Al Jazeera: “climate action should be central to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic”

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Al Jazeera, the solution to the Corona Virus pandemic is “planned degrowth” and more government funding of renewables.

The coronavirus outbreak is part of the climate change crisis

Therefore, climate action should be central to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

by Vijay Kolinjivadi

The speed and scope of the coronavirus outbreak have taken world governments by surprise and left the stock market reeling. Since the virus first appeared in China’s Hubei province, it has infected over 700,000 people and killed more than 33,000 across the world in less than six months.

These sweeping and unprecedented measures taken by the government and international institutions could not but make some of us wonder about another global emergency that needs urgent action – climate change. 

The two emergencies are in fact quite similar. Both have their roots in the world’s current economic model – that of the pursuit of infinite growth at the expense of the environment on which our survival depends – and both are deadly and disruptive.

In fact, one may argue that the pandemic is part of climate change and therefore, our response to it should not be limited to containing the spread of the virus. What we thought was “normal” before the pandemic was already a crisis and so returning to it cannot be an option.

While some have called for climate change to be just as drastic as the one undertaken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it should not be. We need a just climate transition which ensures the protection of the poor and most vulnerable and which is integrated into our pandemic response. This would not only reverse the climate disaster we are already living in but also minimise the risk of new pandemics like the current one breaking out. 

The just climate transition should involve economic reforms to introduce “planned degrowth” that puts the wellbeing of people over profit margins. The first step towards that is ensuring the stimulus packages that governments are announcing across the world are not wasted on bailing out corporations.

We must avoid at all costs a situation where unscrupulous big businesses and state actors are allowed free reign to reinforce appalling global inequality while the rest of civil society is quarantined at home. 

We should demand that government funds are instead allocated to decentralised renewable energy production in order to start implementing the Green New Deal and create new meaningful jobs amid the post-COVID-19 economic crisis. In parallel, we should ensure the provision of universal healthcare and free education, the extension of social protection for all vulnerable populations and the prioritisation of affordable housing.

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There is no evidence that degrowth would help reduce the risk of pandemics. If you look at the horrific pandemics of the past, like Smallpox and the Black Death, carbon friendly localised energy systems like wind turbines and water wheels were no help whatsoever to our ancestors fending off deadly disease.

Technology, mass production and science is what has saved us from Smallpox and the Black Death.

Understanding of vaccines, mass production and utter determination saved us from Smallpox.

We’re still at risk from the Black Death. Yersinia Pestis is still out there. For now it is under control, thanks to high tech antibiotics and constant vigilance, but if our civilisation ever falters the Black Death will return. The Black Death still occasionally infects and kills people in the USA.

The author Vijay Kolinjivadi also talks about how we are being exposed to new diseases by our contact with animals, thanks to the expansion of our industrial civilisation.

Surely the solution to this type of constant risk, where humans are in constant contact with dangerous species, is to totally eradicate the animals which pose a risk to humans. A Chinese study in 2017 found that the bats which started the current pandemic carry thousands of other viruses, some potentially even worse than Covid-19.

I’d rather a few species of bats or whatever face deliberate extinction, than take the risk of another Chinese Coronavirus pandemic.

101 thoughts on “Al Jazeera: “climate action should be central to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic”

    • I look forward to the reduction of toxic waste and byproducts from rare earth mining. I look forward to reliable energy. I look forward to someone resolving the recycling problems associated with wind and solar. ‘The new asbestos’ that everyone wants to ignore, dump or bury.

      • I look forward to eliminating the exploitation of African Children by the ChiComs so that EVs can be purchased by virtue signaling liberals.

      • Although Paul’s remark didn’t include a /sarc tag I believe it was intended to
        What would the Arab Nations do if they had to were forced to stop oil production…WWIII

    • You have to question the sincerity and goodwill of a news outlet run by a despotic government 100% dependent on oil/gas exports, giving us advice to dismantle our society.

    • To tell the truth, every year the flu season is a pandemic. So why are they panicking over one of a family of viruses. This year it is a SCAMDEMIC.

