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Don’t Ignore the Experts

in Eco & Green April 16, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has caused unimaginable devastation, human suffering and hardship.  It seems that the world (as we know it) has come to a standstill. It has transformed our entire way of life and has had an immediate impact on our home and work environments. Majority of countries are in some kind of lockdown. The aim: to control the spread of Covid-19, and hopefully reducing the death toll. But all this change has also led to some unexpected consequences. As many industries, transport networks and businesses have closed down, it has brought a sudden drop in greenhouse gas emissions and pollution levels:

India:

Amid the 21-day lockdown to fight the outbreak, the air has cleared so drastically that it allowed residents from the Jalandhar district in Punjab to see the towering peaks of the Himalaya 160 km away for the first time in 30 years.

https://www.iflscience.com/environment/himalayan-peaks-visible-parts-india-first-time-decades-thanks-covid-lockdown/

Wales:

A herd of wild Kashmiri goats have roamed down from the nearby coastal headland to the town of Lundudno during the coronavirus lockdown. Videos and pictures shared online show the goats grazing on grass, hedges and flower beds.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-52103967

Venice:

Residents of Venice are noticing a vast improvement in the quality of the famous canals that run through the city, which are running clear for the first time in years, and fish can even be seen in the usually murky waters.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/20/nature-is-taking-back-venice-wildlife-returns-to-tourist-free-city

China:

Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency reveal that air pollution over China has gone down since the coronavirus outbreak.

https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-lockdowns-effect-on-air-pollution-provides-rare-glimpse-of-low-carbon-future-134685


Covid-19 has exposed the dangers of ignoring experts and data.


If there’s something good to come from this worldwide pandemic, it might be the way Earth is given a chance to breathe a bit.  Both the coronavirus and climate change have the potential to be catastrophic for humanity, but they operate on different timescales. Climate change is gradually. With climate change it is not just the climate system that changes.  It affects human health, food security, agricultural security, political and economic stability, and governance. There are clear links between health and the environment. Many scientists agree that climate change and the loss of biodiversity can create the conditions for illnesses to spread. It has all these ripple effects that affect all components of society in a very slow way that’s maybe hard to quantify at times. The coronavirus is more immediate, but it’s doing the same thing. It has completely disrupted our society in a way that we haven’t seen since World War II.”

Our climate has already changed: the average global temperature has already risen by 1°C. Our urgent task is to ensure we don’t exceed 1.5°C of warming and so avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We all have a role to play. Moments of crisis can be moments of opportunity.

So, you can do one of two things:

Ignore the experts OR ask yourself: How do my everyday actions contribute to our ecological footprint?  Can I change my individual actions to be more environmentally friendly and create a more sustainable lifestyle?

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