Our environment is always changing. We cannot negating that. However, due to these changes, there is a need to increase awareness of the problems that surround it. People need to be aware of what types of environmental problems our planet is facing.
Our planet is warming up and we are definitely part of the problem. However, this isn’t the only environmental problem that we should be concerned about. All across the world, people are facing environmental problems day after day. Some of them are small and only affect a few ecosystems, but others are drastically changing the landscape of what we already know, probably COVID-19 is among on the list. For instance pollution of air, water and soil require millions of years to recover from the current state. Industrial activities and motor vehicle are number one pollutants. Heavy metals, nitrates and plastic are toxins responsible for pollution. While water pollution is caused by oil spill, acid rain, urban runoff; Soil pollution is majorly caused by industrial waste that deprives soil from essential nutrient; and Air pollution is caused by various gases and toxins released by industries and factories and combustion of fossil fuels.
In past few months, the world has been transformed. Thousands of people have already died, and hundreds of thousands more have fallen ill, from a coronavirus that was previously unknown before appearing in the city of Wuhan in December 2019. For millions of others who have not caught the disease, their entire way of life has changed by it. This has led to pop question to some of environmentalists because the current environmental problems pose a lot of risk to health of humans, and animals. Dirty water is the biggest health risk of the world and poses threat to the quality of life and public health. Run-off to rivers carries along toxins, chemicals and disease carrying organisms. Pollutants cause respiratory disease like Asthma and cardiac-vascular problems. High temperatures encourage the spread of infectious diseases like Dengue. And now we have COVID19, Is coronavirus pandemic among the health public issue caused by environmental problem?
Due to this pandemic, people have been told to stay in their homes. Worldwide, flights are being cancelled or turning around in mid-air, as the aviation industry buckles. Those who are able to do so are staying at home, practicing social distancing and working remotely. It is all aimed at controlling the spread of Covid-19, and hopefully reducing the death toll. But all this change has also led to some unexpected consequences. As industries, transport networks and businesses have closed down, it has brought a sudden drop in carbon emissions. Compared with this time last year.
According to BBC Future, levels of pollution in New York have reduced by nearly 50% because of measures to contain the virus. In China, emissions fell 25% at the start of the year as people were instructed to stay at home, factories shuttered and coal use fell by 40% at China’s six largest power plants since the last quarter of 2019. The proportion of days with “good quality air” was up 11.4% compared with the same time last year in 337 cities across China, according to its Ministry of Ecology and Environment. In Europe, satellite images show nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions fading away over northern Italy. A similar story is playing out in Spain and the UK.
Only an immediate and existential threat like Covid-19 could have led to such a profound change so fast; at the time of writing, global deaths from the virus had passed 90,000, with more than 1,614,861 cases confirmed worldwide. As well as the toll of early deaths, the pandemic has brought widespread job losses and threatened the livelihoods of millions as businesses struggle to cope with the restrictions being put in place to control the virus. Economic activity has stalled and stock markets have tumbled alongside the falling carbon emissions. It’s the precisely opposite of the drive towards a decarbonized, sustainable economy that many have been advocating for decades.
A global pandemic that is claiming people’s lives certainly shouldn’t be seen as a way of bringing about environmental change either. For one thing, it’s far from certain how lasting this dip in emissions will be. When the pandemic eventually subsides, will carbon and pollutant emissions “bounce back” so much that it will be as if this clear-skied interlude never happened? Or could the changes we see today have a more persistent effect?