What’s Next For Our Environment?


Roza Chowdhury, Contributor

This past year has been a roller coaster of events that no one ever thought we would have to face. Many suffered during this unfortunate time one way or another. While life didn’t stop for anyone, and people made the transition to working remotely, it was hard. However, many still prospered through these hardships. The question that needs to be answered is how did this impact our environment?

Effect of Coronavirus on the environment.

While we were working, learning, and doing other daily activities from the comforts of our home (in our pajamas); the environment was less harmed. Due to our restricted movement in the outside world, and the slowdown of our economy, the climate and environment have been impacted in a positive way. The air is fresher, and the water is cleaner. 

The reason for this outcome is due to COVID and everyone quarantining. Travel has been restricted, and many don’t g0 to work anymore, causing factory work to slow down. Less fossil fuel is burning in response to this, therefore, air pollution is decreasing significantly. Less natural resources are also being used. While the factories aren’t doing as much at the moment, it’s also slowing down on the waste that is being disposed into rivers and oceans, causing Earth’s water to stay cleaner. This is improving the quality of life for many species that reside underwater and around waterways. 

While these outcomes are appreciated, they are only temporary, and not enough to say that the climate crisis has been solved. Once COVID is over and people are back to living their life how they used to, the environment will certainly suffer again. That’s why we need a more permanent and effective solutions.

Current situation

While the environment has been affected in a good way this past year, it also has its negative side. Right now Australia is also facing another bushfire, after already facing one the previous year. These bushfires not only harm the environment by burning down trees, they pollute the air. It also harms animals that are already endangered. People have been injured and fatalities have occurred during the fires. Because of this, many are forced to evacuate their own homes in order to be safe.  Leaving their home, with little to no income, is another challenge people must face. 

2020 had one of the largest bushfires in California, many were forced to flee their home in the midst of a pandemic. The bush fire caused many animals to die. In addition, the impact was huge on air quality. This caused around 31 fatalities and many were also injured. There were around  9,639 fires and around 4,397,809 acres lost this year.

Next step

President Joe Biden has already advanced his plan to tackle the climate crisis in his first few week in office. The climate crisis has been labeled as a “maximum threat” by the administration. His newly announced plans are set to focus on restoring land and water. He also issued an Executive Order last week that recognized climate as essential to U.S foreign policy and national security. Highlighting the importance to manage climate crisis is good news for the planet. 

While many scientists and engineers are racing against the clock to tackle the climate crisis and save the environment, there is still a long way to go- and a lot of effort by each of us is still necessary!