‘COVID-19 is what upsetting the ecological balance really looks like.’

In the balance: Kersti Wagstaff on habitat destruction and humanity

'Serious efforts will be made to prevent the Next Big One After This One, which surely must include reducing habitat destruction.' | Photo: Jamie Morris / Unsplash.

Last October’s issue of the Extinction Rebellion (XR) newspaper carried a short article by a doctor, Amelia Cussans, on the health aspects of climate change. Her concern was with the effects of heat. She noticed that ‘the traditional NHS winter crises are now matched by summer crises’. Heatwaves were increasing deaths among the elderly, and raising pollen counts and airborne allergens, triggering asthma. She talked about the strain on health services – no summer low season any more. Her emergency waiting room was packed and the corridor crammed with trolleys. And yet: ‘I find myself wondering whether we will remember 2019 as the good old days when everything was under control.’ How astonishingly prescient that looks now.

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