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As people around the world are staying indoors, factories are shuttering and cars are off the road, it’s become evident that the biggest winner of the coronavirus pandemic is our planet. Los Angeles’ air quality is in the green, and in fact, air pollution and CO2 emissions are falling around the world. Venice’s canals are so clear that you can spot fish–a dolphin was even spotted for the first time in 60 years! And monkeys and deer are beginning to reclaim the areas in Asia where they once roamed freely.
In addition, people are also starting to think about food waste and how to do more with less. Though this is all happening amidst the backdrop of an unnerving global pandemic, it’s proof that changes in our actions and consumption can have an enormous benefit for our planet.
Why This Matters: As we work to respond to the coronavirus crisis and as governments work on stimulus packages we must seize on the opportunity to ensure that we don’t just return to normal: we should build something better. Let’s use stimulus dollars that create jobs to preserve nature and lead us to a future where clean air isn’t a luxury we experience only during a mass quarantine. We’re at an impasse–in the United States at least–where we can orient our spending for a more just society and we should hold our leaders accountable to putting us on the right path.
Latest From The Hill: Yesterday Senate Republicans introduced a trillion-dollar coronavirus package, while Senate Democrats are still working on their own proposal. A companion package is being drafted in the House.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer On Tuesday, the California Fish and Game Commission voted to accept a petition that will grant the Joshua tree, the famous twisty-limbed yucca plant native to the Mojave desert, endangered species status for one year while the state conducts a study. The plant is now considered a “candidate species” […]
by Razi Beresin-Scher and Miro Korenha According to recent reporting from The Hill, atmospheric smoke is exacerbating the toll of the COVID-19 virus in Oregon and California. Smoke inhalation weakens the immune systems of those suffering from asthma and other underlying respiratory conditions, compromising their ability to recover from the virus. Researchers at the Harvard […]
Increasing populations, incomes, urbanization, and temperatures could “triple the number of AC units installed worldwide by midcentury, pushing the total toward 6 billion,” as James Temple reported for the MIT Technology Review. This could create one of the “largest sources of rising electricity demand around the world.”
Why This Matters: This is the paradox of climate change. As the world warms, cooling will be even more necessary.
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