Climate of Pandemic — Announcement and Contents

Image of COVID-19, or coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which is a sudden acute respiratory syndrome type virus, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Image source: CDC.

 

Scribbling through a Global Pandemic

The present tragedy of the COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted us all. For my own part, I am now at home under quarantine with my wife. This is a decision I have made to protect myself, my family, and my fellows here in Maryland, America, and across the world.

As many of you know, I had taken a long hiatus from climate writing to help promote clean energy as a response to the climate crisis. I did this by using the Uber rideshare platform, driving a Tesla, and sharing conversations with riders of all stripes — from business and government leaders to everyday people — as a way of raising grass roots awareness about the climate crisis and directly showing that solutions are available now to everyone.

I feel that these conversations were very effective. That I helped both raise awareness in the local community as well as among leaders and decision makers. I’ve found that it is so much easier to convey concern and caring through the medium of direct interpersonal contact vs mere words written on an electronic page or even the more adept but still far removed from the heart-to-heart media provided here on the interwebs.

But life has a way of catching up with us. Particularly at a time when our world is being shaken to its very roots by forces unwisely unleashed. We are all now isolated out of necessity. Out of safety. Out of responsibility for our fellow human beings.

Duty in Exile

So this is my task in exile — Climate of Pandemic. A combined special report and web book. A project that will explore the breadth and depth of the global coronavirus emergency. Take an in-depth look at how climate change may have helped to shake it out of an ancient viral reservoir. Reveal how the brash and brutish politics of climate change denial encapsulated the failed leadership that enabled the virus to spread like wildfire. And look at how experts are concerned that more pandemic threats may be on the way due to the great shaking up of the natural system that the climate crisis is now inflicting on our world (hopefully, I’ll be able to pick up on some other climate writing as well, but this will be my special focus for the time being).

Of course, in piercing this subject, we will likely drift into direct reporting on the emergency itself — dipping into the realms of epidemic science and disaster response. That’s OK! Because we should understand that the basic value of climate crisis response lies in both our understanding of inter-related contexts out of a sense of holistic responsibility to our world and its inhabitants.

What follows is the table of contents with links to each chapter in the new special report. At present, I have seventeen planned. But given how we are living in such uncertain and tragic times that might well expand. New links will be provided as each chapter is written. And upcoming installments will have the parenthetical (in progress) label. To quick-link this table of contents, you can click the Climate of Pandemic illustration on this blog’s side-bar and get right to catching up or reading an update.

Best to you all! Please stay safe! Please care for your loved ones! And please remember that caring for our world is also providing that much needed care and response as well.

 

Climate of Pandemic Contents:

 

  1. Introduction — Climate of Pandemic
  2. From Ancient Reservoirs
  3. Harmful Contacts with our Living Earth and Redounding Shots Across the Bow
  4. The Emergence of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
  5. COVID-19 First Outbreak — Viral Glass-Like Nodules in Lungs
  6. Denial, Defunding, Downplaying — First COVID-19 Leadership Failures
  7. Effective Containment — How South Korea’s First Coronavirus Wave was Halted
  8. The Trouble with Testing Part 1 — “No Responsibility at All”
  9. It’s Everywhere Now — COVID-19 A Global Viral Wildfire
  10. No COVID-19 Did Not Stop the Climate Crisis — But it’s Interacting with it in a Bad Way
  11. Social Distancing and Waiting Until It’s Safe Enough to Re-Open
  12. A Possible Vaccine, But When?
  13. The Trouble with Testing Part 2 — Dubious Interpretations of Antibody Studies Risk More False Confidence (pending)
  14. Approaching 100,000 Official Fatalities in the U.S. Alone (pending)
  15. What is the Real Mortality Rate? We Won’t Know For Sure Until It’s Over (pending)
  16. Large Outbreak in Brazil (pending)
  17. False Silver Bullets: The Unscientific and Life-Risking Peddling of Hydroxychloroquine (pending)
  18. Firing Another Top Expert — This One a Specialist in Vaccination (pending)
  19. Success in Germany — More Evidence that Containment Can Work if Managed Well (pending)
  20. Frozen Economies, Worries About Food (pending)
  21. Reopening Safely (?) In the Presence of COVID-19 (pending)
  22. Risks for Subsequent Waves of Illness; Dual Respiratory Illness Outbreak Potential? (pending)
  23. COVID-19 Oil Crash (pending)
  24. No Cure For Climate Crisis, But a Clean Energy Recovery Can Be (pending)
Leave a comment

