Letter: This ‘break’ has been great for the environment

Posted 3/26/20

With all the frightening news that we are being constantly bombarded with, and the scary projected scenarios and uncertainties looming for the future, my engineer son-in-law brought up a truly …

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Letter: This ‘break’ has been great for the environment

Posted

With all the frightening news that we are being constantly bombarded with, and the scary projected scenarios and uncertainties looming for the future, my engineer son-in-law brought up a truly comforting concept.

He was saying that in engineering school he learned about The Principle of Equilibrium: which is the flow of energy and its disruption, and resetting, to put it simply. Our conversation progressed from there to explore a more expansive look at the emerging pandemic.

It is of interest that the virus pervading our population is a respiratory illness, erupting in a time of alarming, yet continuing global warming, which is a direct result of pollution of the very air we breathe. All creatures, when under stress, cannot effectively fight off invading forces, such as germs or other harmful stressors.

With the wave of illness beginning in China, industry there dropped off severely as a of result the closing of factories. A satellite photo of the Hubei Province some weeks ago visually evidenced the reduction of nitrogen dioxide emissions there. Similarly lower evidence of pollution has been shown over Italy, as more and more regulations surrounding work and travel have been put into place to reduce the risk of viral transmission.

The slump in production and subsequent shipping of goods around the world on those huge, super polluting container vessels, and then, as a result, less trucking of products out to their final destinations, coupled with people working from home and thus driving less, as well as people not traveling, thus fewer planes in the air, is resulting in less pollution.

At a time when educated and powerful world leaders cannot seem to figure out how to attain the goals of reducing carbon emissions, it seems a microscopic organism has taken the lead.

People “hunkering down” are realizing that they can make do with less, and are hopefully reassessing the crazed obsession with consumerism and spending. We can take this opportunity to decide what really matters in our lives, and find simple ways to attain joy and comfort. On a less personal scale, companies now have a real life chance to evaluate the effectiveness of the “work from home” concept, thus addressing the stress and congestion of rush hour traffic.

If the world just takes a break, and gives nature even a little chance to “reset,” then this may be exactly what we need as citizens of the world to wake up and make some changes.

Jean Sharac
Bristol

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