      The fact has emerged that the Covid-19 test really only a test for coronavirus (covi) and most people have one or more harmless covi viruses all year round. So, all this does does is allow the authorities to claim an infectious virus and panic the public.

      So, the many cases of positive cases belies the fact that this virus in infectious and travels well. That is why predictions of a peak of virus deaths seems unlikely as it has already been through this area earlier in the year.

      This is the nether end of the flu season and to predict wanton infection and death is nothing but fear mongering. This is a rather light flu season overall and was light even before everybody decided to sequester.

      This SCAMDEMIC is a crime against the people of the world by the governments and globalists.

    • Qatar mostly gas, and they are currently in a massive expansion mode

      But yes, same thing

      Of course, this is just the Middle East continuing to urge the us toward suicide

      Unfortunately, a message fully endorse by our clown-based government in Ottawa, where we are proceeding with 50% increase of the federal carbon tax tomorrow “because it will help us get money into the pockets of ordinary Canadians”.
      Justin Trudeau

      Would love to say April Fools, but no such luck

      Too stupid to live, the clinical term

  1. No need to eradicate bats, just ban their hunting and consumption and close wet markets across the world.

    • Eradication is the only answer. Do your research before commenting on bats. Bats bite animals which become mutation intermediaries. The next coronavirus may be a 100 million killer. The time to act is now!

      • A wet market is where your live protein is killed on the spot. Traditionally as there were refrigerators your protein was as fresh as possible. I’m not sure why it has persisted in China, they are no longer a third world country and refrigerators are pretty much the norm.

        • It’s basically a way to make money for poor Chinese people. They raise, fish, hunt and trap domestic and wild animals and sell them there. This includes relatively benign species like crawfish, frogs, but it includes some we would find repulsive, like mice, rats, bats, pet dogs (found wandering around of course).

          Chinese medical researchers have even been known to pick up a little extra cash by selling their test animals to wet market operators.

          • Scissor I meant to say “Traditionally there were ‘no’ refrigerators” but I’m sure you guessed that. Though we don’t have wet markets here in Australia we do have many Chinese restaurants. The high end restaurants have large tanks with fish, abalone, lobsters and such. You pick the one you want and it is killed, prepared and cooked. You can’t get any fresher than that. Of course in China the source of capture and animal health would be unknown to the customer. But the ‘aim’ is still to provide fresh protein.

        • Wet markets sprung up in China, during the Cultural Revolution when farm products became impossible to get for anyone not living on a farm. The black market for “non-farm” food was better than no food.
          The wet market in Wuhan is similar to 1000’s of wet markets though out China, Indonesia, and most of SE Asia. The only thing “special” at the wet market in Wuhan is it’s neighbors:

      • I answered your question Greg, the mods have chosen to withhold it for some reason? It’s not controversial, simply the truth.

      • From Wikipedia:
        A wet market is a market selling fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as distinguished from “dry markets” which sell durable goods such as fabric and electronics.[1][2] Wet markets are common throughout the world.[3][4][5][6]

        Wet markets containing live wild animals and wildlife products have been linked to outbreaks of zoonotic diseases including coronavirus disease 2019, but most wet markets are not wildlife markets.[4][6]

    • The nations of the world must embark on a programme to completely isolate China. This rogue nation not only murders their own citizens, but because of their consumption of reptile,bats and other unspeakable creatures all slaughtered in appalling hygienic condition, they have put the health of the world at risk. Millions will die because of criminal Chinese negligence. And without being completely isolated, all it will take for yet another virus to emerge from this rogue nation, is for some Chinese chap to have lizard for lunch. Some say the cost will be high – but the cost to world economies with this Wuhan Chinese virus is already in the trillions. Governments around the world are asking private individuals to quarantine and isolate – they must now demand the same of China. Flights, ships, border closed down. no one in or out. When the wet markets are closed and disinfected and the consumption of dangerous reptiles and animals banned with heavy penalties and there have been no further viruses for a period of three years, the world could consider removing the lock down. Without this action millions are going to die – demand your politician take action now.

