ISSUE 1 : How is the environment doing?
The planet is healing, everyone! Or so seem to assert the mass. You’ve probably been witness to various news reports or pictures of nature becoming cleaner and greener. The venitian canals are as blue as ever, the skies of Delhi are free of pollution and wild animals are roaming the ghost streets of American cities. But what happened to get us to this point?
Varying from one country to the other, lockdown officially started in March of this year - 16th in the UK and the next day in France. In more densely populated countries such as India, this triggered a massive decrease of air pollution. For a country with 21 of the 30 most polluted cities worldwide, some are even seeing the virus as a silver lining. The particle known as PM 2.5 is decreasing in all those cities, as no cars or power plants have been in use. The news is such a relief, as this particle is able to enter your bloodstream through the lungs and cause serious health problems. The Indian ministry of health can go outside and take a breather - literally. Another form of pollution, caused by traffic, is also witnessing a rapid decline. The impact of India’s industries on the cleanliness of the air is so great, that nitrogen dioxide levels started dropping even before lockdown was officially implemented. But this trend isn’t specific to densely populated countries like India, it also applies to Europe, as lockdown restrictions have been even stricter there. The pollution levels over major cities have dropped in the space of a few weeks. However, as CREA analyst Sunil Dahiya said: ‘Pollution is going down, but we cannot let the suffering of so many human beings be the way to clean the air’.
As the world’s fight against the pandemic rattles on, Dahiya among many has advised not to celebrate as the death of thousands of people is not something to be proud of. Instead, international leaders should aim not to take the benefits brought with the lockdown for granted, but rather to build a better world from there on.