Side effects of a pandemic provide insight into an alternative Earth Day 2020 | Environment


The skies are getting rid of the pollution, wildlife is returning to newly clear waters, a multitude of thefts have been cut and crude oil is so useless that industry should pay you to take its hands off – a few months ago , environmentalists could only dream of such a scenario as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in sight.

But this disorienting new green reality is generating little enthusiasm as the cause is the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged much of the world.

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“This is not the way we would have wanted it to happen, God no,” said Gina McCarthy, former director of the US Environmental Protection Agency for the Obama administration. “It was only a disaster that brought to light the underlying challenges we face. It’s not something to celebrate. “

Wednesday’s annual Earth Day event, which takes place largely online this year, comes as public health restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 have resulted in a sharp drop in air pollution in China, Europe and the United States, with carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are heading for a record annual decline of 5%.

The waters of Venice are now clear, lions bask on the roads normally used by safari enthusiasts in South Africa and bears and coyotes roam empty accommodation in Yosemite National Park in California.

Meanwhile, nearly eight in ten flights worldwide have been canceled, with many planes in the United States carrying only a handful of people. The petroleum industry, one of the main drivers of the climate crisis and the direct environmental disaster, is in turmoil, with a barrel of crude reaching an unprecedented low – $ 40 on Monday.

Perhaps these would be the kind of results seen if strict environmental policies were put in place following the first Earth Day in 1970, which saw 20 million Americans rally to support anti-pollution measures.


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