      • David our aboriginal people here in the Australian out back eat lizards. Mostly the larger goanna. You’re safe though, white people aren’t allowed to kill them for food. We’ve been told that they’re delicious.

    • Just don’t eat them raw! Mankind has been roasting/boiling meat to make it safer and more palatable for millennia!

        • We had an opportunity to partake in the food on offer in a market in Vietnam. Stir fried creatures of all kinds including cockroaches and grasshoppers and such, all freshly cooked, piled up and ready to bag up as takeaway. I just couldn’t bring myself to try them. We saw animals in cages and knew that they were destined to be food. We saw a small goat being cooked with a blowtorch, and a rat being cooked the same way separate to the market.

          There are beautiful people in every country, just getting on with living their lives. It’s really only the ones in power that have no regard to the damage they do to their societies. They introduce the worst of western ways, think big name global ‘takeaways’, plastic bags and other modern conveniences. These people don’t have garbage collection, outside of the tourist areas in many of these countries is just sad.

          We liked to take ‘local’ public transport where we could. We took a loop train trip in Myanmar, the whole journey was about an hour. It gives you an insight into how people live. Most of the trip was through poor villages and a little of the country side. There is no shame in being poor, as long as you have food and fresh water and shelter. What struck us though was the piles of garbage that were heaped up in places in the villages, so many plastic bags and takeaway food containers. They don’t have the infrastructure to live our lifestyle. As with many Asian countries there is so much history, beauty and colour, then there’s that obscene side that is evident in every country. It may have been completed by now but when we were in Myanmar they were building a huge golden reclining Buddha. I’m talking massive, big enough in fact to put a Carpark underneath! Like a drive through spiritual experience?

          Wind and solar are like that reclining Buddha, they don’t really do anything, they just cost a lot of money and they’re something we have to find a way to dispose of in the future, at additional cost. And like the golden Buddha, the money could have been spent in ways that would actually benefit the people.

          No one at the top thinks things through, but then I guess that’s the plan. The end game isn’t to benefit the people, only to have power over them.

      • It’s cold here
        March 31, 2020 at 7:07 am

        ….Mankind has been roasting/boiling meat to make it safer and more palatable for millennia!
        refrigerators? for millennia? weird dude… 🙂


  2. We should be expecting a fall in the level of atmospheric CO2 from today’s 414ppm to perhaps the touted ‘safe level’ of 350ppm as a consequence of pandemic decarbonisation. If this doesn’t happen, it will show that man made CO2 is not the climate driver and that all Green New Deals and Zero Carbon ambitions are futile.

      • 350ppm? That would take decades of zero emissions -it goes up quick but takes a very, very long time to come down.

        CO2 falling from 414 to 413 in a years time will have zero measurable affect. What may be measurable is a reduction of global dimming. Unlike CO2, sulfate aerosol concentrations rapidly diminish so any reduced dimming could be evident within weeks.

          • 7 years might be about right for an individual molecule but not for a plume. Our CO2 plume will take thousands of years to fully dissipate. Sulphates get washed out in weeks.

        • Loydo – you’re right: CO2 falling from 414 to 413 would have zero measurable effect. In fact, falling to 350 would only have an effect on the de-greening of the planet. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen.

      • When Radical Islamists rule the world or the United States develops the technology to make green energy cheaper than fossil fuels in 20 or 30 years.

      • Hullo Hot Scot. Well, if the Guardian pointedly prints the figure every day and attributes the rises to humankind, then I would expect an immediate fall. I’m no carbon cyclist but Lord Gummer’s Climate Change Committee would lose credibility if the Zero scam didn’t start to show effective results after a year of throwing people out of work.

    • And when there is no reduction in atmospheric CO2, the climate Marxists will claim that its too late, we’re past the tipping point, we are now facing runaway climate disaster!

    • That’s a very good point, Coeur de Lion. This sudden reduction in activity is the very thing the Global Warming commies have been advocating. If said reduction fails to have (their) desired effecr then their whole decarbonisation programme is proven to be ineffective.

