There are countless ways corona virus will affect our society and some of them we could expect while others came out of nowhere and they are making us rethinking how things were before. One of those is the effect it has on the environment.
Ideas about bold climate action have been around for years if not decades and they were never put in practice because they were not in line with the needs and interest of most businesses. However, the lockdown has set aside those concerns since the health risk of running some businesses are now too great.
CO2 we emit into the atmosphere is probably the most damaging thing we can do to the environment and curbing its use hasn’t been easy as long as we want to continue with the comfortable lifestyle that we are used to.
As much as 2.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, about 8% of the estimated total for the year, will never be emitted into the atmosphere. That’s the reduction that no one was planning on and that any other event couldn’t produce.
There was also a big drop in demand for power which was unimaginable up until a few years ago. This is especially so because the drop mostly came from China. China is an ever growing country and one that has made great leaps in their technology and industry. All of this led to using more power each year.
42 percent drop in the demand for power happen in Hubei province of China alone. That’s in comparison to how much power was used in the same region in 2019. On a global level, that number is somewhere at 6 percent which is much more than in 2008, when the demand dropped due to the economic crisis.
Ground displacement is also much more prominent than it was before and that’s basically because there’s much less movement now than there was in the previous year. Some forms of traffic such as air travel are stopped almost completely since it can’t be done in a safe way.
As much as 16.000 jets have been grounded and 80 percent of all flights are now canceled. There’s as much as 59 percent less traffic in India and 29 percent less traffic in the busiest parts of the world such as London.
The demand for oil also dropped simply because there was much less movement in every country in the world. The demand dropped for about 5 percent at this point. This has even led to unimaginable situation of oil companies having to pay people to take their crude oil of their hands, since there was no place for them to store them.
This isn’t something that we’re used to but it is in a way, one of the means we have to grapple with the impact we have on the environment around us.
Noise pollution is one of those things that we are all so used to, especially so if we live in big and urban areas, where noise pollution is just the way things are. The best way to notice how much noise pollution affects us is to stop it for a short period of time. That’s just what happened.
This was first noticed in China and mostly in Wuhan where the first lockdowns were put in place. People started noticing that they are starting to hear the sounds of nature, such as birds singing and the wind in the trees and that wasn’t the case for years before.
It’s not yet known what all of this means in terms of any big picture changes and the long lasting impact. However, if there’s one thing for certain that’s that things are going to change. The environmental movement should use this examples to showcase the depth and the importance of our impact on the environment.
This can come with more help from the general population because those effects and how the world looks like without them, is more noticeable to anyone going through the pandemic.
Corona virus has impacted the environment in the ways we haven’t expected or planned for. The environmental impact of production, traffic and our day to day lives is greatly diminished and it’s starting to be noticeable in terms the emission of CO2 and overall pollution.
This can prove to be an important event for those who care about preserving the environment because it shows how deep our impact on the natural world is. It’s also a truly global event which isn’t something that happens often and it may lead to global action as well.