Earth Day

On Earth Day, here‘s a great feature on how “zoonotic” disease and environmental destruction are intertwined.

“There are millions of viruses and bacteria out there that reside in wild animals and can potentially infect humans, and these emerging diseases are on the rise everywhere as humans disrupt ecosystems and exploit animal habitat across the globe. We are living in an age of pandemics, and the next one — let’s call it ‘Disease X,’ as scientists often do — could be even more devastating than COVID-19. …

“‘COVID-19 is just the latest zoonotic disease to emerge that has its roots in the rampant habitat loss occurring around the world and the burgeoning wildlife trade,’ a group of more than 100 conservation organizations wrote in a letter to the U.S. Congress last month, urging it to include in its stimulus bill new funding to combat the conditions that give rise to outbreaks like COVID-19. ‘Global pandemics will likely continue and even escalate if action isn’t taken.'”

The question, then, is how to shift our individual lifestyles while there’s still time. With all the dipshits in public office, it seems like that’s the only option — turning inward and running a grassroots marathon. So, what is it? Taking up a vegan diet? Planting more trees? Abandoning single-use plastics? Melting down your guns to adorable little metal figurines for your bookshelf?

Oh, and on a lighter note, here‘s one of the greatest environmental justice songs of the last 20 years.

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