Article contributed by SLELO staff- Rob Williams
In the midst of our current global biological event, we have found new ways to work, drawn new analogies and experienced how relatively easy it is to reduce air pollution.
I can only imagine how different our current experience would be had this pandemic occurred not so many years ago before cell phones, tablets, fax machines and numerous other technologies we all often take for granted. Communications would have been limited to rotary dial phones and regular postal services. OK, courier pigeons would have worked too. Not to belittle the situation, but rather, be thankful for technology.
Over the past many weeks, our important work has continued to move forward despite working from home or remotely thanks to technology and most importantly, our committed staff and partners.
There’s also an analogy to be referenced here. Those of us who protect our lands and waters from invasive species use the word ’invasive’ on a daily basis. We spend much of our time educating others on just what invasive means. We say things like: spreads rapidly, no natural defense mechanisms, prevention, rapid response or best management practices—see the similarities? So if you have ever wondered what exactly we mean by invasive, it has now been globally defined.
Furthermore, reports are now surfacing on reductions in climate-related air pollution due to transportation restrictions. New York reports a 50% decrease in carbon monoxide (C02), source Barcelona Institute for Global Health. San Francisco reports a 16% reduction of particulate matter and a 20% reduction of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), source Air Quality and Emissions Data Statistics. Perhaps you’ve seen the fancy maps on the national news!
So whether its about working differently (from home), understanding what were up against (the definition) or learning lessons as the direct result of our actions, we can make a difference and we can do it through better understanding and by always working together for a shared future.