The COVID virus pandemic has caused huge decreases in transportation and industrial activities which has resulted in decreases in air pollution levels and greenhouse emissions. Just in April 2020, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were reduced by 17% globally.
Yet, the highest levels of CO2 ever recorded were 417.1 parts per million in May 2020. This is because of past winter emissions and the fact that carbon dioxide can stay in the atmosphere for many decades. Lower transportation use has reduced car emissions of pollutants that contribute to ozone gas formation, particularly during heatwaves. Ozone is a hazardous gas that mostly affects people with respiratory conditions, coinciding with the high-risk population to COVID-19. Besides changes in human behaviors, governments have taken action that can help or hurt the environment. Many governments have relaxed environmental regulations, have weakened climate policies, are fostering development in forested areas like the Amazon, or have postponed the Climate Paris agreement. Single-use plastic has skyrocketed during the pandemic due to the use of masks and protective equipment. Also, more people are thinking of relocating to less densely populated areas in response to the pandemic which will increase traffic, energy use, or the demand for food and services. At the same time, people are reconsidering lifestyles and have decreased consumerism, which should reduce our environmental footprint and they may have renewed faith in science and expertise.
Tuesday, October 13
Time: 6 pm
Register at EVENTBRITE: https://www.