AFR: We Must Reduce CO2 Emissions to Prevent Bats Passing new Coronavirus Diseases to Humans


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

At least I think that is what author Greg Asner is saying.

My question – why not simply exterminate the bats, if they are such a threat to human health?

Protecting half of the planet is the best way to fight climate change and biodiversity loss – we’ve mapped the key places to do it

September 8, 2020 10.16pm AEST

Greg Asner
Director, Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science and Professor, Arizona State University

My research focuses on ecosystems and climate change from regional to global scales. In 2019, I worked with conservation biologist and strategist Eric Dinerstein and 17 colleagues to develop a road map for simultaneously averting a sixth mass extinction and reducing climate change by protecting half of Earth’s terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms by 2030. We called this plan “A Global Deal for Nature.”

By setting aside half of Earth’s lands for nature, nations can save our planet’s rich biodiversity, prevent future pandemics and meet the Paris climate target of keeping warming in this century below less than 2.7 degrees F (1.5 degrees C). To meet these goals, 20 countries must contribute disproportionately. Much of the responsibility falls to Russia, the U.S., Brazil, Indonesia, Canada, Australia and China. Why? Because these countries contain massive tracts of land needed to reach the dual goals of reducing climate change and saving biodiversity.

But as climate change accelerates, it may scramble those priorities. Staying ahead of the game will require a satellite-driven monitoring system with the capability of tracking real-time land use changes on a global scale. These continuously updated maps would enable dynamic analyses to help sharpen conservation planning and help decision-making.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/protecting-half-of-the-planet-is-the-best-way-to-fight-climate-change-and-biodiversity-loss-weve-mapped-the-key-places-to-do-it-144908

I doubt anything we do can completely prevent humans coming into contact with dangerous zoonotic diseases and I don’t really want to exterminate all the bats, but human health first.

Creating and maintaining sterile buffer zones in areas of known risk, and controlling or if absolutely necessary eradicating known disease vector species would do a a lot to help mitigate the problem of humans coming into contact with dangerous new diseases.

As for reducing CO2 emissions, we’d get more value spending billions of dollars on medical research, rather than building new wind farms. Health research would certainly consume a lot less bat habitat, than paving over millions of acres of precious wilderness to build new renewable energy installations.

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