      • I think what is going to happen is that instead of massaging various datasets to produce the requisite “hottest ever” headline then refusing access to the modified data and how it was modified, they will instead take the unmassaged data, release it and claim it shows a temperature drop from 2019 to then claim the direct CO2 temperature knob

        Just my opinion As someone whose hobby is watching for such behavior

    • Remember, anthro emissions are less than 5% of natural emissions, and there are seasonal and other cycles that contribute to large variations. One seasonal cycle that will kick in shortly is plant growth in the Northern hemisphere and global CO2 will begin to decline from this.

    • Couer de Lion

      “consequence of pandemic decarbonisation”

      Why would there be decarbonisation as a result of the pandemic?

    • The reduction in CO2 production is going to be much, much smaller than the reduction in economic activity.

      The reason for this is simple if stop to think about it.
      Instead of having 1000 people in one office building, we now have those people in 1000 homes and apartments. That would result in an increase in electricity demand.
      Instead of driving to work, we have people driving from store to store trying to find all the stuff they need. Instead of eat-in restaurants, they now sit in their cars, in line, waiting to get up to the take out window.
      And so on.

      • Mark – not in my city – Calgary is so quiet it’s looks like it was hit by a neutron bomb. No traffic, no people, nothing. I took a long walk downtown yesterday and the city was deserted.

  3. “These sweeping and unprecedented measures taken by the government and international institutions could not but make some of us wonder about another global emergency that needs urgent action – climate change.

    The two emergencies are in fact quite similar. Both have their roots in the world’s current economic model – that of the pursuit of infinite growth at the expense of the environment on which our survival depends – and both are deadly and disruptive…. The pandemic is part of climate change and therefore, our response to it should not be limited to containing the spread of the virus”.

    Once you are on board the activism boat everything else has to fit the assumptions your activism to keep that boat afloat.

    • This article is total bollox of course but it yet another “opinion” piece. It is not even Al Jez reporting.

      If you are going to try to respond to every “opinion” peice ever printed you will never even get to read the false reporting and pseudo science getting full marks in the PR literature.

  4. Governments have no money only a printing press. Zimbabwe still dollars will not be the solution.

  5. I don’t want to command opinions nor set trends. However, after 9/11 and the ways it impacted my “office” life, I have absolutely no respect whatsoever for whatever is said and promoted by Al Jazeera.

    Freedom of journalistic expression is one thing, purposely distilled propaganda is another.

    • Worry about the ” purposely distilled propaganda” from your major MSM outlets and online censorship platforms before getting too worried about left of field outlets like AJ.

      • Al Jazeera has always made good & valid points about the oppression, mass murder of Palestinians by Israel. Kudos deserved for that.

        Yet here they shoot their support in the foot with Marxist nonsense about ‘climate action’, or whatever it’s called this week.

        They never seem to miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  6. Good posting, Eric. Al Jazeera is a mouthpiece for radical terrorists and will utilize any theme to motivate the low-information crowd into action, chaos and anarchy included, to assist their radical views. The Spanish Flu killed 30 to 50 million at the end of WWI, at an atmospheric level of 300 ppm CO2, and the current China Wuhan Flu is on its way to about a million (?) fatalities at an atmospheric level of 410 ppm CO2, so where’s the proof that the two, CAGW and pandemic deaths, are correlated? I’ll take 410 ppm for only a million, Alex.

  7. The most obvious is the correlation with high levels of galactic radiation and low solar activity. They affect large temperature jumps and the increase of troposphere ozone. Also, an increase in UV radiation at the surface weakens immunity. The increase in ionizing radiation at the surface lowers people’s immunity around the world.

    • Not so simple. Increased UV = increased vitamin D production in exposed skin. Vitamin D is essential to healthy immunity.

      • Italians and Spaniards should have better deposits of vitamin D in the body fat tissue than the north Europeans, and yet they suffered much more. I believe (possibly wrongly) that the naturally acquired vitamin D may have half life time of up to 3 months.

        • From a pharmacy site, “Calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3), the active form of vitamin D, has a half-life of about 15 hours, while calcidiol (25-hydroxyvitamin D3) has a half-life of about 15 days.”

