In recent virtual meetings of local activist groups, I heard cautions against publishing anything that compares, or contrasts the new viral epidemic, and economic shutdown responses to it, with our ever present global heating emergency. We are not even supposed to mention the latter, but are asked to spend more time building our resilience and social support networks. We are supposed to wait until things are back to normal. I know I am going to be very bad at heeding both admonitions. This was very effective reverse psychology. I throw my caution to the wind.
There some dangers in continuing to harp on our dangers of our very real growing long emergency, during this initial time of immediate danger, shutdown and global panic. It must be really annoying for some, to be told, that this sort of gradual economic shutdown is a great and good start towards a big decline in global GDP and linked greenhouse gas emissions. Panic buying shouts belief. This is the only real possible and necessary response to our long emergency. And we have only a short number years left in which to accomplish this in a permanent way. The faster this gets done, the better off future climate conditions will be for all of us. Talk of getting back to where we were with economic growth as normal is crazy money talk. We see fossil fuel extraction industry desperadoes that are still trying to "go for broke" in expanding production as part of our genocidal madness.
Efforts of Australia fossil fuel corporates to push their agendas on governments in this time of crisis, show up their special kinds of anti-social behaviour. They increase our risks during crisis to save their finances. This includes you, Mukesh Adani, and Clive Palmer, and Gina Rinehart, and many of those celebrated by "The Australian" news rag last weekend in its glossy expensive magazine insert about the "rich list" of Australia.
Our governments should just throw your kind of money counters out of our temples of democracy, where they do not belong. This is a planetary emergency, so your special personal fortunes and vested interests will die along with the rest of us.
We will always have plenty of invested denial around us. With our measures to slow the spread of real risks of dangerous infection with new and old viruses, we are doing real global good right now. We should not be in any hurry to go back to "normal". We are all doing the right, best thing. We need to be told this, and socially rewarded. This should be seen as very positive news.
So many people have lost their income supports, or are forced to stay home, while numbers of infections and deaths continue to rise around the world. It is the job of governments to mitigate these impacts for everybody. We still have this immediate and serious health emergency, and our daily news and management are focused rightly upon it.
We have only just got over a horrific bushfire season, the mental scars of which are still here, and will happen again, only just more often. Some were asked to go quiet on the underlying global heating causation then as well. How long before all of these extreme emergencies flow into being one continuous, global, long emergency? It is already happening.
Here is a link to Lancet Planetary Health Journal, latest issue with editorial which commits in full the heinous sins in mentioning our real long emergency. Who else would be better qualified and more careful in writing as experts in planetary health?
Also in this same issue of planetary health, is a report on how high environmental temperatures cause "growth faltering". The many children of the study are African children, who may be also afflicted with other causes of stunting. Even when other factors of nutrition and illness have been fixed, higher environment temperatures still cause stunting. There are enough good reasons why persistent higher temperatures result in animal or human growth stunting. It requires more energy for our cooling mechanisms to avoid our death by overheating. That is why it feels bad. Over 35 degrees, our sweating is not enough. Being smaller has the advantage of increased surface area to body-mass ratio for cooling.
The last big planetary global heating emergency, which happened a lot more slowly than ours, was marked with global migrations of species to the reduced areas of our polar regions, which were then sub-tropical. There was evidence of dwarfism of many species, including the ancestors of horses.
Global and environmental temperature are extremely critical parameters for all life, including our personal lives and health. This is a Planetary Health Emergency.