One of the silver linings of the whole world grinding to a halt is just how fast Mother Nature bounces back when humanity takes its foot off her throat. From Venice to London to LA residents are amazed by the clarity of the water, the blueness of the sky. Early in the lockdown, satellite images showed us that as the hum of human activity drops off, harmful pollution does too. Even before the crisis, the large no-go area around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor led to a thriving ecosystem of wolves, bears, lynx and hundreds of birds. Marine sanctuaries regrow corals rapidly and teem with wildlife where before there was just wasteland.
This is not to say that the economic devastation brought by the corona virus is in anyway a positive thing - far from it. The world is witnessing countless hardships, miseries and personal tragedies which no-one would welcome. What it does show though is just how powerful the global ecosystem's tendency toward balance is. Climate change - the next supreme challenge for humanity - is going to require a global effort to overcome. What this small glimmer has shown us, is that the planet is ready and able to help us when we make that effort.
May 8, 2020