With lockdowns and quarantine in effect for most countries in the world, human activity has nearly come to a screeching halt. Many cities have enacted strict curfews and government mandated restrictions that have left even the busiest streets barren, such as New York and Bangkok. Citizens of the world are forced to stay home and work from within the comforts of their home.
With less cars on the road, lower human consumption, less factories operating, and less people traveling in general - the clear beneficiary of this is unfortunate pandemic is Mother Earth, as it so turns out to be. In fact, the scientific evidence and numbers that point to this are undeniable yet not surprising.
An analysis in late February by Lauri Myllyvirta from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air estimated that there was approximately a 25% drop in carbon emissions from China alone over a four-week period, equivalent to around 200m tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2).
The New York Times reported as of March 22nd that traffic and pollution levels plummeted as cities raced to shut down against COVID-19. The article displayed pictures of satellite images that detect emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows huge declines in pollution over major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
"Separately, researchers at Columbia University have seen emissions of carbon monoxide over New York City decline more than 50 percent below typical levels over the past week — a change linked to the drop in car traffic across the city."
For long we've all known how destructive humans are to the planet - but does it really need to a pandemic for us to wake up?
Imagine if humans would apply the same level of effort, or even half the level of effort that has been applied to minimize COVID-19 in order to minimize global warming?
The question is, would you and people around you be willing to par-take in measures like this to save the planet?