The coronavirus pandemic has most definitely crippled our lifestyle, which seemed like the most vital parts of our lives have been tossed out the window to secure our health and well-being.
Saving up for the mortgage, making it to deadlines, and keeping the balance sheet in check all seem trivial in the face of the current situation. Right now every one of us has just one objective in mind and that is to stay safe and keep the spread of the virus at bay.
It is ironic how the rest of the planet is in full swing while we, the ones on the top of the food chain are confined to the walls of our homes. While we are fighting the constant battle of keeping our sanity intact with the very few options we have within our boundaries, we keep receiving news of a phenomenon that is happening the world over as we the indicted, are stripped of our rank and have had to bow to the will of nature.
I feel that positive climate change and a decline in pollution are the earth’s way of telling us that she will always triumph, irrespective of whether or not we are in the picture. It also means that warning shots have been fired. The message? Get in line or get out.
This particular period is most probably the longest time life as we know it has ceased to be. With life at a slower pace, I’m sure you have noticed that the lockdown has an unforeseen benefit – bluer skies, yes the kind we saw as kids. Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency confirm a remarkable drop in nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions which are otherwise typical of a fully functioning city.
Today any given city is significantly cleaner and the noise levels are at an all-time minimum. It is said that China contributes 30% of the world’s CO2 emissions annually and with it out of commission since earlier this year, the impact has been drastic. With the rest of the world following suit with complete or partial lockdowns, there is no denying that all forms of flora and fauna are flourishing during our time-out.
Though we can momentarily celebrate the fact that climate change is at its lowest, there is something that we are yet to fathom. The downside of this hold up is most likely a boost in air contamination upon all economies resuming to operate to its optimum, which will most probably to come at the expense of the environment and there is a reasonable fear that this bounce-back effect may reverse any recovery that has happened during the presence of the coronavirus.
While the lack of vehicles and commuters does contribute to the healing of the planet, the real deal lies in the absence of production in oil and steel, grounding of flights, and the decline in coal usage. Marine vessels and power plants are also among the major contributors to air pollution which we need to watch out for in our fight to a greener earth.
If the environmental impact of a lockdown is to be sustainable, measures need to be taken to ensure that we do not end up at square one yet again. Real change can be brought about only if we take a stand against manufacturers and human activities that are detrimental to the earth. COVID-19 may have slowed climate change but it is our ultimate obligation to rein in any form of harmful human conduct that may accelerate its pace in the long run.
Buckle up, there is real work to be done!