The Unexpected Benefits of a Global Pandemic
This article is going to sound like a conspiracy theory. But it isn’t. In the following paragraphs, we are simply going to look at some statistics, and draw some conclusions, based on the available data. The results may be a bit unnerving or even disturbing, and could very quickly lead us down a rabbit hole of paranoid conspiratorial thinking, but just try and keep your hat on, okay? (Not the tinfoil one).
Think about this: what is the number one crisis that is facing humanity as a whole right now? Hint: it is NOT Covid-19. While it is definitely a horrible situation that we should be doing everything we can to solve, at the end of the day, Covid-19 is a virus that given enough time, humanity will adapt to and overcome. We survived much worse than this. Just look at the Black Plague, a disease that wiped out literally ONE THIRD of the population of Europe, killing an estimated 25 million people over a four year period between 1347–1351.
Any way you slice it, any disease capable of wiping out over six million Europeans a year is catastrophic. And who knows, without our advances in modern medicine, maybe Covid-19 actually could be this serious of a crisis. Worldwide, as of today, covid has killed 1.5 million people in almost a year. So, it is easy to believe that without modern medicine, this virus’ effects could be much much worse. But, even factoring that in, a virus as bad as Covid-19 doesn’t in any way threaten to drive humanity to extinction.
The threat that does truly hold the very real capability of ending all life on Earth isn’t a virus. No. It is Climate Change.
Real and Present Danger
The warnings of Global Warming, now known as Climate Change, have been heard since the 1930’s, but they have largely been ignored. There have been various initiatives, and proposals, such as the Paris Climate Agreement, and stated goals of the United Nations, while more locally, the United States has the EPA and its national efforts to reduce atmospheric pollution (as long as those efforts are not rolled back by Republicans).
Despite these proposed shifts in policy and action, much of the population doesn’t take Climate Change very seriously, with many still even refusing to believe it exists, and some calling it a blatant hoax funded by special interests. There’s also the lack of perception of personal responsibility or ability to impact such a global scale problem. Whatever the reason, the effects of humanity’s presence on the Earth that are directly influencing the escalation of climate change have continued largely unabated.
In other words, despite efforts of many governments, the Climate Change situation has not gotten better, it continues to get worse. Every year a panel of scientists release a report on this, detailing the new projections and timelines within which the production of greenhouse gases must be reduced in order to prevent a rising scale of unforeseeable disasters of unimaginable magnitudes. In 2018, multiple reports were issued stating the window of meaningful action to prevent an uninhabitable world, was rapidly closing. In short, if CO2 emissions were not drastically reduced within the next 10–12 years, the planet would pass the point of no return atmospherically. Meaning, the planet would literally be headed to global temperature averages too hot to sustain life, by the year 2300.
Whether you buy into these alarmist doomsayer predictions or not, the evidence is clear that Climate Change is already impacting the world, and will only continue to do so until major actions are undertaken to reduce the negative repercussions of humanity’s global footprint.
The Pandemic’s Benefits to Climate Change
Perhaps the most influential stressor on the rapidity of Climate Change is the growth of the global population. The population of the planet has been booming, more than doubling since the 1970’s from 3.7 to over 7.8 billion people. With each of these inhabitants adding their own carbon dioxide emissions over time, among others, of course the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has also continued to balloon out of control in conjunction with the size of the population.
It should go without saying in this case that anything that impacts global population will of course impact greenhouse gas emissions. Covid-19 has had such an impact, in that it has lowered the global population already by over 1.5 million, and it is continuing to do so. Aside from the number of deaths this pandemic has caused, is causing, it has also created situational pressures on society that have limited travel, which has reduced emissions from fossil fuels. Some reports have stated that emissions in areas where lockdowns were instigated were lowered by as much as 17%.
Although it is being said that the reductions in carbon emissions during this pandemic year are ultimately going to play out as meaningless, due to their temporary nature, and due to the exponential way CO2 accumulates, the effects on the population are not temporary in regard to deaths, and the lockdown measures have shown that reductions in carbon emissions are possible if strictly enforced by governmental authorities.
As subtracting 1.5 million from a population of 7.8 billion is generally only a drop in the global bucket, with reports such as this one telling us that humanity is on a suicidal path in regards to climate, the world has now sort of seen a test run of what kinds of strictures they can enforce on their populations in effort to combat carbon emissions. If other actions are not amenable to impacting the numbers, then governments now know that when push comes to shove, they can ask their citizens to stay home for their own safety.
I also think it bears mentioning that desperate governments trying to impact climate change before it is too late, may have considered releasing engineered diseases into the public, to try and lower the population. This is the rabbit hole thinking of conspiracy theorist thought I was warning against. But, when considering all alternatives, it does bear mentioning, that it would be easy for less than ethical governments to think putting a virus with a 6% fatality rate into the wild might buy them some time in saving humanity from extinction.
That is a dark and cold line of thought, and I do not want to humor it for very long, other than to say, human beings are definitely capable of such calculating and inhumane experiments. If Covid-19 somehow reached as much of a global spread as the common flu virus, and maintained its 6% fatality rate, it could lower the global population by several million people. That is frightening, terrifying even. But its something to think about when population directly impacts the climate.
Food for Thought
All of this is just speculation of course. But whether or not governments have actually considered this tactic, it does seem like an outlier of a possibility. Regardless of execution, and regardless of its source, Covid-19 has had major impacts on the planet and society at large. In the long run, this impact will pale in comparison to that of Climate Change. Which is why, we should not think for one instant, that extreme measures are ever off the table, especially for governments of a totalitarian nature.
Think about it.