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Unforeseen Beneficiary of Lockdown: Reviving Nature

There is an incredible discovery amid global lockdown due to the pandemic which has already shaken up the world. With factories closed, roads with feathered visitors, and black, dirty pollution quilt thinning over continents and oceans; amid the pandemic, we have learned that reviving nature to its actual being; which we have polluted enough, isn’t as tough as we think.

Lockdown, Effect on Environment

With the almost entire world in a lockdown, no flights polluting the air with hazardous chemicals, and motorways coming to standstill; the only silver lining in the dark cloud of this global pandemic is the reviving environment.

Congested tourist spots are now in indiscernible silence. With the least possible human intervention, nature is now seemingly coming back to life, it’s breathing again.

Degradation in Carbon Dioxide Emission

Countries are experiencing a temporary about 40% decrease in carbon dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions. Air traffic has decreased to about half, road traffics declined by 70% in the UK. China which is the world’s biggest source of carbon emission went down by 18% between February and mid-march; by cutting off its carbon emission of 250 tons.

Moreover, Europe has also reduced its carbon emission by 390 tons. Similarly, the US’s major source of carbon emission is passenger vehicles, and due to the nation’s lockdown, it has fallen by almost 40%.

Lockdowns proved to have a devastating effect on fossil fuel industries. Car sales have reduced by 44%; oil is one of the biggest sources of carbon dioxide so consequently reducing the global carbon emission from the core. Some analysts think this to be the ‘beginning of the end of oil’.

Ameliorating Air Quality

A study from Columbia University shows that there is a fall of 50% in carbon dioxide emission and a fall of 10% in carbon monoxide in New York. In China, there is a fall in nitrogen dioxide by 36% after the holidays of the Chinese new year. Before February there was recorded a decrease of 25% in carbon dioxide emissions.

At first, the reviving nature and clearer environment were only visible from space through satellites. But now, it can be felt from down here too. We can see the clear night sky and feel the freshness in the air.

The European Space Agency’s satellite reveals a sharp decrease in the level of air pollution in Italy after the lockdowns were imposed.

Effect on Flora and Fauna from Reviving Nature

With the world wrought by novel coronavirus; the environment is now rejuvenating. Wildlife is now visible in urban areas. With lesser and lesser humans outside, the animals now feel safe. In the UK alone every year 100,000 hedgehogs, 30,000 deer, 50,000 badgers, and about 100,000 foxes die in road accidents, hitten by cars and trucks. Due to feathered vehicles on road these animals are much safer; that is one of the reasons that they can now be seen roaming on roads and highways.

Coyotes were spotted on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. After decades people witnessed a few glimpses of deer grazing near Washington, only a few miles from the White House. Wild Boars are now valiantly coming out in Barcelona and Bergamo, Italy.

 Goats and Sheep were seen grazing in a deserted playground in Monmouthshire. Wildlife has started venturing out while humans are in lockdown.

Nameer PO, professor of wildlife, Kerala Agricultural University says “In all likelihood, it is just that people didn’t have time to observe all these creatures that coexisted with us before,”.

A few analysts think that it is also a dangerous misconception. Rich developed countries are seeing a temporary recovery in nature because there isn’t much left to admire. Secondly, the poor nations are already undergoing tremendous crises for money and in that case, for reviving nature and these endangered species there wouldn’t be enough money to conserve and protect them.

Turning the Screw on Policymakers

This global pandemic has frozen everyone’s blood. It has demonstrated a lethal consequence of ignoring the warnings, and political delay that results in sacrificing human health and the economy.

UN Environment Program says that 75% of the infectious viruses are originated from animals. They are transmitted to humans via animal trafficking, and then spreads over the entire globe; like this one.

China is the world’s biggest market for wild animals, yet it doesn’t seem to understand it. The wet market in china is now open including the one in Wuhan from where coronavirus is speculated to originate.

Is it Right to Hold China Accountable for COVID-19?

There have been growing calls for a global ban on the ‘wet market‘.

United Nations leaders and activists and scientists are trying to put clean energy, natural infrastructure, green jobs, and strengthening global commands into policymakers’ ears; through debates. Scientists have altogether signed an appeal for the same.

Reviving the Nature

Clearly due to fewer human interventions environment is rejuvenating. Human loss is too high in the pandemic so there is no reason to celebrate the reviving of nature but; these days of lockdown have changed the way we think of change.

We have realized that our irrational use of resources is the reason behind the current state of the environment; and if years of pillaging the planet weren’t enough, we have somehow managed to unleash a pandemic upon ourselves. If post-pandemic there wouldn’t be any pressure on the government; they would again return to an unsustainable form of development as before.

After this, all is over it would be on our shoulders where we want our future to be. As in the pre-COVID times or a healthy world that is more economically, and medically ready to deal with such pandemics with a sustainable form of development. It would depend also upon long-term political decisions of what follows.