Some Lessons Learnt from COVID19

This spring time is different.

The unclear canals of the city of Venice in Italy have crystal clear water, and tiny fish can be seen inside for the first time in history. The majestic Margalla hills overlooking the city of Islamabad is clearly visible from miles away. Furthermore, the dolphins have returned to the ports of Italy after a long time. The environmental changes wrought by corona virus were first visible from space. Then, as the disease and the lock down spread, they could be sensed in the sky above our heads, the air in our lungs and even the ground beneath our feet. The Pandemic of COVID-19 has taken a lot of lives, and the world is still struggling to deal with it, but every set-back comes with a lesson to teach. This time our mother earth is teaching us how much more beautiful our life can be, if we just take care of it.

So how is this all happening? Let’s go through some of the reasons.

Firstly, the shutdown of industrial activity and road transport has led to a significant drop in air pollution in many parts of the world, most notably seen in developed and developing industrial nations like China and Europe. These activities produce Nitrogen dioxide which is extremely harmful for the environment, and the last few weeks’ satellite imagery from NASA is displaying a significant decrease in emissions around the world.

Another reason for the positive impact on the environment is due to the decrease in air travel. It has been noticed that in the first three months of the year 2020, there were sixty-seven million less passengers. This is leading to improving air quality and reducing pollution in the skies above our heads in many parts of the world. Lastly, the outbreak lead to a marked drop in coal consumption.

Coal which is used primarily for energy generation produces many airborne pollutants namely carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxides. Currently, China is one of the biggest producers and consumers of coal, contributing 59 percent of their energy needs in 2018. This year between February and March coal-fired power stations saw thirty six percent drop in consumption.

While the COVID-19 is playing out more quickly than the effects of global warming, the principle is the same. If you wait until you can see the impact, it is too late to stop it. Sadly, we’ve already been observing negative impacts on our climate for a considerable period, but these three months have given us hope that it can revive. To carry out our day to day activities after the outbreak is gone, we’ll still need a source of energy to light up our homes, drive our cars, and operate our plants. What we can do best is to use Renewable sources of energy that do not affect our climate, and Solar Energy might be the answer.

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