Thursday, April 23, 2020

Air Pollution Falls in the Midst of Pandemic Lockdown

Click for photo credit.
CNN has an interesting piece here about the improving air conditions in major global cities as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown. It seems that staying home is good for the environment and reduces air pollution. The article demonstrates that components of the environment can recover quite quickly if we change our behavior. The before and after photos in the piece are worth a look and tell an important story.

When things get back to normal after this crisis, and they will at some point, it is worth considering how to change our behavior to reduce the impacts of our global culture on the environment. We need to find a way to return to normal without going back to the polluting practices of the past. There are some interesting opportunities that have emerged:

1. Can we find ways to increase the percentage of the population who work from home in order to cut down on air pollution and the need for cars?

2. Are there ways to enhance online learning so that greater percentages of k-12 and higher education operations can reduce their carbon footprints?

3. Can we curb our consumption of stuff (which we often don't really need) so that we can cut back on our increasing hunger for global consumption of natural resources?

4. Can we develop local food resiliency so that we are less reliant on global food systems for our diets?

I am sure that there are many other things we can do as a global culture to improve our environment once we are past the crisis. As many smart people have pointed out over the last two months, global pandemics tend to change our culture. We can make the environment cleaner if we recognize that we have the power to live a greener life.

No comments: