During this pandemic, the world has been put on hold. And while economies are crashing, Earth is thriving.
Los Angeles is recording the cleanest air it has seen in 40 years. Carbon monoxide emissions are down 50% in New York. The canals of Venice are crystal clear and jellyfish have been spotted swimming in them. The skies of Delhi, a city normally swallowed by thick fumes and industrial exhaust, are blue during the day, and shine bright with stars at night. In Nairobi, Mount Kenya can now suddenly be seen towering 85 miles away.
The global shutdown has given us a glimpse at a greener, cleaner future for our planet. While air quality will likely decrease once we return to normal life, these changes could encourage environmental regulations and policies that could lead to cleaner air in the long term.
We need to recreate our society in a way that dramatically reduces emissions, and rebuild a world that is much more sustainable. Milan is transforming 35km of its roads to cut air pollution and congestion. Paris is spending €300 million on 650km of bike paths designed for post-pandemic life. We have to reimagine cities. This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reimagine.
"If you were reminded that the sky in your town is blue when it's always gray, maybe after this is over, we can all pledge to keep the sky blue".
Let today be our wake-up call for a better, healthier Earth.