If It's Not One Thing, It's Another: The Intersection of Climate Change and Covid

Hier kun je discussieren over If It's Not One Thing, It's Another: The Intersection of Climate Change and Covid.
For twenty years I've been writing about our collective crisis, and the path to collapse - and I've always known that resource scarcity, climate change, population, pandemics, food and agriculture, other kinds of ecological damage and economic disaster capitalism and war and geo-political concerns like the rise of fascism would all be part of this.

So over the years, I've written about all these things at various times. I've shifted lenses over time - with more emphasis on resource depletion or climate change or the pandemic, depending on when and where we are.

I've occasionally been accused of inconsistency - wait, I thought it was going to be resource depletion, why are you worrying about climate change so much? Or, why are you still going on about the pandemic when that's really not that important compared to climate change?

And the reason I mostly ignore that is that this is one of the things that is really hard to grasp about collapse - it is never one thing, it is always ALL THE THINGS. That is, I don't think that I need to join team climate change, team pandemic or team resource shortage - I'm on all of them. And I think history and the present suggest that will be what defines our future.

Even if you ignore (and you shouldn't but for the purposes of this essay I mostly will) the possibility of a more dangerous, high mortality, incredibly contagious new covid variant (remember, SARS1 had a 10% mortality rate, MERS has a 30% mortality rate, this is not at all inconceivable, and the WHO has recently warned about the danger of that emergence) the possibility that a high mortality strain of covid, or a high death rate due to post-covid effects could actually cause collapse, by wiping out a large portion of the world's population, Covid is still a major driver of the collapse that is coming.

And I think that role will only increase with time. Most people are only now beginning to come terms with the fact that covid is a long term and possibly permanent factor- we were told it wouldn't be, and we wanted to believe so we are just finally beginning to come to terms with that reality. There is no question that fear of covid may eventually be used to justify everything from closed borders to genocide. As it becomes increasingly politically impossible to ignore, scapegoating becomes the next tool in line.

Think about the two collapses you probably know best, if you are American. There's the Roman Empire (which Dudes apparently think about nonstop) and the Soviet Union.

One thing that is true of BOTH Of those things is that historians are still debating which of many things going on "caused" the collapse. Did the Soviet Union run out of gas? Did protest movements from its more distant holdings and the pressure of retaining them cause the problem? Was it purely economic? Political corruption? Decline in agricultural production? How much impact did Reagan and Star Wars have? Chernobyl?

Same with the Romans, right? Was it rebellions in the provinces? Barbarians at the gates? Decline in agricultural production? Internal Corruption? Economic policies? Lead poisoning? Military Expansionism? Too much reliance on slave labor? The move to Constantinople? Too many foreign mercenaries?

The point being, the reason we are still arguing about these things is that the generally recognized answer is "yes" - all of those things were involved. Any large government can handle a crisis or two. The problem is the degradation caused by all the problems all at once.

Joseph Tainter's theory of collapse, which I've yet to see proved wrong, is that what happens is that empires and complex societies put more and more resources into solving problems, with more and more marginal returns, requiring more and more complexity and taking up more and more resources, until you are essentially losing as you fix each problem.

It is ultimately that very drag, the diminishing returns in energy, economics and social capital that eventually lead to "abrupt" collapse, which isn't actually abrupt. Its been coming for decades, we just couldn't see it because we thought we were fixing the problems, rather than running down our surpluses and returns.

In every collapse-focused community I've ever been part of, there are both assumptions and preferences about what kind of collapse we experience. Either people prefer one issue to the exclusion of another "Oh, the pandemic is important, it is climate change that will get us" or "War will get us, not food supplies" or people refuse to see the complex web being created between issues, and how they are working together, because we're not all that good at juggling multiple ideas at once.

After two decades of doing this work (actually more like 30 years - my doctoral work was about population crises, demographics and plague), I find that most people's assumptions about collapse fall in the following categories.

1. That there will be ONE PRIMARY ROOT CAUSE, and folks tend to divide into teams on this one, which makes them DISCOUNT the impact of the other forces.

Examples of these include the US MAGA right which disproportionally focuses on EMP/Carrington event Gridcrash scenarios, folks on the left who dismiss things like resource constraints (because technology!) in preference for climate change, and nearly everyone, who thinks covid is a minor contributor at best.

But as we've seen, there generally IS NOT a single clear cause for collapse, and I don't think that we're going to be the first unless we get hit by an asteroid.

2. That not only will there be a single root cause of collapse, but such a thing will be a huge, big disaster that is an obvious first cause. Which is interesting, because history suggests that actually quite small constraints can have massive impacts on systems. For example, the 1970s oil shocks were caused by a drop of about 7% in imports. The 2008 Food crisis was caused by ABSOLUTELY NO drop in food access, but by market speculation that drove overall prices up by about 12%. The current labor market crisis, that has been going on for the last few years due to covid is being caused by the removal from the labor market in the US about an extra 2 million people - or about 3% of the US labor force.

