By Don Corrigan
It’s painful for Environmental Echo to receive the notices of closings and cancellations of nature outings, green activities and environmental meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic that now affects the St. Louis area and more than 140 countries.
This spreading disease is deadly serious, environmentally destructive and totally global in consequence. Obviously, it was mistake for the administration to fire the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Pandemic Response Team two years ago.
It might be time to reconsider the firing of that unit, as well as the quashing of the annual reports out of the U.S. Defense Department on “Preparing the United States for Impacts of Climate Change,” which were started in 2013. Those reports include information on pandemics.
I recommend a reading of “All Hell Breaking Loose: The Pentagon’s perspective on Climate Change” by Michael T. Klare, a long-time national defense writer. Klare argues that a very conservative U.S. Defense Department has some pretty alarming information about global warming, climate crises and the rise of pandemics.
Klare notes the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 that took 11,300 lives was a wake-up call for the Pentagon about what we would be facing in the future. He notes that in the early stages of a pandemic the nurses, doctors and medical clinicians are the early casualties, thus preparations have to be made to protect them.
It’s hard to swallow some of the assertions being made now that no one saw this coming — read the sections from Klare’s book on pandemics in his, “All Hell Breaking Loose,” a book available in early 2019 covering the Pentagon’s concerns throughout the first decade of this century through to the Ebola crisis.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told this Sunday’s (3/22) that “no one expected” the coronavirus to spread so quickly,” in response to a question about a recent report stating that federal government officials ignored warnings from U.S. intelligence agencies about the virus and pandemics.
We now know that U.S. intelligence agencies issued classified warnings in January and February to members of Congress about the potential severity of this outbreak. Some of those members of Congress took that knowledge to the bank — or, at least, to their stock market investment advisers. Is this insider trading?
In any case, here in St. Louis, it’s a good bet that environmentalists will be adding pandemics as an issue to discuss in their meetings for the future. The question is: When will those meetings and events like the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day be rescheduled?