Taking a foot off the gas..
As the pandemic deepens I worry that this could also be detrimental to the light that was finally beginning to focus on climate change. The attention shifts to the emergency that feels much closer to home, more real and immediate, effecting everyone in the here and now. Governments that were finally beginning to listen and acknowledge the emergency our environment faces are now fighting a more visible and more vocal fire. I worried that leaders of the world would take their foot of the gas in the fight against climate change but the results of this terrible pandemic have literally caused a nationwide foot to come off the gas. The world has slowed down and with it our impact on the planet.
We have seen fish and sea birds return to the now clear waters of Venice.
The European space agency has noted a significant decline in the levels of nitrous dioxide over Northern Italy due to the countries lockdown.
NASA released images of huge levels of pollution clearing over China within just days of lock down.
The sporting events that do so much to unite us are also some of the biggest contributors of harmful emissions. For example Formula One was due to head to Melbourne, Bahrain, Vietnam, China, Qatar, Thailand, the US and Argentina. Moving all personnel, equipment, hundreds of thousands of fans, travelling by plane, train and car. This is an example of one sport of many and one tour with a hugely detrimental impact on our planet.
In just two weeks the fact that we have seen such a significant drop in emissions should be a huge lesson on how big our impact is. Just within the last few months we've seen catastrophic forest fires ravage Australia and here in the UK extreme flooding and storms.
This pandemic serves as a warning that we can't go on as we are and we need to work out how we can move forward with the world we love and the activities we love but start a new era that nurtures our planet. With many of us with more time on our hands lets use this time wisely. Millions of people are working from home and learning to adapt to a new way of working. So many business could cut down hugely on their impact on the planet with something as simple as cutting out unnecessary travel. We can often replace these visits with video calls and as a result more time spent with loved ones and less time alone in airport lounges. Face to face business is of course invaluable but we should make these opportunities more significant and less frequent. There are so many small changes we can make within our lives and business that this lockdown is allowing us to discover so let's take heed of this warning and plan for the future. As we take a foot off the actual gas lets not take our foot off the metaphorical one and let's use these lessons to make a new start.
The world could be a very different place when this is all over but what we can guarantee is a new found appreciation. Appreciation for our freedom and for time spent with loved ones. The luxury of walking outside and breathing in the fresh air. Small gestures like a handshake or a hug, humans need interaction and after this lets hope we never take it for granted again. Above all, appreciation for those working round the clock to keep us safe, everyone from the healthcare workers to the hospital staff to the farmers feeding the nation.
Stay safe and stay positive x