One of the reasons it is so difficult to identify the direct cause of a systemic collapse in a complex society is that a. the same complex society has been able to bear similar crises previously (but those crises used up surplus resources) AND that often the thing that pushes things over the edge seems disproportionally small.

Which brings me to my main point - which is that there are a lot of people here, even those who take covid quite seriously, who do not think that covid is going to be a major factor in pushing over the edge to collapse, but I want to argue otherwise.

The reason I have been so focused on covid from January of 2020 on is that covid has, to one degree or another, been driving the collapse train in a whole host of ways. We are now reaching the point where climate change is pretty clearly going to take the lever away from covid in a "biggest immediate problem" sense, but I do want to take time to articulate all the ways that covid is complicating an already horrific situation.

1. Covid is physically and cognitively injuring people at a time when there is a real and urgent need for both their physical and cognitive resources.

For example, covid is forcing people out of the workforce, giving them fewer resources for personal preparation. It is causing cognitive injury that is reducing American's already quite limited common sense and ability to process information that is coming in irregularly and in complex ways. It is causing increased fatigue and physical difficulties where often fossil fuels need to be replaced with human energies, and creating additional dependencies on fossil resources.

2. Lying about covid has hurt us a lot. The Biden administration was told upfront that covid was a losing political issue. Instead of having the moral courage to let Biden stand up for protection, take the heat and political cost, and passing the torch to someone else, Biden opted to focus on his own re-election. And he did that by lying to people and telling them that vaccination and antivirals had functionally defanged the covid pandemic, even as more than 900,000 official American deaths and equal number of covid related excess deaths occurred on his watch.

I've written a lot about how Biden did this, because it is really important to ask "how did a politician convince you that it is ok to let more than a million people die, and that those deaths were unimportant." And one of the reasons it is so important is because climate change is going to kill well over a million people, and they are going to use the exact same techniques to justify it.

Biden did this by telling a series of lies, none of which can all be true. First, that the vaccination meant that you wouldn't get covid, or that if you did, you wouldn't get sick or have lasting effects. Biden knew this was not the case, but continued to say so into the fall of 2021, even though we knew the vaccine wasn't sterilizing from the beginning.

The second lie was that only the unvaccinated would die - and that was their own fault. His emphasis on vaccine mandates and the language of "pandemic of the unvaccinated" created an impression in millions that getting vaccinated was all you had to do.

The third lie was the herd immunity lie. It cannot be repeated often enough that we knew that herd immunity was unlikely or impossible from the very beginning. Most coronaviruses do not create lasting immunity, and covid reinfections were documented from the earliest Chinese cases. Despite that, until Omicron in the winter of 2021, the claim was that reinfections were "rare" despite the fact that we knew they were not from the beginning. Moreover, we were told over and over again that covid infection was "mild" and did not lead to lasting health consequences, long covid or permanent harm in children and that "herd immunity" required children to be infected.

The fourth lie was the most destructive - because there was ample evidence and many scientists saying that none of these claims were true, Biden and the CDC needed something to carry the weight of explanation for a collapse in lifespans and an enormous amount of death and disability that continued after they claimed victory.

Which is why the Biden administration gave tacit credibility to the claims of the anti-vaccination movement, and often communicated messages about vaccination after 2021 confusingly, irregularly and poorly (current uptake of covid boosters makes that quite clear, and the incredibly poor uptake in children, partly due to the antivax movement and partly due to the repeated lies that children didn't get sick with covid - why would you risk vaccination if your child won't be ill?)

Because the administration offered no real explanation for people just dying or being disabled, they allowed the anti-vax movement to step into the breach and in fact USED the anti-vax movement and the spurious "immunity debt" to explain the mass death that continued. The problem is that this had the understandable effect of reducing all vaccination, causing things like our current measles epidemic, and also, because it came with confusing communication, reducing covid vaccine uptake dramatically.

The fifth lie was simple concealment - the administration dismantled the expensive and laboriously constructed data collection system created for covid, and by pandemic preparation, stopped collecting data, and stopped paying any attention to covid deaths. They simply pretended it wasn't happening, even as a weekly 9/11 of Americans died horribly.

All of this working together was how the administration hid the elephant in plain sight, blaming Trump, MAGA, kids, the disabled, the unvaccinated - you name it, everyone but themselves for the deaths of more than a million people on their watch. And when they couldn't deny, they simply pretended it wasn't happening.

And if it worked once, it will work again. That is, the administration is very clear on how to tell multiple strains of lies that make you believe that either the worst of climate change isn't happening, their fixes are sufficient or that it is someone else's fault harm is coming. We may be outraged the first time half a million people drown or burn in a city during climate change, but after a while, they have faith we'll hardly notice.

