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NEVER BEFORE ...
Never before have we all been united around one cause. Never before has our
global community of scientists joined forces to develop a treatment and
vaccine that fights a single virus. And never before has the connection
between Mother Earth and the human species been so pronounced or profound.
While the effects of the Coronavirus on human beings have been catastrophic,
glimmers of hope have emerged. The pandemic has unwittingly connected us
all like never before. And since we put the brakes on the industrialized
world, the planet has been given a chance to breathe again. Turns out,
Mother Earth is extremely resilient.
THE 50TH BIRTHDAY OF EARTH DAY
April 22nd marked a milestone anniversary for Earth Day. Mankind is more committed than ever to building on the progress of the past while moving toward a sustainable future for all. To quote journalist Emilie Karrick Surrusco of Earthjustice.org, “50 years ago, it wasn’t unusual for rivers to catch fire, for overflowing landfills to seep toxic gases, or for smog-filled skies to dominate our landscapes. While we still have a long way to go toward a healthy, sustainable planet for all, we’ve also come a long way since the first Earth Day brought 20 million Americans into the streets and the modern environmental movement was born.”
BLUE SKIES AND FRESH AIR RETURN
As people around the world limit travel and practice social distancing, blue skies and fresh air are returning. According to Carbon Brief, Coronavirus could trigger the largest ever annual fall in CO2 emissions in records going back to the 18th century.
Earth-orbiting satellites have observed significantly reduced emissions of
nitrogen oxides, which come primarily from cars, trucks, power plants and factories. According
to space.com the decrease in emissions from road and air traffic has been especially prominent
in California, which was the first state in the U.S. to issue a shelter-in-place order, and
has led to fresh air and a beautiful bright blue sky for residents of Southern California.
California isn't the only place in the world where fresh air and blue skies are returning. Air pollution over Italy and China has dropped dramatically, and the air quality in India has improved so much since the country went on Coronavirus lockdown that some residents in northern villages can now see the Himalaya mountains for the first time in 30 years. Another unintended benefit of Coronavirus shutdowns is cleaner water. In Venice, murky canals recently began to clear, revealing fish in the water below.
COME TOGETHER TO SAVE THE PLANET
The earth is getting a much-needed break from the abuse mankind has heaped upon it, and short term silver linings like those mentioned above are well worth celebrating. But unless we return to a new normal that embraces longer-lasting changes like renewable energy, sustainable transportation, and we begin making wise choices in what we consume and how we live, our planet will quickly revert to its fragile state. According to Carbon Brief, “To put the potential 2020 coronavirus effect in a broader climate context, it is worth adding that global emissions would need to fall by some 7.6% every year this decade –nearly 2,800MtCO2 in 2020– in order to limit warming to less than 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures."
This is why we continue to support Conservation International. The mission of this organization is to protect nature so that people and the planet can thrive together, and since it was founded 33 years ago, it has helped to protect more than 2.3 million square miles of land and oceans across more than 70 countries, from Amazonia to Sub-Sahara Africa.
Conservation International’s work has never been more vital or more urgent.
Please give the earth a gift by making a donation to Conservation International. For every $25 you donate you’ll save an acre of ancient forest and protect critical species. Through the months of April and May, we’ll match your gift to the earth when you use this link to donate. Bloomist will match donations up to 1% of our annual revenue. See our 1% pledge. Thank you.
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