“Every cloud has a silver lining” – The saying holds truer than ever today. As the government focuses on our duty as a community to stay home and stay safe, the planet has taken the opportunity to recover itself from human actions.
It is healing.
Environmentalists and experts claim that data points out to a significant increase of ecological standards around the globe. Here’s a look at the most noticeable of these phenomena to celebrate a greener earth that promises better health in the years to come.
1. Cleaner air for everybody
Due to the regulation of public life by health advisories, there has been a significant decrease in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and other particulate matter. This has resulted in increased visibility and cleaner air quality.
North Indian cities like Jalandhar are now able to view a Himalayan backdrop, a phenomenon that has not happened in the last 30 years. According to Centre for Research and Clean Air, carbon emissions in Europe may also drop by 388.8 million tons.
Even Delhi which has been in news for harmful air quality has experienced a plummet in particulate matter 2.5 by 61% compared to April 2019, according to the Central Pollution Control Board. The Ministry of Earth Sciences has recorded a 20% – 60% decrease in pollution levels across the city from March 21st to April 20th.
Catching on in the race of healing Indian cities, Mumbai, the country’s economic capital, was able to achieve “good” air quality for the first time in many years. A report by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air has recorded a 71% drop from the March 11 – 24 to the March 24 – April 7 nitrogen dioxide levels.
2. The return of clean water in Venice
The low water traffic in Venice canals has reduced clogging sediment in the city and enabled cleaner and clearer channels with an abundant exhibition of life including shoals and crabs. While the reduction of tourist boats is affecting the economy, it has become a boon in disguise for the natural ecosystem that is thriving in the waterways of the city.
3. A chance for wildlife to thrive
We have all been hearing it for some time now – wildlife is reclaiming the Earth. Environmentalists are ecstatic at the return of Dolphins in Italian shores, Mumbai shores, and even the Ganges in Kolkata.
From goats in Wales to deer in Japan and boars in Spain, wildlife is roaming in abundance urban areas that were off-limits.
In fact, India too has witnessed its fair share of wildlife recovery. A creek in Navi Mumbai has been filled with visiting Flamingoes from Gujarat’s Rann of Kutch. The Bombay Natural History Society has recorded 1.5 lakhs flamingoes in the first week of April as compared to the 1.2 lakhs seen last year. Some individuals have also been posting pictures of peacocks being spotted in Mumbai’s Babulnath area!
On the other hand, residents of Gurgaon who live by the Kikar Forest have spotted an increase in birds like Long Tail Shrike, Indian Roller, Purple Sunbird, and mammals like Nilgais.
All these incidents and the various studies that follow it give us hope for a new tomorrow. Maybe when we look past this phase and return to our daily lives, we are finally going to have a cleaner, healthier planet for ourselves.