Professionals are still tracking COVID-19’s origin. Some believe a bat infected the first individuals to show symptoms. Other hypotheses are closely related to climate change. A few environmentalists think the COVID-19 virus resided in ice caps and infected society as it melted. Whether the illness came from bats or the arctic, professionals identify the benefits of climate change reduction on pandemic prevention.
Before evaluating pandemic prevention techniques, individuals must assess the connection between viruses and ecological degradation.
Pandemics and Climate Change
The two pandemic theories mentioned above relate to rising global temperatures and forced migration. One of the most significant causes of climate change is the energy sector. About 80% of global power derives from fossil fuels.
During fossil fuel combustion at power plants, the energy components release greenhouse gasses into the environment. The emissions compromise the atmosphere’s ability to maintain life-sufficient surface temperatures. The global temperature increases as more emissions invade the environment.
As the climate changes, Earth’s evaporation rate rises and causes water displacement. Some regions experience higher precipitation rates from evaporation while other areas suffer from prolonged drought. Elongated dry spells cause soil erosion, which minimizes vegetation growth and degrades local habitats.
Some creatures like bats must flee from their habitats to access more suitable homes. Forced migration may cause unnatural interactions. If society contracted the COVID-19 virus from bats, it was most likely from forced migration.
Individuals can prevent harmful interactions by protecting natural habitats and glacier density with renewable energy. Converting society’s energy reliance from fossil fuels to renewables could significantly minimize climate change.
Adopting Solar Power
The majority of human-induced air pollution derives from fossil fuels. Individuals can decrease their reliance on the emission-producing energy source by adopting solar panels. Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells absorb sunlight and use free energy to knock electrons loose inside a panel.
The electrons create a flow of potential power, which transfer wires collect. The wires convert electrons into a direct current of emission-free electricity. Solar power prevents future pandemics by minimizing atmospheric degradation.
It also protects individuals from virus-related symptoms by improving their lung health. Decreasing local emissions with solar improves air quality. In high emission regions, individuals experience increased risks of asthma, wheezing, lung cancer and other respiratory conditions.
Individuals can purchase and install PV panels to prevent future pandemics and minimize adverse health effects. They may also access hydropower to support climate change prevention efforts.
Hydropower is a renewable energy form that relies on the water cycle. It is one of the oldest electricity sources and energy professionals still use it today. Nearly 7.3% of the energy supply came from hydropower in 2020, and professionals must increase production to minimize adverse climate effects.
Energy manufacturers are also producing electricity from wastewater, decreasing surface-level pollution while producing clean energy. Moreover, advanced systems capture and remove sludge from wastewater and feed it through an anaerobic digester. The digester breaks down the material and converts it into biogas.
Individuals can use biogas in place of natural gas to minimize general pollution. Pandemic professionals may also utilize the technology to produce purified water for vaccines. They can additionally use advanced water filters to create fluids for IVs, medications and sterilization solutions.
Adopting Wind Power
Another renewable energy source minimizing the risk of pandemics is wind power. Turbines produce electricity from the pressure differentiation in regions with high quantities of solar radiation. Developed countries like the US are looking to connect wind turbines to their electric grids and shrink their carbon footprint.
Protecting Yourself From Future Pandemics
Individuals can protect themselves from future pandemics by decreasing local air pollution. For instance, if you live in a highly polluted region, you may keep your windows closed and invest in an efficient air filter. You can also shrink your personal carbon footprint to prevent forced migration and glacier density loss.
A significant portion of personal emissions come from transportation. Individuals can purchase electric vehicles to eliminate tailpipe emissions. They may also adopt low-emission diets by reducing their red meat intake.
Jane is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co and an environmental writer covering green technology, sustainability and environmental news.