To the editor:
While we all know about climate change, last weekend, I got to understand how it has contributed to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
My name is Abi Subramanian and I am 13 years old. When my family moved to Bainbridge Island a year ago, my brother and I became youth members of the Bainbridge chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL). Last Saturday, I attended a virtual Earth Day event by CCL called Uniting from Home.
During her keynote presentation Dr. Hayhoe (an atmospheric scientist) said “Climate change is a multiplier.” It takes an already existing issue and makes it much worse.
According to a WWF International article titled “The loss of nature and rise of pandemics,” the more we infringe upon natural habitats, the more likely viruses are to be passed from animal to human through a process called zoonosis. This loss can be through environmental degradation such as deforestation – which causes heat-trapping gas emissions – the collection and trafficking of animal species, as well as animal markets. In this case, climate change is a multiplier as it affects the supply of animal’s food, where they can live, and their migratory patterns.
Even though I was aware of climate change, I had not made this connection to diseases and its impacts. It made me realize I have to stay engaged and keep learning because as Dr. Hayhoe said, “To care about a changing climate, you don’t need to be anything else but a human living on planet Earth.”