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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 Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer This week, the medical journal Lancet published their annual report on health in relation to climate change, subtitling it: “code red for a healthy future.” The report delves beyond the obvious effects of wildfires, hurricanes, and extreme weather events — looking at food security; livelihoods; human physical and mental […]
By Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer The EPA announced Monday that it will move toward regulating perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) — manmade “forever chemicals” — that don’t naturally break down and can contaminate both air and water. These chemicals, found in various household products, from dental floss to nonstick pans, can also be harmful […]
The editors of over 230 medical journals said in a statement on Monday that climate change is a health issue and that its effects could become “catastrophic” if world leaders don’t do more to address it. The health impacts of climate change include wildfire smoke–which has been linked to an increase in positive COVID-19 cases–and pollutants […]
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