          • I think they are talking there about consumed vitamin D (food or tablets) which is distributed by the blood stream, not the naturally acquired directly which is stored in body’s fat tissue.
            Vitamin D in the tablet form has to be taken frequently, however vitamin D that the majority of people should be able to get from direct sunlight in the summer months, it is all they need through the rest of the year.

  8. There is nobody of the climate activists with the look over the whole, complete scenario or global ecology.
    They don’t see what happens, when closing one door, to the rest of the house.
    They miss the the complete overview, how one is connected to the other.

  9. “The coronavirus outbreak is part of the climate change crisis.” What climate change ‘crisis’ ?

    • Cooling… warming… we can forecast, but no one knows for certain what tomorrow will bring. It could bring another hockey stick. Another Wuhan virus and Covid-19 disease that forces a social, political, economic climate change pandemic… a global epidemic.

  10. Was I the only one who thought about AGW when Dr. Fauci talked about the limits of modeling and his experience with modeling extremis?

  11. Technology, mass production and science is what has saved us from Smallpox and the Black Death.

    Technology has saved us from the collapse of civilization predicted by Malthus and his more recent contemporaries, the Club of Rome, etc. If resources start to deplete, we find a way to use less, we find a way to substitute, we find a way to find more. Whatever, we find a way.

    What are the conditions necessary to continue the development of technology?

    Necessity is not the mother of invention. There’s darn little technology coming out of Zimbabwe.

    The case of the Soviet Union is instructive. link Soviet technological development usually lagged behind that of America and Europe. What did that cost the Soviets? Efficiency. That left them exposed to resource shortages of all kinds. It looks to me like Ronald Reagan egged them into an arms race. They couldn’t keep up and collapsed. IMHO, they would have collapsed eventually anyways.

    So, we have a tiger by the tail. If technological advance slows, we will devolve, slowly or quickly, back to the stone age.

    The one condition that has shown itself to promote technological advance is a consumer driven capitalist economy. The environmentalist watermelons, green on the outside and red inside, do not understand that.

    • “The environmentalist(s) . . . do not understand that.” Actually, they do. Which is why, if they are to wrest power and control from the consumer driven capitalist economy, they must dismantle it. And the current tool of choice is the ‘climate crisis’. Never make the mistake of thinking they don’t know what they are doing.

      • Rather than dealing with the economic facts of life, some of them dismiss it as a conspiracy theory. link They support science only as far as it augments their world view and they otherwise reject it. link

        This includes the view (on the left), for example, that science has a “bourgeois and/or Eurocentric and/or masculinist world-view”.

        • The whole thing isn’t entirely wrong. As far as I can tell, oil sands oil has a hard time competing with fracked oil and gas.

          That said, it is insane to let eastern Canada continue to import oil while Canadian oil sits in the ground. It is insane to let BC get cheap fossil fuels from Alberta while refusing to let the Alberta product get to tide water.

          Canada needs a new National Energy Plan, this time one that works in Alberta’s favor.

          When the economy was rocky elsewhere oil sands jobs were providing a pay check for folks from all over the country. It’s time for some pay back.

          • Oilsands is not uncompetitive with Shale
            You build an oilsands plant then it can produce for decades at little additional cost

            You have to continually frac new wells as the old ones die

            Don’t be fooled by the propaganda

            We’ll be producing oilsands for hundreds of years

            The warmistas continually miss the point
            If we switched everyone to EVs tomorrow that kills light oil which really has limited use

            Heavy oil, oil sands, has so many fractions good for so much manufacturing besides the small part good for gasoline

            Not going anywhere

  12. “Surely the solution to this type of constant risk, where humans are in constant contact with dangerous species, is to totally eradicate the animals which pose a risk to humans.”

    Really? Kill every animal that poses a risk? knowing (or not) that all animals, including humans, carry viruses within them that one day can mutate and cause highly contagious and deadly diseases?

    The stupid, it burns!!!

  13. De-growthing and more government funding. How will that work then? Is it really necessary to explain that government funding comes from surplus from growth?

