Susan Lieberman and Christian Walzer write:
From the most remote terrestrial wilderness to the most densely populated cities, humans are inexorably changing the planet. We have put 1 million species at risk of extinction, degraded soil and habitats, polluted the air and water, destroyed forests and coral reefs wholesale, exploited wild species, and fostered the proliferation of invasive species. And we have caused a global climate crisis.
This planetary neglect and mismanagement helped pave the way for the Covid-19 pandemic. Our disruption of natural ecosystems has led to escalating health crises, including an increase in zoonotic diseases that arise when pathogens pass between animals and humans. There is no excuse for humanity to have allowed this to happen, and even less excuse for us to allow it to happen again.
To prevent the next pandemic, and to address today’s many other health challenges, we must ensure the biological integrity of our planet for current and future generations. That means governments, and all of us, must work across disciplines and sectors of society not only to prevent, monitor, and reduce disease, but also to prioritize biodiversity conservation. [Continue reading…]