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The Covid-19 pandemic was not a “black swan” event. It was not extraneous to a political economy driven by voracious profit-maximising inordinately privileging a tiny global minority. Land grabs, deforestation, monoculture crops and general habitat destruction have brought humans into closer contact with virus-incubating wild animals. Global value chains between low-wage economies and centres of rent-seeking and consumption have acted as vectors for rapid transmission.

Even in the more advanced economies, far away from a Wuhan or an Equatorial Guinea, factory farming and the routine use of antibiotics have resulted in the emergence of new strains of superbacteria and virulent (but regional for the moment) epidemics. A global pandemic of the kind we are now experiencing was predictable and predicted. Even bigger threats loom from the destructive effect of climate change, which if not thwarted will make large parts of the world uninhabitable...

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