Quarantine finally brings some good news for globe!

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(Environmental recovery during Corona)

As a matter of fact, since 2020 started, humanity faced a catastrophic breakout of corona virus (COVID 19) almost after a century. Right now, this pandemic has paralyzed the human life on earth. Starting from china, the deadly virus took over the world in blink of an eye. Humanity is fighting against this lethal battle with great courage and exemplary efforts. Governments around the world have imposed serious restrictions and quarantined general public to control the spread of this deadly virus.

Precisely, due to the corona virus pandemic the whole world is facing serious economic recession. Many businesses, industries and factories are forced to shut down and reduce their operations to curb the speed of this fatal virus. According to a recent report of International monetary fund IMF global economy is expected to shrink by 3% this year.

However, every dark cloud has a silver lining. Amid this crisis situation now is there is good news for planet earth and its folks. LET’S TALK ABOUT THEM TO RELEIVE OURSELVES A BIT!

1. REDUCTION IN CARBON DIOXIDE AND GAS EMISSIONS:

Road and Air traffic levels have been minimized after lock down because people are forced to stay at home, all the incoming and outgoing flight operations have been delayed. As a result, positive climate changes are appearing. China, Italy, UK, Germany and several other countries have recorded around 40% fall in carbon dioxide CO2 and nitrogen dioxide levels due to which quality of air is improving and the risks of diseases like asthma, heart attack and lungs cancer is shrinking.

2. IMPROVED AIR QUALITY

Several reports from the health care analysis units have demonstrated that the reduction in air pollution is actually helping human beings during corona virus epidemic. The air pollution directly hits our immune system and hence make us more vulnerable towards catching the virus but at the moment due to the decreased levels of air pollution the risk has lessened. Despite that recent global health impacts including 1.3 million fewer days of work absence, 6000 fewer new cases of asthma in children and 600 fewer pre-term births are being observed.

3. DECLINE IN FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY

Undoubtedly the fuel has dominated our lives and has been polluting the environment since past century. Amid the current crisis situation lock down has been highly affecting the fossil fuel industry. The oil market has been facing decline as well due to which the prices has decreased about two-third since past year. This is good news for our environment because oil is the primary source of carbon emissions due to which temperature increases and leads to harsh weather conditions. Car sales also fell by almost 43% in March, with motorway traffic level falling by 83%.

According to the international energy agency Coal is also “particularly hard hit”. The report says that the global demand for coal is projected to fall by 8 percent in 2020.

4. CLEANER AIR CLEANER ENVIRONMENT

During lockdown the environment has faced drastic changes. Countries that have the highest rates of air pollution are now drifting towards change. Here’s an estimate of declining air pollution levels in several countries around the world.

  • The Indian capital New Delhi which is among the most polluted cities of the world has experienced a 60% reduction in the particulate matter from March 23rd to April 13th.
  • Pakistan which is also among the top 5 most polluted countries is moving towards environmental recovery in the times of lock down. Nitrogen dioxide levels have dropped to 35% in Karachi, 56% in Islamabad, 49% in Lahore, 20% in Multan and 45% in Peshawar.  
  • South Korean capital SEOUL saw a 54% drop in PM2.5 levels from February 26 to March 18 from the previous year.
  • Wuhan (china) has recorded almost 44% decline in air pollution levels.
  • Los angles (USA) saw its longest stretch of clean air on record over 18 days from March 7 to 28th.
  • London and Madrid (EUROPE) both experienced reduction in their PM2.5 in 2020 compared to previous year.

Here are few before and after images of declining air pollution levels in different countries.

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Before and after images of city view from Damn-e-koh (Islamabad,Pakistan) on August 3, 2017 and during corona virus lock down on April 20,2020.
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before and after city view from Damn-e-Kho (Islamabad, Pakistan) on August 3, 2017 and after COVID 19 lockdown on April 20,2020
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  • A WAKEUP CALL FOR HUMANITY!

According to a report published by World health organization, around 3 million people die each year because of ailments caused by air pollution and more than 80% of people living in urban areas are experiencing air quality levels that exceeds the safe limits.

However, the lockdown has proved that environmental improvement is possible if the emissions are reduced on a global scale. It has shown us a glimpse of a low-carbon future.

International climate action organizations and Climate activists have clearly warned that humanity must learn from this pandemic and a global climate action must be taken against harmful emissions that are causing environmental disruption.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS:

After analyzing the current situation, it can be concluded that possibility of a pollution free environment has not completely diminished. In fact, It has raised a global challenge for countries to adopt environmental approaches to decarbonize the planet and if humanity didn’t receive this wakeup call the foreseen climate crisis could be much dangerous than the current pandemic.

There are several recommendations and policies presented by international energy agencies, environmentalists, scientists and climate activists to wrestle with this challenge few of them are illustrated below:

  • Supporting green deals in government stimulus packages.
  • Shifting towards sustainable sources of energy for power generation.
  • Replacing fossil fuel generation with renewable energy and low carbon sources.
  • Electrifying transport in a way with expanded train lines and electric cars with charging stations.
  • Expanding clean and green energy infrastructure.

In my opinion States should headway towards developing concrete environmental policies and shift towards pursuing green energy and renewable energy resources towards environmental transition, because the responsibility of a better future now rests on our shoulders.

What suggestions do you have for better environmental future? If any drop them below. 😊

3 Comments

  1. Comparison through before and after images really puts your point forward. It is sad to know how we pollute our own home severely. My suggestion is for individual purposes; keep plants on your terraces or balconies, switch to cloth bags replacing plastic bags and STOP LITTERING!

  2. without a shred of doubt Maryam ure right. this is A harsh reality. Now is the time to wakeup and take collective action for a better future .

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