Some are calling it a ‘silver lining;’ others are warning against unjustified celebration, and many are merely delighting in the revelation of our world’s natural beauty. Any way you look at it, there’s no denying that the temporary decrease in air pollution makes for some spectacular views. In honor of Mother’s Day this month, we’d like to honor our Mother Earth by sharing photos depicting her majestic beauty on display.In honor of Mother’s Day this month, we’d like to honor our Mother Earth by sharing photos depicting her majestic beauty on display. Photos of locations that were previously clouded with smog and air pollution are popping up all over the media showing quite a different view.
As many areas across the globe have enforced stay-at-home orders for their citizens, air pollution has significantly decreased short-term, allowing for clearer, brighter horizons and unprecedented photos. Reduced traffic, manufacturing and overall emission of nitrogen dioxide has contributed to crystal clear skies, and bright blue water in areas where a greyish-brown haze was the norm. Though we should enjoy these images, we need to see them for what they are. A warning sign to the human race that these glorious blue skies and green landscapes will all but disappear if we do not heed the lessons learned from this pandemic. As we are staying still in order to save lives, we must also consider staying still beyond this pandemic in order to save our Earth.
So while this brief/interim slowed-down pace is producing some breath-taking photos, let’s stop to consider that this is more than just a pretty view. It’s a lesson in recognizing the long-term positive effects on our environment, which we can possibly implement, by living at a slower pace going forward. As noted by UN Secretary General, Antonio Gueterres, the pandemic is “an unprecedented wake-up call,” but so too is the state of our climate. As he shared in an address given on Earth Day, April 22nd 2020, we must heed the warning signs that we have been ignoring for too long. “Greenhouse gases, just like viruses, do not respect national boundaries. We must act decisively to protect our planet from both the coronavirus and the existential threat of climate disruption.” Temporary environmental benefits should not come at the cost of a global pandemic and economic disaster. These photos of our glorious Mother Earth are but a reminder of the impact human waste has made, and the changes that are imperative in order to save the planet for future generations.