The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is taking place in a world transformed by the coronavirus pandemic. This April 22, empty highways and shuttered factories around the globe have led to better air quality, cleaner water, and emergent wildlife — a temporary recovery that offers a glimpse at the possibility of a cleaner future. Environmental experts say the global standstill has provided an object lesson in the power of collective action in the face of a large-scale, invisible threat — as well as the dangers of a delayed response.
To mark this Earth Day, dive into these reads about the pandemic’s effect on the environment and what lessons this moment might hold for the fight against climate change. For resources and ways to take action, visit EarthDay.org.
Widespread social-distancing measures have produced some jarring effects across land, air, and sea.
Sure, emissions have fallen. But a closer look at how the global crisis is influencing the environment reveals some surprising dynamics.
Humans don’t easily grasp the concept of exponential growth, but it’s exactly why coronavirus has gotten so hard to manage—and why climate change could too.
Our disappearance will affect food webs and reproduction—and then we will come back.
The story we tell about pandemics casts us as victims of nature. It’s the other way around.
Society has moved far more aggressively to address the coronavirus than it has the climate crisis. But some experts wonder if the unprecedented global mobilization to slow the pandemic might help pave the way for more dramatic climate action. We asked eight scientists, activists and other experts what a coronavirus-like response to climate change would look like.
While carbon emissions fall as human activity decreases, in the end it will be about the politics.
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