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< Back to question Is human destruction of nature responsible for COVID-19? Show more Show less

As coronavirus infects more and more people globally, the question becomes why now? Why has the pandemic began now? Could it be that increasing levels of climate change and continued destruction of the environment are to blame?

No, destruction of the environment did not cause the coronavirus pandemic Show more Show less

While COVID-19 is devastating, it is not caused by environmental destruction.
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The wildlife trade caused the pandemic

The trading of illegal wildlife is worth over a billion dollars. It was this that caused the pandemic, not the destruction of the environment.
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Proponents


The Argument

The destruction of the environment is not responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. Rather, the commercial trade of wildlife caused the COVID-19 pandemic. Epidemiologists and public health experts have come to the consensus that the virus responsible for the pandemic most likely originated from a wildlife trade market in Wuhan, China. At this market, vendors illegally sold live animals from stalls in close quarters with hundreds of others.[1] It should not be surprising that wildlife trade has been the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic because wildlife trade has been the cause of other public health crises. The SARS epidemic, also caused by a coronavirus, began with the commercial sale of a catlike animal called palm civet. The MERS epidemic was transmitted to humans from camels in the Middle East.[2] Because wildlife trade has been identified as the cause of the virus and subsequent pandemic, there is now a revitalized call for stronger regulations and a ban on the commercial wildlife trade. There are significant problems with wildlife markets and trade and it has caused the coronavirus pandemic. But that does not equate to the outbreak being caused by environmental destruction or climate change.

Counter arguments

Destruction of the environment is the overarching cause of the coronavirus pandemic. Wild trade is the most probable trigger of the pandemic, but the destruction of the environment and wildlife trade is directly related to one another. Wildlife trade refers to the commerce of products that are derived from non-domesticated animals that are extracted from their natural environment. Extracting animals and other living organisms from their natural environment prompts disruptions in their ecosystems and brings about disturbances to environments that are not natural. [3] Human beings are responsible for the removal of these animals from nature. Human beings are responsible for the wildlife trade. Consequently, the destruction of the environment through wildlife trade has caused the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Premises

[P1] The coronavirus outbreak stems from a wildlife market. [P2] Other viral outbreaks have been connected to wildlife trade. [P3] Wildlife trade and destruction of the environment are not the same things.

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/25/world/asia/china-markets-coronavirus-sars.html
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/19/health/coronavirus-animals-markets.html
  3. https://www.unodc.org/e4j/en/wildlife-crime/module-1/key-issues/implications-of-wildlife-trafficking.html#:~:text=Trafficking%20in%20wildlife%20can%20diminish,risks%20the%20species%20becoming%20extinct.

This page was last edited on Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 01:57 UTC

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