus has infected more than 800,000 people and killed more than 40,000 in just a two-month span.
The economic toll is far worse. The United States is certainly seeing an environmental impact from the disease — an impact that could, in the weeks and months ahead, result in nearly 25% unemployment, a number that may plunge us into an economic depression — but the world is suffering as well.
According to global experts, the coronavirus pandemic could lead to “vast food shortages,” per CNN (the same network that aired the segment embracing coronavirus’ contribution to climate change), and could push “130 million people to the brink of starvation” in a series of famines affecting at least 55 countries, many in Asia and Africa. The BBC adds that coronavirus-related lockdowns have stalled industrial production, especially in China.
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