  14. “Surely the solution to this type of constant risk, where humans are in constant contact with dangerous species, is to totally eradicate the animals which pose a risk to humans.”
    Bats eat tons of crop eating insects and are also part of the pollination process. A logical approach is remove the point where people meet bats. Otherwise the laws of unintended consequence will have even more things to do as if there aren’t enough already.

  15. Headline in the boxed quote in the above article “The coronavirus outbreak is part of the climate change crisis”.

    Ah, ha!– – there it is. I have been predicting that it would be only a matter of time before this exact claim would appear.

    What’s that saying? . . . “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” (attributed to US politician Rahm Emanuel)

  16. From the article: “some of us wonder about another global emergency that needs urgent action – climate change.

    The two emergencies are in fact quite similar.”

    Not really. One, the Wuhan virus outbreak, is a real crisis, and the other, the Human-caused Climate Change “emergency” is just science fiction.

    From the article: “This would not only reverse the climate disaster we are already living in”

    There is no evidence for this. My neck of the woods has fantastic weather. No weather disaster going on here. Or anywhere else that I can see.

    From the article: “The first step towards that is ensuring the stimulus packages that governments are announcing across the world are not wasted on bailing out corporations.”

    Trump’s bailouts are bailouts for American workers who are employed by those corporations. Trump has said the money must be spent to keep the business alive and keep the employees employed, and corporations are not allowed to use the money to buy back their own stock.

    One interesting item I heard had been put into the bill was about the Democrats insisting that none of Trump’s businesses would benefit from the stimulus package. I don’t know if that made it into the final bill or not, but that’s what they were wanting.

    From the article: “We should demand that government funds are instead allocated to decentralised renewable energy production”

    Good luck with that. Trump doesn’t have much good to say about windmills. He’s not a fan.

  17. The old axiom “if the only tool you have is a hammer you treat everything as if it were a nail” seems to ring true in this nonsensical babble. I’m quite surprised that these clowns don’t see that they are “jumping the shark” every time they put out rubbish like this.

  18. What does one expect from Al Jazeera – it’s basically an offshoot of the BBC!

    His channel, award-winning and internationally recognised, is not the main target of the blockade. Its sister channel, al-Jazeera Arabic, which reaches far wider audiences and has more controversial coverage, is widely believed to be the real focus.

    It was launched with a swath of staff from BBC Arabic in 1996 after Saudi partners connected to the ruling family forced the closure of the channel after a row about content.

    “They took the spirit of the BBC with them to al-Jazeera,” said Ian Richardson, the last managing editor of BBC Arabic, who added he had kept in touch with staff after moving on. About two-thirds of BBC staff joined al-Jazeera, he said, and the dispute is likely to bring back painful memories of the previous turmoil they endured.

  19. “The coronavirus outbreak is part of the climate change crisis”

    “The coronavirus outbreak “crisis” is part of the climate change crisis as it is perpetrated and invoked by the same lot and the same scheme”

    There corrected.

    COVID-19 outbreak is natural as natural as climate… but the invoked “crisis” is the same intricacy,
    where one has become real already.
    The main goal… subjecting and forcing the world to a uniformed unified path, where individuality and personal individuality has or holds no any value anymore… when and where freedom ends up as
    an empty notion… the diminishment of personality of the individual.

    The “Final solution”.


  20. planned degrowth = economic despair and hardship.
    Which of course leads to more environmental destruction and degradation because a society unable to afford to take care of themselves obviously won’t for the environment either. Look at all the shithole poor slums surrounding all the major cities of Africa and SOuth America to find strong evidence of that. Polluted water, destroyed vegetation, filth upon filth and un-regulated garbage dumps.

    The sad part is the this Green environmental movement is just a guise for imposing despotic solicalism upon the Western world middle class. And too many people are blind to that fact.
    Regardless of what both the good science and junk science say about climate and CO2,

    Climate Change Policy is Socialism’s Trojan Horse.

  21. “…one may argue that the pandemic is part of climate change…”

    That argument is reserved for people with an IQ approaching single digits.

  22. “…but if our civilisation ever falters the Black Death will return.”
    And the global warmunists intent is to deliberately make our civilization falter.

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