(April 13, 2020)
As the world struggles through the novel coronavirus pandemic, bad news is rising. Citizens spend evenings glued to their televisions, watching news tick by about death counts, statistic curves, and the stock market. But within the shadows, there’s something else happening for pollution levels.
- In Seattle and LA, nitrogen dioxide is dissipating.
- In New York, carbon monoxide levels are down 50 percent.
- In New Delhi, the sky is blue.
“At night there are stars. During the day the air is so clean that, for once, you can’t taste it, free of the usual smoky metallic tang,” reported South Asia bureau chief Jeffrey Gettleman for the New York Times.
All across the globe pollution levels are dropping in an environmental experiment that no one asked for. But is it really a silver lining of an otherwise disastrous start to the new decade?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused record unemployment claims, a worldwide lockdown, and a plummeting global economy. And while the air may have cleared for now, experts say it is unlikely to last.