In a matter of months, the world has been changed. Hundreds of thousands of people either passed away or lost their loved ones. Economies of most countries have been hitting seriously. People are limited to go out and staying at home to comply with social distancing rules. The situation just cannot be worse. However, are all the things what coronavirus brings to us bad?
As industries, transport networks and businesses have closed down, it has brought a sudden drop in carbon emissions. Compared with this time last year, levels of pollution in New York have reduced by nearly 50% because of measures to contain the virus. In china, emissions fell 25% at the start of the year as people were instructed to stay at home, factories shuttered and coal use fell by 40% at China’s six largest power plants since the last quarter of 2019. In Europe, satellite images show nitrogen dioxide emissions fading away over northern Italy. A similar story is playing out in Spain and the UK.
With humans’ development being faster in modern time, our environment is being worse at the same time. In my opinion, this pandemic might be a warning from the earth, which is telling us that it needs a break to clean its “lung”.
Anyway, I hope we can get through this difficulty all together as human beings.
Original story, “Will Covid-19 have a lasting impact on the environment?”, Martha Henriques, BBC Future, March 27, 2020.