We find ourselves in a much changed everyday. 51% of people have noticed cleaner air, according to a YouGov survey. The sky seems more blue, as the diffusion and absorption by fine particles and other pollutants has decreased. CarbonBrief published an article on April 15th 2020 that said that evidence currently available suggests that the Covid-19 pandemic will cut global emissions by 2000m tonnes of CO2 this year. Research by Luther University Halle – Wittenberg Germany shows that 80% of deaths (in 4 countries) from Covid-19 were in the most polluted regions. “Poisoning our environment means poisoning our own body and when it experiences chronic respiratory stress the ability to defend itself from infections is limited.” Yaron Ogen
The health implications of a polluted planet are well known, from asthma to heart disease, from Alzheimer’s to dropping IQ levels. Yet we carry on. A new survey commissioned by the Compassion in Politics Podcast found 48 percent of the public agree that the government should respond “with the same urgency to climate change as it has to Covid- 19.” Yet data from countries which have started to lift their lockdown shows an increase in car purchase and use, and the car industry is preparing not to miss out on the fear of public transport.
The response to the climate crisis is political. Politicians are afraid to upset voters; even Green MP Caroline Lucas told the Compassion in Politics Podcast “I think these polling figures are really exciting. That is a pretty big green light to say government’s should be far more ambitious when it comes to tackling the climate crisis then that have ever dreamed of being before.”
“If only we were all cyborgs and could feel through our own bodies the damage we are causing ourselves and the environment. Disability as an extra sense. For people with chemical sensitivity, we don’t need implants to gain ability to detect changing levels of pollution. This would be a superhero ability if it was not also the kryptonite. Lockdown has brought a breathing space, and a way out for myself.” Di Wiltshire
While Di learns to manage her own health conditions, she will carry on gathering information and data about our behaviour post-lockdown. She’s interested in the idea that ‘underlying’ health conditions could provide an extra sense, as she states: “When we do not have good or bad health, just ‘symptoms’, it is easier to see a different way through. People with underlying health conditions or advancing age are not expendable, and neither is our planet.”