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Byproduct of COVID-19, A Cleaner more Natural Planet

Byproduct of COVID-19, A Cleaner more Natural Planet 

COVID-19 has accomplished in 2 months what the climate activist have been struggling to achieve for decades—a greener, cleaner environment. The decimation to the industrial world with its insatiable appetite for resources has been all encompassing. Factories have shut down, aviation has been grounded, and lockdown has brought commuting to a near standstill. Once asphyxiated by human “progress and development”, the climate and nature are now allowed to breathe a sigh of relief.

In an article by Nick Clark, The Green Read, the writer pointed out three opportunities for cleaner air from the tragedy of COVID-19.
This could be a turning point on many levels.
  • Right now, an unintentional but illuminating, large-scale experiment is under way on global emissions. The pandemic has shut down industrial activity and airline flights, minimised car exhaust fumes and slashed air pollution in our cities. It is this pollution which has created a scourge of respiratory illnesses over time and which has now made millions more susceptible to the worst effects of the coronavirus.
  • But suddenly the air we breathe is cleaner than it has been in decades. In China, the drop in airborne pollutants over two months is estimated to have saved the lives of 4,000 children below five and 73,000 adults above 70, according to Stanford University research
  • CO2 emissions have plunged – China’s industrial output alone dropped by 13.5 percent in January-February from the same period a year earlier. That is the weakest reading since January 1990, when Reuters news agency records started. 

[excerpted from Jawahir al-Naimi/Al Jazeera]

Also, the animal kingdom has been given relief with humans in lockdown. In publications around the world there have been reports of animals coming into cities and roaming the empty streets. One writer went as far to say, “While the humans are shut in at home in coronavirus lockdown, animals all over the planet from Japan to Wales have come out in packs to reclaim the territory”.

  • In the north of Wales, herds of wild mountain goats have been spotted on the empty streets of Llandudno.
  • In the city of Venice in Italy people have reported a visible improvement in the water quality and the sight of fish and ducks in the empty canals.
  • In the Spanish city of Barcelona wild boars have been spotted making the most of their freedom now that there are fewer people around.
  • In the US city of San Francisco coyotes have been photographed roaming the empty streets.

Photos and videos from Japan posted on social media have shown herds of 10 to 15 deer wandering through city streets and subway stations, dodging traffic and eating people’s potted plants. The changes to the status quo within the last two months are exciting refreshing. However, the looming question is… will we self-absorbed humans take heed from this lesson, or will we return like the Terminator with more vengeance to try and reclaim perceived losses?

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