A possible silver lining?


Robert S Donovan

The lock down in China reduced emissions by 250 million tons.

Adyson Sand, Staff writer

As the world undergoes a drastic shift from the mundane life we had become so accustomed to, every good thing seems to be drowned out by the chatter of the COVID-19 virus. Although the virus has done its fair share of destruction, recent studies have pitched the idea that our world may be experiencing a 25 percent decrease in carbon emissions.

With little to no industrial output, our Earth has taken the past months to replenish. Air quality has seen extreme improvement during this time along with a larger presence of roaming animal life. Levels of nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide have taken a plunge from the atmosphere due to the lack of human presence. Scientists have suggested that levels of CO2 are at a record low since the financial crisis nearly a decade ago. 

Although this decrease seems like a silver lining in all of this terror, many researchers say this drop will shrink to merely nothing once life goes back to normal. The New York Times claims, “economic disruptions on this scale, whether caused by disease or recession, are usually accompanied by severe human costs and rarely make it easier to fight climate change. In some cases, they can make it harder.” Despite the major improvement we are witnessing, maintaining this pace is just not realistic. 

We look at China for reference, as they are nearing a close to new cases of the virus. As China enters the recovery stage, they have begun to rebuild their economy. This reboot has abolished all progress made during the quarantining period. 

“By the end of March, energy usage, air pollution levels and carbon emissions all seemed to be on the rebound,” said a Finland-based non-profit, Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

In the end, it seems as though the lowering of global greenhouse gases will not be something we have to thank the Coronavirus for. However, this fiasco will hopefully circulate awareness on the manageability we have over the fuels we push out into the world.