Friday, June 5, 2020

The effect of the pandemic on the environment for World Environment Day

Happy World Environment Day!*
June 5, every year is celebrated as World Environment Day or WED. The day is set aside to encourage awareness and action to protect the natural environment. It draws attention to environmental issues such as marine pollution, air pollution, deforestation, and wildlife crime such as poaching.

Each year, WED has a new theme that major corporations, communities, governments, and celebrities adopt to advocate environmental causes.
DW opened its video report on today with this year's theme, biodiversity, and the tag line, "time for nature." Watch and listen as the clip asks and answers What effect does the coronavirus pandemic have on pollution and climate change?

The UN has designated today 'World Environment Day' as part of efforts to encourage awareness of global heating and the need to stop climate change. The coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge reduction in pollution and greenhouse gases in some regions as economic activity is suspended to prevent the spread of the disease. But not all environmentalists are optimistic about what this could mean for the future of our planet.
Even though CO2 emissions have slowed worldwide due to coronavirus restrictions, environmentalists fear a spike in waste from protective equipment - which often ends up in the world's oceans and seas.
This video reiterates much of what I covered in Coronavirus response reducing air pollution updates climate change and the environment for the ninth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News and Pandemic effects from and on space, an April asteroid flyby, and NASA at Home for Apophis Day on Monday the 13th, but the environmental hazard from discarded PPE is a new topic. VOA News covers that in Discarded COVID Gear is a Problem for NYC.

How New York is dealing with health and environmental hazard
Here's something everyone can do to help the environment today — discard your used PPE properly. Don't litter!

Since biodiversity is today's theme and I like to close circles, I return to the original topic in Reuters The race to protect Earth's biodiversity.

Earth risks losing up to a million species due to human activities, scientists have warned, adding that saving biodiversity needs as much focus as climate change.
I agree with this sentiment. While climate change has become the predominant environmental issue of our time, my original environmental cause was biodiversity, especially protecting endangered species, so I think both are equally important. The scientists Reuters cites and I are not alone. We Don't Have Time tweeted a poll asking which crisis was most acute, climate change or biodiversity. As I am writing this, 47.2% responded both are equally acute, 27.4% responded the climate crisis, and 10.3% responded the biodiversity crisis, while 15.1% responded none of them are acute. I wondered what the people who picked that last choice thought and found out they were a bunch of climate change deniers. Why am I not surprised?

*Normally, I'd be celebrating National Donut Day today, but as much as I love food holidays, I think the times require something more serious. Besides, this is a day I should have been celebrating all along.

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