Thursday February 27th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😉
Main Topic: Putting The Coronavirus Crisis And Climate Crisis In Perspective
Dear Diary: What if astronomers announced that a large asteroid would strike the Earth, say in the year 2025, thereby ending civilization as we know it and perhaps humanity itself unless we cobbled all of our resources to launch missiles to deflect the thing within a few months? What if we had the scientific knowhow and launch vehicles to do this, but we needed international cooperation to make ready nuclear projectiles, launching them towards the thing to attain a proper deflection angle for the killer asteroid? If so, this crisis would supersede any other, including the climate crisis, since mankind would not be around after 2025 unless that asteroid was deflected. And yes, we have not had the international cooperation and will to solve the climate problem yet.
We would all be in an urgent panic, calling on those in government to act.
Of course, thankfully we don’t have an asteroid crisis on our hands, but we do have the threat of a pandemic, which potentially could kill millions more than the climate crisis in the next several years. It’s no wonder that as of 2/27/2020 every news cast is leading off with coronavirus news. Any mention of the climate crisis has dropped off of media’s collective radar. I first reported on the coronavirus here:
Please read my prior post to see how weather and to a slight degree our changing climate interacts with viruses.
It’s only been one month since China tried to contain the coronavirus. The thing has not become widespread in the United States yet, but the Center For Disease Control is warning of widespread infection. As a scientist, I’m quite sure that we will see a pandemic with many deaths, unfortunately. Will this pandemic be as bad as that of Spanish Flu in 1919? That remains to be seen.
Human beings are very fragile, both as physical beings and concerning how we react to existential threats. We know that the climate crisis could eventually kill millions if not billions later in the 21st century if left unchecked. Billions could be killed due to refugees migrating inland from coastlines, famine, heat, and lack of fresh water, putting much stress on society that could lead to war. The type of panic setting in because of coronavirus should have occurred around the year 1980 concerning climate, but we just aren’t wired to deal very well with relatively slow, creeping crises. It’s all a matter of what we perceive as urgency.
Of course the coronavirus should be seen as a greater short term threat than the climate crisis. After all, Miami won’t be wiped off the map by 2021 due to sea level rise, but thousands in that city could be infected by that time. What we need to do here is proverbially walk and chew gum at the same time, following guidelines by both infectious disease experts as well as climate scientists. Google as much proper information on both crises as possible to get educated.
For my part here is a good source on the coronavirus for this post that is being frequently updated:
Coronavirus resources: US state and local health departments
By Jeanna Bryner – Live Science Editor-in-Chief updated 20 minutes ago
(Image: © Shutterstock)
As COVID-19 continues to spread, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns it will spread from person to person in the United States, Live Science has put together a list of state and local health departments so you can easily check for updates relevant to your region. Some states have much more accessible and thorough websites, with up-to-date information on the state of the coronavirus spread and what you need to know to stay healthy or get medical care. These websites can, in general, be used by people living in any U.S. state. The staff here found the Seattle public health site to be the best: The Seattle “Public Insider” page could serve as a tremendous resource, with information on what you should do if/when the virus spreads to your locale (with questions answered by a health care professional).
The Georgia Department of Public Health also has a comprehensive resource on coronavirus, which includes up-to-date state and country stats and practical information and offsite links.
Here’s an alphabetical list of the state health departments and links to local health departments in each state:
All about COVID-19
—Live updates on the new coronavirus
—How you can prepare for a coronavirus epidemic
—Why are children ‘missing’ from coronavirus outbreak?
—How coronavirus compares with flu
—Will a face mask protect you?
- Going viral: 6 new findings about viruses
- 10 deadly diseases that hopped across species
- Top 10 mysterious diseases
Originally published on Live Science.
I hope you will find this information helpful.
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Here is some more weather and climate news from Thursday:
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity.)
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Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”