It’s pretty difficult to see past anything other than COVID-19 right now, but today is the perfect opportunity to peel your eyes off the news for a moment and take a glimpse outside at mother nature, because today marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
Earth Day started all the way back in 1970, and 50 years on is marked by more than a billion people as a day of action to change human behaviour and create global, national and local policy changes. Hear about it all below:
After much of Australia was devastated by bushfires earlier this year, the impacts of climate change have never been so front-of-mind until now – in the midst of a global pandemic.
As Marshall Shepherd of Forbes points out, “This coronavirus pandemic is a low probability, high-impact event that people can “see.” Climate-related impacts are often not as obvious to the public.” However, we can already see the – albeit temporary – positive impacts social distancing and tight government restrictions are having on the environment.
According to an infographic from Venngage, since the pandemic, there has been far less air traffic which means a drop in greenhouse gas emissions. There has reportedly been a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide in New York, and carbon emissions fell by 25% in China – a country you can actually see from space now there is less air pollution.
Commemorating Earth Day during the pandemic also means a newfound appreciation for science and the scientists at the forefront of a COVID-19 vaccine. Not to mention the epiphany that we, as a group, have banded together to help flatten the curve – if only we could put that same energy in pushing to stop climate change.
It’s important to note that the positive environmental impacts are temporary, and are bound to return to normal levels after lockdowns are lifted – but the pandemic has the power to change our attitudes for good.
This year, you can celebrate Earth Day online. Head to EarthDay.org to find out about the many talks, challenges, festivals, film screenings, and classes happening today.
Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.