Covid-19 and climate change

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The epidemic provides a chance to do good by the climate

Gaurav Singh

gs3176@nyu.edu

Covid-19 and climate change

The epidemic provides a chance to do good by the climate

March 28, 2020

Summary – The war against climate has long been going on, the current carnage caused due to the Covid-19 has seemed to have positive effects on the climate. Pollution levels all across the world are down, so are the levels of greenhouse gases. Pollution level over china have dropped by 25-30% since the lockdown measures have been imposed, factories have put shut, driving levels of nitrogen dioxide to much lower levels, similar patterns are visible across other major cities over the world. In New York pollution level are down by 8-10%, peak traffic by 15% all these leading to clear skies. Climate change is an important point, one which needs care and these lower levels of harmful gases, positive they may be, but it needs to be sustained over long times so that it has a permanent affect over the environment. In another article in the economist a study found that areas with higher level of pollutions had a greater number of cases than those areas with less amount of pollution. Taking a positive step towards climate change will be beneficial for us only. Similar patterns of lower level of contaminants were seen after the 2008 financial crisis but past records show that those lower levels weren’t sustained not even before that, every time there was an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases after such crisis. Such increase could be attributed to government support to industries having a hard time trying to recover such as construction which causes a lot of emissions. Such trends are visible even now, if the government tries then they could enforce the money provided for relief to be used for efficient green technologies for the respective sector so that they would have a lasting effect. The article also sheds light on how the airline industry agreed to lower emissions in current scenario the levels will be low, but we can’t speak if they will adhere to it in the future. Enforcements now will help in the future. 

Opinion – For my Capstone project my theme is “How to save the planet” using efficient green technologies. Choosing this theme, I understand the importance of saving the planet and the harm that we cause as human beings. With all the business closed down, and factories being shut to save the workers and output are down, less amount of traffic on the streets due to the scare are leading to lower carbon monoxide levels in the sky. Current reduction in the amount of emissions from all the sectors won’t last long if we don’t cooperate. Human involvement is a key factor, in the past time during the internet dot com bubble burst or the 2008 recession, pollution level went down both the times but then rose again after 1-2 years, this time too we see current trend going that way and if strong measures are not imposed by government then it won’t curb. Involvement from both our side and the government is required to keep these emissions at such lower levels.

 

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