36 Comments

  1. Welcome back Robert! Stay safe everyone.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
  2. Erik Frederiksen

     /  March 27, 2020

    I’m glad to have you writing again, especially because I never got a ride in that Tesla!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Gregory M Smith

     /  March 27, 2020

    Robert,

    So glad to see you back. All is well again in this world. Looking forward to your insights. I have found Eric Holthaus giving interesting insights on linking climate denial and this Covid-19 crisis.

    Best,

    Greg
    Jealous of the car. Hoping to order one this year.

    Like

    Reply
    • 🙂 Well I drove rideshare part time to save up for the Model 3. My wife and I thankfully have few expenses.

      The climate change denial links to attacks on science and the response failures surrounding COVID-19 are entirely valid. Climate change denial has morphed into anti-science as a whole drawing in some rather old and dark social forces, IMO. More on this later.

      Like

      Reply
  4. Robert, when the book is completed, I’ll help you to promote it. You can email me a review copy (PDF), and send a 200 word promo item for my monthly newsletter, Bobbing Around.
    If you need a beta reader or pro bono editing, I am happy to be of service.

    Like

    Reply
    • Thank you, sir! It’s an active effort in progress. Meaning that you’ll be seeing the chapters in real time on the web. The first one is coming up today. When it’s done, I’ll go ahead and have it set up as a PDF as well for epub. But the initial web book is a different beast entirely. 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  5. I put some thoughts about the pandemic and other current events on my blog page. http://www.climateoutcome.kiwi.nz/latest-posts–news/oil-future-a-black-swan-event

    Like

    Reply
  6. Mike Rigney

     /  March 28, 2020

    Welcome back! We have missed your climate musings.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Welcome back. We have been followers of yours for years. We are also entering a new phase of commitment to local climate change in our community. It seems like community sustainability is now a more understandable concept.

    We look forward to your upcoming chapter.

    Stay well. Michael & Theresa Rigney Colorado Springs

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you for your good efforts! We are all in this together — local, state, nation, global, business, faith orgs and so many more. Your efforts are part of the climate solution!

      Like

      Reply
  8. Excellent idea – a warming earth is bound to affect the distribution and spread of disease vectors – eg zika virus and others. Plus of course the unknown result of permafrost melt and resulting release of organisms some of which will undoubtedly be nasty pathogens. I’ve long felt not enough attention has been given to this aspect of global heating. I’m looking forward to reading the chapters as they appear. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • Thank you for the informed comment!

      There’s been much discussion here and elsewhere in the climate and science community on this issue. I remember quite a bit of concern even from early days writing here. From the spread of new illnesses to animal populations, to multiplying disease vectors, to potentially opening up ancient virus reservoirs in permafrost, rainforests or other natural sources, the climate crisis can certainly generate a higher risk of accelerated new illness spread to humans. Climate change influence weighs large in these factors, in my mind. But the difference between cause and influence is one we should probably be aware of too.

      Like

      Reply
  9. Mark Archambault

     /  March 28, 2020

    Welcome back Robert! I very much missed your take on all the climate milestones we witnessed in 2019, but now this Covid-19 crisis demands our immediate attention. I look forward to your new book. Stay safe.

    Like

    Reply
    • Warmest regards, Mark! I think stepping away was probably helpful. It gave the web community some time to digest the situation. We saw other leaders step up and become major voices (Greta etc) and I think we saw much more rationality and concern being communicated. Generally, I think global climate awareness has risen and scientists have taken more of a leadership role. All of this is good news to me despite the fact that climate impacts are growing more damaging in this decade. We still have a chance to avoid mid to high range impacts, which range from very, very bad to unimaginable and keep on the lower range track which can still be quite rough but I think survivable if we work together.