Now lest you think I am being unfair to Biden, I don't think there's one chance in hell that the right would do any better., and would never suggest otherwise. What I think is that whenever the Democrats get in bed with the Republicans and narrow the moral differences between them, everyone gets hurt.

My claim is not that one shouldn't vote for Biden, or should vote for Trump. My point is that Biden is responsible for HIS actions, and that his actions have demonstrated the way that Democrats plan to handle climate change - and it isn't with taking full responsibility and stepping up when things get hard. And both the Democrats and the Republicans are working together to conceal mass death and devalue human lives.

It is truly important to mention that covid had the function of allowing us to normalize a kind of mass death in America no one had experienced since WWII, and to move rapidly from outrage and fear to ignoring death and harm caused. And it worked. And that was noticed.

Another thing covid has done is reinforce ableism and racism in really powerful ways. Most of us will remember the study showed that Americans, when white Americans realized that they were less likely to die than POC, they relaxed their protections (which had the perverse and rather funny effect of bringing white death rates back up to the level of non-white ones) - that is, as a society we are so very racist that we are willing to risk our own lives if we are also risking lives of color.

In the era when vaccines were available to adults rather than children, it was customary to lament that parents and families of young children were being left behind. But as soon as those parents who wanted one were able to get vaccines, they joined those who had them in ignoring those who could not. Who was left after that were the disabled who correctly understood themselves to be vulnerable to covid and understood the rhetoric of pre-existing conditions as being "we don't care if disabled people die" and people of color (75% of the children who have died are children of color - like mine.)

Covid created a culture that reinforced already extant racism and ableism in dramatic ways. It also served to undermine community resources for the disabled and for people of color - the initial covid shutdowns were extremely hard on institutions that provided support for them, and that cast back resources on families, while grinding low budget, on the ground community groups into greater poverty and less ability to support others.

Meanwhile, the rollback of covid-era protections and supports combined with inflation made families of color and the disabled more vulnerable, more desperate and less able to protect themselves from covid. And with those people who needed protection from covid required to withdraw from public spaces in order to protect themselves from disease, after the removal of collective supports, there was no one to speak for them.

The creation of a larger categories of Americans who can be killed with impunity is never a good thing.

Finally, besides all the other damage covid has done, covid causes functional immune suppression for 6-8 months after EACH infection. That immune suppression from repeated covid infection has facilitated the spread of diseases that previous had a R0 of below 1 (ie, not able to spread freely) but now more people are vulnerable to. Covid may also erase some immune imprinting from vaccination, making people more vulnerable to diseases they believe themselves to be protected from.

Covid causes people to get sicker, more often. It makes them more likely to get severely ill (we know this from RSV for example, which is more likely to be severe if you've had recent covid) and makes you more vulnerable to antibiotic resistant bacteria and to fungal infections, all of which are more common with climate change.

So how are covid and climate change likely to work in concert then? Here are only a few ways.

1. Climate change is predicted to have a substantial effect on the global food supply. Even in the most linear climate change, food production is expected to decline by 30% while demand increases by 50%. In non-linear climate change, which is what we're seeing, it may decrease by much more.

Growing food is by necessity, labor intensive, and requires a great deal of physical labor. A dramatically reduced of number of people who can do that labor is dangerous - one study found that farmworkers were particularly vulnerable to covid and rates of long covid were close to 40%.

Increased vulnerability to bacteria and fungal pathogens makes it harder to do farmwork where moldy hay and soil born bacteria are part of the deal. Adapting agriculture to climate change is also cognitively intensive labor, as is all farming.

And that's just food - there are thousands of kinds of labor that are going to be most likely replaced with human biological labor by necessity. Once the right can no longer deny climate change, they will demand poor and marginalized communities put their bodies on the line to replace what was lost and use any inability to do so to justify their deaths.

2. The tools that the Democrats and Republicans have collaborated to create to normalize and conceal mass death will stand them in good stead has more and more disasters kill Americans. We will simply ignore it, and when we can't afford to repair and rebuild what is lost, we will leave desperate poor, disabled people of color in increasingly unliveable circumstances and lie about it.

Covid appeared just as climate change took a more active role in our world, as we've always going to, and provided a gift - a population, already used to ignore mass suffering in marginalized communities, that got much better at it. Meanwhile, the danger of covid has worked to undermine and increase risk of in-person mutual aid and mutual support.

3. Covid has primed our immune system for new pathogens. We are already quite close to several strains of avian influenza making the jump to human to human transmission, and repeated covid infection is making that more likely. But we are also seeing waves of formerly preventable diseases including Tuberculosis, Measles, Leprosy, Malaria (in areas of the Us where it had been gone) and others.

We can expect new pathogens to emerge regularly, both jumping from animal hosts as they are pushed into increasingly desperate proximity to humans and as hungry humans devour their way through what's left of the world's wild creatures when agriculture fails, and from the permafrost as it melts.

4. The antivax movement has been energized and expanded, and is now reaching new heights, but also integrating itself in important and deeply eugenicist ways into both the right and the left. It started as ostensibly concerned about children, but is now framed largely as a movement of "pure blood" and social purity, tied to white supremacism and sex. It is being used as a justification for example, for older men sexually using young women, who haven't been vaccinated, and now consists of many people who don't believe in vaccinating pets (hello, Rabies) or in the germ theory of disease. Moreover the antivax movement on both the left and right is integrating into a larger ableist, white supremacist and gender violence narrative, that is likely to explode into violence as time goes on.

5. Covid has already integrated a new vision of "surplus" population into our society. White supremacists engaged in demographic panic about replacement theory and nominal progressives who see no connection between their unmasking, social justice and the high rate of death among the elderly and disabled are functionally on the same team.

Ultimately, when climate change hits a critical tipping point, and mass death begins in a serious way, everyone will have already justified the harm they are preparing to do. Fascism depends heavily on the creation of just such populations.

6. Climate change is predicted to create at least a billion deaths and a billion refugees this century. What better way to entrap people in their region than to render them physically unable to leave, and to create a narrative of the great, disease carrying, toxic other that must be destroyed.

This is already being done - we are seeing it in Gaza where every Palestinian is a human shield, and whose death is thus justified, in a rise in anti-semitism where every Jew is responsible for Israel and thus justifies the worst of antisemitic assumptions, at the Southern border of the US where disease carrying rapists have been the narrative of MAGA and the Democrats have come to agree in many cases.

Add in the pressures of climate change and we will see the ways in which we decide we HAVE to do monstrous things to one another, and that they don't matter, because the others are so deeply other, and also VECTORS OF LITERAL CONTAGION - not metaphor. When the next pandemic or the one after comes, we will use it as a justification to destroy the contaminating other and take their land. It is already happening.

Which is why I don't think that it is necessary to treat covid and climate change separately - they are working the same landscape to the same end, riding together on the same train, to the land where Death is king.

Source https://ko-fi.com/post/If-Its-Not-One-Thing-Its-Another-The-Intersect-W7...

Gewoon een kopie past van een

Gewoon een kopie past van een andere site. Geen meerwaarde dus om hier ook te posten

en bovendien totaal

en bovendien totaal oninteressant, zoals bijna alles hier.

Ha ha ha, ja vooral die

Ha ha ha, ja vooral die absurde comments van jou :). Die zijn oninteressant maar vermakelijk om te zien hoe gefrustreerd je bent, arme loser.

onleesbaar, oninteressant, en

onleesbaar, oninteressant, en ook nog is gericht op de amerikaanse lezer.

Goed verhaal, maar niet het

Goed verhaal, maar niet het zionistische hondenfluitje wanneer Palestina wordt aangehaald.

Comment was hidden

Deze aanvulling voldeed niet aan de spelregels. En dat weet je dondersgoed.
Global IMC Network www.indymedia.org Afrika Ambazonia Canarias Estrecho / Madiaq Kenya South Africa Canada London, Ontario Maritimes Quebec Oost Azië Japan Manila QC Saint-Petersburg Europa Abruzzo Alacant Antwerpen Athens Austria Barcelona Belarus Belgium Bristol Brussels Bulgaria Calabrië Cyprus Emilia-Romagna Estrecho / Madiaq Euskal Herria Galiza Duitsland grenoble Hungary Ireland Istanbul Italy La Plana Liege liguria Lille Linksunten Lombardia London Madrid Malta Marseille Nantes Napoli Netherlands Northern England Norway Nottingham Oost-Vlaanderen Paris/Île-de-France Piemonte Poland Portugal Roma Roemenië Russia Scotland Sverige Switzerland Torun Toscana Ukraine UK-GB Latijns Amerika Argentina Bolivia Chiapas Chile Sur Braszilië Sucre Colombia Ecuador Mexico Peru Puerto Rico Qollasuyu Rosario santiago Uruguay Valparaiso Venezuela Oceanië Aotearoa Manila Melbourne Perth QC Sydney Zuid-Azië India Verenigde Staten Arizona Atlanta Austin Baltimore Big Muddy Binghamton Buffalo Charlottesville Chicago Cleveland Colorado Columbus DC Hawaii Houston Hudson Mohawk LA Madison Michigan Milwaukee Minneapolis/St. Paul New Mexico New Orleans NYC Philadelphia Pittsburgh Portland Richmond Rochester Rogue Valley San Diego San Francisco Bay Area Santa Cruz, CA Sarasota Seattle Urbana-Champaign Worcester West Azië Beirut Israel Palestine Process FBI/Legal Updates Mailing Lists Process & IMC Docs Projecten Print Radio Video Regio's United States Topics Biotech