Coronavirus: Forgetting Nature is Not An Option

Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Vice Chair Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) sent a letter to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt urging him to close Grand Canyon National Park and other national parks and public lands at risk of spreading coronavirus due to continued crowding and high visitation levels. In the midst of the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, protecting nature and natural infrastructure has largely been forgotten, though Americans are depending on it more than ever.

Why This Matters: Our leaders must understand that humans and nature are intrinsically linked, we cannot ignore nature if we hope to solve our greatest challenges. We’re seeing a migration of city dwellers into nature and more rural areas to escape urban density. As Thomas Friedman aptly wrote yesterday, “The coronavirus spread in America because Trump looked at the problem through the lens of the markets first and the science of natural systems second, if at all.

Irony Alert: If there weren’t enough reasons to protect nature, one of the key ingredients in coronavirus tests comes from Yellowstone National Park’s lakes.

Silent Earth: According to Nature, researchers who study Earth’s movement are reporting a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the planet’s crust.

  • That could be the result of transport networks and other human activities being shut down due to coronavirus.
  • They say this could allow detectors to spot smaller earthquakes and boost efforts to monitor volcanic activity and other seismic events.

Election 2020: With coronavirus exhausting all political capital and media attention, is climate change going to matter in November’s election?

Pro Tip: How long do disinfecting products actually take to work on surfaces? The answers may surprise you!

No Truth From Trump: Generally during a national crisis, the President’s press briefings are a vital source of news updates and even reassurance for worried Americans. Think FDR’s fireside chats or even George W. Bush’s post 9/11 address and subsequent updates. But if you’ve watched President Trump’s recent addresses you may have noticed numerous empty press pool seats. The reason being? These briefings are so devoid of news that journalists aren’t willing to risk their health to attend.

Up Next

Doctors’ Orders

Doctors’ Orders

The editors of over 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that climate change is a health issue and that its effects could become “catastrophic” if world leaders don’t do more to address it. The health impacts of climate change include wildfire smoke–which has been linked to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases–and pollutants […]

Continue Reading 105 words
EPA Announces New PFAS Limits, But Environmental Advocates Say More Action is Needed

EPA Announces New PFAS Limits, But Environmental Advocates Say More Action is Needed

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The EPA has announced that it will propose the first-ever limits on the discharge of polyfluoroalkyl substances, known as PFAS, in wastewater. The class of chemicals, often called “forever chemicals,” can accumulate in the environment and the human body and contribute to health problems. However, public health and environmental […]

Continue Reading 417 words
Editors of Over 230 Medical Journals Urge Governments to Take Drastic Climate Action for Public Health

Editors of Over 230 Medical Journals Urge Governments to Take Drastic Climate Action for Public Health

By Amy Lupica, ODP Daily Editor The editors of more than 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that human health is being harmed by climate change, and that the effects could become catastrophic if governments don’t do more to address it. The unprecedented joint editorial cites climate change’s proven links to “heat […]

Continue Reading 442 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.