      Like

      Reply
  10. Suzanne

     /  March 29, 2020

    Welcome back. Can’t express how much you have been missed. Thank you for coming back at a time when we really need you. Stay safe.

    Like

    Reply
  11. Robert in New Orleans

     /  March 29, 2020

    A plane has five passengers on board: Donald Trump, the Pope, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Hillary Clinton, and Greta Thunberg.

    The plane is about to crash and there are only 4 parachutes.

    Dr Fauci says “I need one! I have to develop a vaccine to cure Covid-19!”
    He takes a parachute and jumps.
    The Pope says “I need one! I have to guide people through the spiritual crisis wrought by Covid-19!”
    He takes one and jumps.
    Donald Trump says ‘‘I need one! I’m the most stable genius in the USA!”
    He grabs one and jumps.
    Hillary Clinton says to Greta Thunberg, “You take the last parachute. My public life is over and yours has only begun.”
    Greta Thunberg says …
    “Don’t worry, there are two parachutes left. The most stable genius in the USA took my backpack.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  12. Robert in New Orleans

     /  March 29, 2020

    Mr Robert, first of all welcome back. It has been too long. I just wanted to ask you what are your thoughts about the aerosol masking hypothesis is in relation to our current and future situations? In my opinion we are soon going to find whether it has any validity or not. I suspect we are in for a very long and hot summer. :-/

    Like

    Reply
    • My general sense was that the aerosol masking hypothesis was overplayed on the part of coal industry as a way for them to justify continued burning. This of course is an opinion based on observation of past behavior by industry. However, I think it’s possible that as much as 0.5 C (with some error bars on either axis) has been masked. That said, reduced methane emissions which could also have a quick acting effect may serve as a balancer. This is all speculation so should be taken with a grain of salt. It might be a good project for those at NASA to take a look at in real time.

      To be clear, the aerosols can’t save us from human forced climate change. Fossil fuel burning remains to primary driver. Fossil furl burning is the driver of what we’ve seen thus far and there is real disaster in continuing to burn them. Aerosols are secondary to this basic fact.

      Like

      Reply
  13. Paul in WI

     /  March 30, 2020

    Great to have you back, Robert – looking forward to your new book. I hope you are doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  14. Victor Schwanberg

     /  March 30, 2020

    Wellcome back, we missed you!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  15. saaepinfo

     /  March 30, 2020

    Fucking awesome. You’re the right person for this job Robert Scribbler!
    Let me also say nice to have you back. Saw your entry in my cluttered social tab of the inbox and thought well hello there…

    Renewable Randolph
    Nelson/Calgary BC/AB

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  16. Mother Nature is doing a reset, forcing us to pay attention to her!

    Environmental pollution in China and Italy are now at unprecedented low levels. Earth might reach global emissions targets – as planes are being grounded throughout the world.
    Fewer vehicles on roads – as people are staying home, not commuting to work, school, etc. Burning of hydrocarbons…substantially reduced.

    Now we, along with all animals/trees, can breathe (although protectively yet for us)!

    One can’t help but wonder if the super bugs are not directly related to how we treat our environment. Animals, along with all vegetation, are being stressed by our impact on them, as they don’t have a choice. They are weakened, becoming unhealthy or extinct; and we consume them.

    Although this virus started in China, we are all to blame. We are contributing to the unhealthy environment…and we are paying for it!

    Mother Nature is making us re-think our ways within our current solitude. Will we learn?

    Harvey Abernathey
    3/19/20

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • All are temporary unless we transition rapidly to clean energy.

      Like

      Reply
      • Harvey Abernathey

         /  April 1, 2020

        Yes, it is temporary, but only hope that there will be greater awareness now! In reviewing the Google Earth Engine App, it is clear the atmospheric toxicity has greatly increased over Mainland China between mid-January to now.

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
  17. Climate of Pandemic updated. Chapter 2 is now live.

    Like

    Reply
  18. James Phillip Moran

     /  April 2, 2020

    It’s great to hear from you once again Robert!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  1. Introduction — Climate of Pandemic | robertscribbler

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