Could we fight global warming from home? Or walk, ride, bike, train or sail to our next adventure?
Earlier this year while we humans were quarantined, the planet thrived. Void of people, the environment came to life. Dolphins and swans could be seen swimming in the Venice canals, wild animals spotted in the streets of Paris, Wales, South American, and in the U.S., and even the Himalayas were visible in India due to lack of air pollution. If all of this happened within a few months, imagine what could happen if the world stayed home more often—could we fight global warming from home?
The largest decline in global greenhouse gas emissions
With 16,000 passenger jets grounded worldwide and fewer cars on roads, factories halting or limiting production, and many businesses shut down, greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen dioxide, black carbon, and water pollution have decreased drastically.
According to a new report from the Global Carbon Project global greenhouse gas emissions plunged by roughly 2.4 billion tons this year, a 7% drop from 2019 and the largest decline on record, triggered by worldwide Covid-19 restrictions.
- The U.S. had the largest drop in carbon emissions of 12%
- The European Union emissions dropped by 11%
- India saw a drop in emissions of 9%
- And China had a drop of 1.7% in carbon emissions
Researchers said emissions will likely rebound in 2021 and urged governments to prioritize a shift to clean energy and policies that tackle climate change in their economic recovery plans.
So what does this mean?
Science Direct did a report based on 57 different studies which relieved that the countries like China, USA, Italy, and Spain were in lockdown for a period of time, had significant reductions in environmental pollution and improvements in environmental quality.
While a global pandemic or having people stay in isolation is not the answer to global warming, staying home did improve global warming. Perhaps the world doesn’t need to go back to pre-pandemic life as we know it. Maybe we can all do our part and work together to fight climate change in small ways, which adds up to a huge difference. Here are some things we could do:
- Continue to work from home: many companies will transition to permanent remote work in the future. It cuts down overhead costs for them and cuts down emissions from the office building. It also helps keep you off the road, cutting down your carbon footprint (and not having to deal with traffic!)
- Make your next car a hybrid or electric car: these cars have come a long way since they were first introduced and they are more affordable and more efficient than ever.
- Take public transportation: now’s a great time to rethink that commute if you do have to go back to the office
- Bike to work: it’s good for the environment and good for you
- Do everything you can to get wherever you are going using green energy.
On a larger scale, maybe we can come together and, similar to quarantine but without the harsh restrictions, all take a few weeks or few months every year and give ourselves and our world a break.
Imagine what could happen. Humanity may just survive and live to tell about it.