While everyone has been feeling the effects of COVID-19 worldwide, the pandemic does have a silver lining with some positive effects on our planet. Strict lockdowns, curfews and a huge reduction in airline travel has given our beautiful mother earth a chance to breathe, and some of the effects are truly astounding.
1 - Global emissions are down.
While we are experiencing an economic downturn, the good news is that global emissions have reduced significantly. According to economic analyst Lauri Myllyvirta, China’s carbon emissions fell by around 25 per cent over a four-week period, equivalent to around 200 megatonnes of CO2.
2 - Pollution levels have reduced dramatically.
As pollution levels in India drop, the Himalayas are visible for the first time in decades. With much of the country in lockdown due to the pandemic, some residents in northern India say they can see the snow-capped Himalayas 200 kilometres away for the first time in 30 years. India's Central Pollution Board says there's been a 'significant improvement in air quality'.
3 - Canal water has cleared in Venice.
The canals of Venice are much clearer, with residents reporting they can see jellyfish swimming in the waters. While some experts say this may not indicate less pollution, rather the absence of tourist boats stirring up sediment, there is no doubt that marine life has increased, says Italian biologist Andrea Mangoni.
4 - Turtles return to empty beaches.
Leatherback sea turtles, the largest living sea turtles, are making a comeback on Juno Beach in Florida. The beach is the most densely nested sea turtle beach in the world, according to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. For the first time in memory, people are banned from stepping near the nests while beaches remain closed during the pandemic.
“If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases.” – David Suzuki