Covid-19 made people recognize global problem for the first time, says Jared Diamond – 08/26/2021 – Frontiers of Thought

Covid-19 can help us formulate global decisions to solve humanity’s biggest problems, said Jared Diamond, a biologist and professor at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles), at the opening conference of the Thought Frontiers cycle.

For him, the coronavirus pandemic is not among the three greatest challenges for the human species, which would be climate change, social inequality and unsustainable use of natural resources. However, Covid-19 forced the governments of all countries to make decisions together and this can be an example of the actions that also need to be taken in combating the three problems listed by Diamond.

The professor explains that these factors can decimate humanity, a capacity that the coronavirus does not have. “Covid-19 is less of a problem compared to the three serious global problems we should be concerned about that kill people slowly and quietly and threaten to destroy our economies forever.”

He also claims that the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic should not be seen as the worst epidemic humanity has ever experienced. The biologist mentions that the Covid-19 mortality rate is, on average, 2%, low when compared to other diseases such as Ebola, which, according to the professor, kills 70% of people who are infected.

Even so, he says it is necessary to better prepare for emergency situations in the future, such as other pandemics that may happen. An efficient measure, says Diamond, would be to close wild animal markets since, normally, new diseases are contracted by humans when they come into contact with these animals.

Compared to all other epidemics that humanity has experienced, the current one has two particularities, Diamond pointed out.

First, its effectively global character, due to its current mobility capacity; and then the fact that there was no Sars-CoV-2 immune population in the world. On previous occasions, he said, there had always been at least one people who were already immune to a particular disease.

Diamond gained international notoriety with the book “Arms, Germs and Steel”, in which he explains that the previous resistance of Europeans to certain diseases was essential for them to dominate other populations, such as Native Americans, who had not yet been infected by these pathogens He stated during the conference that these microbes played an essential role in human history.

For Diamond, humans already know what actions to take to deal with climate change. He cites, for example, the reduction in the consumption of gases that cause the greenhouse effect through the reduction of energy consumption and also the overcoming of fossil fuels in favor of sustainable sources, such as wind energy.

According to the professor, it will be through actions like these that the future of humanity will be decided. “If we make good decisions, if we consume less energy, if we use sustainable forms of energy production, if we sustainably harvest our fish and forests, and if we strive to make poor countries richer, then 30 years from now, the world could be richer. sustainable.”

Fronteiras do Pensamento is a cycle of conferences that brings important names to think about the present time. Other participants in this year’s edition include writer Margaret Atwood, historian Yuval Noah Harari and neuroscientist Carl Hart.

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