Earth’s breath of fresh air and impactful reminder

The COVID-19 pandemic is a source of a constant flow of worrisome news on our screens. Negative effects are undeniable and clearly visible but let’s take a moment and direct our attention towards the positives.

 

In this blog post, we want to talk about the “breath of fresh air” planet Earth is taking during our isolation and take notice of her great ability to recover and allow life to thrive.

Good sides do exist

The COVID-19 outbreak is a worldwide crisis, no doubt about that. But as with every other situation positives can be found just like the negatives – nothing is one-sided if you look close enough. There has been a tremendous positive side-effect of the approved measures of lockdowns, quarantine, and temporary closure of factories and businesses as well as the ban of travelling.

Pollution levels have drastically dropped in all the places that have initiated the above-mentioned processes. The environment has been undergoing continuous exploitation thanks to our “development” and consumerism nature. The climate crisis is showing us that we are slowly destroying our only home but some people find it hard to believe blinded by the temptation of quick economic growth.

Now, nature is once again giving us an example that we need to value our home and take care of it to see its full beauty and potential. With the implementation of the preventive measures stopping the spreading of the virus the environment has thrived and considerably flourished.

The good things that happened

Wuhan, China – the first area to initiate a lockdown and take drastic measures again the virus has registered a significant drop in pollution levels since December when the situation escalated rapidly. The sky has cleared up and turned blue again, free of pollutants and industrial residue. This can only be accounted to the travel bans, complete lockdown, and pause of all factory work.

The same effect is visible in all of China where those measures have been approved and followed. According to the Center of Research on Energy and Clean Air, Finland those restrictions have resulted in a 25% drop in China’s carbon dioxide emissions for January alone. Coal consumption has also dropped by 36% due to the reduction of factory work which is positively affecting the environment.

Thailand and Japan are home to another great phenomenon – mobs of monkeys, deer, and other animals are roaming the empty forests, parks, and even streets free of any dangers from humans, pollution, or toxic emissions.

Italy is also marking a distinct drop in air pollution levels and nitrogen dioxide. Satellite footage proves that the country air has cleared up significantly between January and March when complete lockdown, travel bans, and factory work restriction have been adopted.

The reduction of water traffic and overflow of tourists in Venice has also greatly impacted the environment. Boats and cruise ships have stopped operating and people have no way to pollute canals anymore which has made the water crystal clear in contrast to the usual murkiness. There are even dolphins, swans, and many fish freely swimming and enjoying the water of the canals. A fresh breath of no human touch is doing wonders to our home.

Nature can heal itself, we just need to give it a chance

It is really fascinating that such effects can be present for just a short amount of time. Nature is proving that it can easily adapt to the changing human habits and once again displays that it does not need us – we are the ones who truly need it to survive.

It would be a wise decision to remember those moments once the pandemic is over and we are free to return to our usual lifestyle. If we want to move forwards as a society and live in unison with nature it is up to us to find a way to protect it and help it survive. This does not need to include our economic downfall it just needs manageable limitations and responsible use of resources.

As we move forward to restarting our economies we need to use some time to think about what we value and truly need. Do we want to get back to the status quo, or do we want to tackle big structural problems and reformulate our economy in a way that will reduce toxic emissions, overconsumption, and pollution?” – Jacqueline Klopp, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia

Our actions will define our future

We should always try to look at the bright side of things. The global pandemic is giving us valuable lessons in terms of crisis management and quick reactions to rapidly growing dangers. Minor underestimation can have devastating effects and now we have understood this the hard way.

The environment is having a well-deserved break from our exploitation and we could use the time to note this positive change and once again remind ourselves how important nature is for our existence. It is our future actions that will decide the fate of our species.

 

Many major changes need to be made in our lifestyle and economy if we want to protect our home. But let’s start with something simple – we can join the Earth Day movement and commemoration and make a long-lasting reminder to ourselves – we need to protect the Earth not only for her sake but for our own survival as well.   

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Lindersvold is an international learning center that facilitates courses in community development and certification in non-traditional pedagogy. Our Center provides an opportunity to learn about the big issues of our time while preparing to assist community-driven projects in Zambia, Malawi or Mozambique. We believe in combining hands-on training with theoretical knowledge, alongside community living, gives students the best foundation for working with sustainable development and vulnerable youth.

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