Covid-19 can help us make global decisions to solve mankind’s greatest problems, said Jared Diamond, 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 one of the three greatest challenges facing humanity, namely climate change, social inequality and unsustainable use of natural resources. However, Covid-19 has forced the governments of all countries to make decisions together and this may be an example of the measures that must also be taken to combat the three problems listed by Diamond.
The professor explains that these factors can decimate humanity, an ability 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, which are slowly and quietly killing people and threatening to destroy our economies forever.”
He also claims that the Sars-CoV-2 pandemic should not be viewed as the worst epidemic humanity has ever experienced. The biologist mentions that the death rate caused by Covid-19 is low at an average of 2% compared to other diseases such as Ebola, from which 70% of those infected die.
Even so, it is necessary in the future to better prepare for emergency situations such as other pandemics that could arise. One effective measure, Diamond said, would be to close wildlife markets, as humans typically get new diseases when they come into contact with these animals.
Compared to all other epidemics that mankind has experienced, the current one has two peculiarities, emphasized Diamond.
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 has always been at least one person who is already immune to a particular disease.
Diamond achieved international fame with the book “Arms, Germs and Steel”, in which he explains that the previous resistance of Europeans to certain diseases was essential to other populations, such as Indians, who were not yet infected with them dominate pathogens He explained during the conference that these microbes played an essential role in human history.
For Diamond, people already know what action to take to deal with climate change. For example, he mentions reducing the consumption of gases that cause the greenhouse effect by reducing energy consumption and also overcoming fossil fuels in favor of sustainable sources such as wind energy.
According to the professor, it is through such actions that the future of humanity will be decided. “If we make good decisions, if we use less energy, if we use sustainable forms of energy production, if we harvest our fish and forests sustainably and if we strive to make poor countries richer, then the world could be richer in 30 years , consistent.”
Fronteiras do Pensamento is a cycle of conferences that brings important names to reflect on the present. Other participants in this year’s edition are the writer Margaret Atwood, the historian Yuval Noah Harari and the neuroscientist Carl Hart.
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Season 2021. Find out more at: www.fronteiras.com