In my weekly column for World Politics Review, I examine the links between human and environmental health and argue that COVID-19 is a reminder of humanity's dependence on a healthy biosphere.
This Wednesday, most of us will commemorate the 50th Earth Day not by frolicking in nature but by hunkering down in the comforts of our built environment. That’s a pity, because it’s pretty out there. Suddenly blue skies and cleaner water are showing us what a healthier environment might look like, if only our governments took decisive action to decarbonize the global economy and if we stopped running down the natural capital assets upon which our prosperity and indeed survival depend. Beyond a chance to daydream of a greener future, our current quarantine provides an apt moment to reflect on how intimately our own health is connected to that of the planet. COVID-19, which likely originated in bats, is a reminder that we are part of the biosphere, no matter how much we pretend otherwise. It also reveals how far out of balance we have gotten in our relationship with nature. When we despoil Earth’s ecosystems and disturb the organisms that inhabit them, we put our own health in jeopardy.
Read the full World Politics Review article here.