We are two weeks into lockdown in the UK, and well it can be a bit of a depressing time, we can’t see friends or family or be in what would be the ‘usual routine’. Plus the shelves have pretty much been stripped bare so that valuable time out the house to get supplies doesn’t exactly put a smile on your face!
But we are in this situation and we have to do what we can to get through this together – thank the Lord for technology! It looks like the death toll in the UK is slowly starting to level out which is a great sign, and really highlights the reason why we all need to take this seriously and continue staying home.
I feel for those who are truly isolated at this time and for the key workers who are keeping the world moving.
Use this website to stay on top of the latest trends.
But in this chaos there is a silver lining and not just for the introverts who have been hoping for a holiday from all human interactions!
- A reduction in air pollution. The dangers of air pollution have been known for a while, but the severity of it I still feel is underrepresented. A reduction in traffic and a general change of habits have reduced the levels of Nitrogen Dioxide NO2 in the atmosphere. Italy has reported a drop of up to 40%. In fact, in China, it has been calculated that the reduction in pollution which has occurred over the last two months has probably saved the lives of 4,000 children under 5 and 73,000 adults over 70. The current global death toll is 71,270 – so the reduced pollution in china alone has saved more lives than coronavirus has taken globally.
That’s pretty huge – who thinks Zero-emission zones are a waste of money now?
- More people are turning to self-sufficiency. With supermarket shelves emptying faster than they can be filled and with stricter measured threatened more people are becoming interested in growing their own fruit and veg. Garden centres are reported to be selling out of vegetable seedlings, and even those without gardens are finding ways to grow their own, with portable veg gardens becoming popular.
Growing your own veg and fruit is a great way to be self-sufficient and reduces the need to buy plastic-covered cucumbers, lettuce and strawberries which are transported across the country to your local supermarket.
- Coal and oil activities have dropped, which means CO2 emissions have too. NASA reports that average coal consumption at power plants have reached a four year low. A situation such as this shows the importance of energy diversification and the efficiency of renewable energy. being able to harness our energy without workers at power plants. Maybe this situation will shed new light on renewable energy, to show that we can get energy without workers at power plants. allowing more resources to be put into this area to enable us to live with fewer fossil fuels.
How does COVID-19 link with Climate Change?
Both the coronavirus and climate change will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest, and they both threaten the health and safety of loved ones and of global citizens. Situations such as these show how health services, like the NHS, are essential to protect our society from threats such as these.
This pandemic has caused us all to change our behaviours, such as working from home instead of driving to work and not going on that cruise or flight you had booked. We have realised, that although we are resistant, we can make significant changes to our lifestyles. We have also realised that the health and well being of our loved ones is what is most important, and how to enjoy time at home exercising and putting up those extra shelves you bought ages ago!
As we head towards 3C of warming and with it bringing huge pressures on food security, water supply and the health service. The emergency measures which have been introduced during this pandemic are the sort of drastic measures which are needed to prevent irreversible change from climate change. The difference between these crises is that the events of climate change are still unfolding, and have done slowly over time, where COVID-19 has occurred in comparison like a bolt of lightning. Because of how quickly this threat developed its easy to understand why actions have been more receptive regarding this pandemic than they have for climate change. In fact, actions towards climate change are pretty pale in comparison.
But this sort of receptiveness and government support is what is required for the climate change crisis. We will get over the COVID-19 threat and when we do we will need to rebuild our society and economy in a way which addresses the climate change crisis fully. After all, this pandemic has shown the importance of renewable energy and investments in this should be increased where investments to the fossil fuel industry should be stopped. Hopefully, through this emergency, we can understand that we can make the necessary changes, but also how our health and well-being is certainly under significant threat.
So here’s to getting over COVID-19 and to rebuilding our society and economy in an efficient way, void of our old polluting habits. I hope that soon we will have increased investment to a lower carbon society and global support of actions which lower our carbon footprints. Drastic change is needed to address the threat of climate change and this emergency might have been the shift which we needed to make this happen.