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As people stay home, Earth turns wilder and cleaner

37 Comments
By SETH BORENSTEIN

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@jrhee, ok yes that's a typo on my behalf, sorry. it should have read father.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Actually in the developed world we have been practicing population control.

What? Not in my developed country, Canada. When I was kid, the population was 25 million, How it's 37 million and and projected to hit 50 million by 2060. During that time, the middle class has stagnated, while housing and education costs have outpaced inflation by a huge margin, while household debt has skyrocketed.

Capitalism is not perfect but the best poverty reducing method ever devised 

Not it isn't. The biggest global success story by far is China, a command economy run by communists practicing a neo-merchantilist trade policy..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Actually in the developed world we have been practicing population control. Hundreds of millions of human lives have been prevented and in some cases ended by abortion in the West 

These abortions are not government ordered, so not population control.

Over the last 20 years global poverty was cut in half? That wasn’t some random accident. This historic improvement in the human condition was due to one thing, and one thing only. Capitalism.

Abortion has Ahmad in cutting both the crime rate and overtly rate. Let’s try to tell the entire story instead of f just the bits we like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Imagine how much nicer our world would be if we had been practicing population control for the past few decades? Greener and cleaner....and wealthier.

Actually in the developed world we have been practicing population control. Hundreds of millions of human lives have been prevented and in some cases ended by abortion in the West and in China. Despite these population control programs there are still extremists who believe the world has only 10 years left before it’s all over.

The global eradication of poverty stats over the past 20 years are skewed by one factor: China. Take China out of the equation, and the numbers show only a slight trend. 

Actually that’s not true. Extreme poverty is now only concentrated in sub Saharan Africa.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2018/12/21/year-in-review-2018-in-14-charts

Over the last 20 years global poverty was cut in half? That wasn’t some random accident. This historic improvement in the human condition was due to one thing, and one thing only. Capitalism.

But unfortunately there has also been extravagant spending on Socialist welfare programs which were supposed to be funded by guess what? An ever expanding economy. Of course the over leveraged spending and massive debt must come to an end at some point - and as a result -poverty will skyrocket.

Moral of the story - Capitalism is not perfect but the best poverty reducing method ever devised - and Socialism is destructive in exact proportion to the amount utilized ultimately leading to more of the same problems it purports to resolve.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Imagine how much nicer our world would be if we had been practicing population control for the past few decades? Greener and cleaner....and wealthier.

Oh you mean the rapid and pointless growth that since 2000 is responsible for the greatest reduction in poverty in human history? 

The global eradication of poverty stats over the past 20 years are skewed by one factor: China. Take China out of the equation, and the numbers show only a slight trend. China, by the way, has a very low population growth rate, not to mention being communist authoritarian state that doesn't practice free trade.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It would be nice to imagine the rampant and pointless growth - regardless of the immense social and environmental costs will be reassessed and the world resets.

Oh you mean the rapid and pointless growth that since 2000 is responsible for the greatest reduction in poverty in human history? There are always trade offs. There is no magic bullet that will create a paradise on Earth without any negative consequences. Seek to minimize the negative consequences but you would have to be cruel and heartless to want to leave people impoverished for some utopian idea that Earth must be pristine.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Brian WhewayApr. 22 03:57 pm JST

I was talking to my neighbour the other day ( being 2m apart ) she said she was talking to her

I just got that. A father at a distance = farther. Punny.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No worries, once we all get back to work again, we'll make up for all the lack of pollution by kicking things into overdrive.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If the people of the world want a greener planet, then all the govts need to provide incentives to deploy efficient solutions and disincentives for things like energy costs.

Germany did this with their entire power grid. They raised the price of power so that solar power would become viable there. It was a huge tax across their entire economy, but had the primary desired result of switching much of their power generation to solar. California has done something similar, though they cheat by getting non-green energy from nearby states.

When looked at on a per person, the USA is still the largest user of power, by far: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/04/americans-have-texas-sized-carbon-footprints-heres-why/ mostly due to daily travel for work and pleasure. There's a good, clear, chart in that article. Japan is not shown relative to US, Russia, China, EU, India, and other Central-Asia countries.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It would be nice to imagine the rampant and pointless growth - regardless of the immense social and environmental costs will be reassessed and the world resets.

Hopefully people are realising that spending more time with family, working less, consuming less - ultimately offers a better quality of life.

One distinct possibility is that national lockdowns will be eased before international travel restarts. Which means that people will get to travel domestically a long time before they do internationally. So we can hope that people might get to appreciate their own surroundings and own countries a bit more before casually jetting off overseas and emitting god knows how much for what sometimes can be hard to justify reasons, selfies in front of some famous place, cheap booze, drugs, cheaper branded goods, cheap prostitutes, etc. As mentioned above, shipping causes huge amounts of pollution, ships would actually be a sensible use of hydrogen, so if Covid-19 stops or slows leisure shipping, i.e., the cruise industry, that would definitely help the planet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The west may have become a lot cleaner recently but Thailand and China make up for the loss of toxins on this side of the world.

https://waqi.info/#/c/18.839/-239.581/3.4z

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of for sure you can guarantee its making us turn Wilder alright

1 ( +1 / -0 )

... alas not holding my breath that the corporations in charge will allow it..still , we can dream.

This is kind of true and false, we can force companies to change, we can create a world with less waste, if we all change our habits it can happen.

Just like if we all co-operate to stay home for a few weeks we can start to normalize...Oh...well, I person can dream.

Then on the flip-side...There are awesome images appearing from around the world. It looks much nicer than just people and smog everywhere.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This just proves that the ‘green’ diesel of the EU was a total sham.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Thanks Seth Borenstein for your inspiring article. I will keep this in a safe place to show our future grand children a once beautiful earth – even it won't last long.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

...with hungry monkeys entering homes and opening refrigerators to look for food.

Next, they'll be barbecuing out back.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Not if the Trump admin continues to have its way.

Well then let all the crap from all over the world concentrate itself on the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

It’s nature’s way to heal the Earth.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Another way to look at the article is to see how quickly the situation changes and nature restores itself. So how to read articles like this depends on the personality of the reader... do we see the glass as half full or half empty?

I agree.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Well, yeah, humans are to blame for all pollution on the planet.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Not if the Trump admin continues to have its way.

So we should undermine the lives of the people in every way possible?

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Chinese are trying to blame it on people burning grass. Why grass one must ponder?

Although I usually take anything the CCP says with two heaping spoons of salt, however, it is common practice to burn down the grass that grew over fields during the off-season, or to cover fields with straw and burn it to eliminate insect eggs and fertilize the soil.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Perhaps a silver lining in all of this. Our globalized world economy survives on overconsumption. That's why it comes unstuck so quickly when that consumption stops even for a short time. Things are going to be very different when we emerge out the other side of this. Hopefully the planet/environment will be better for it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It would be nice if any of these effects were to reach Japan, preferably under better conditions. The air, noise and concrete pollution in Nagoya is as bad as its ever been these days.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Another way to look at the article is to see how quickly the situation changes and nature restores itself. So how to read articles like this depends on the personality of the reader... do we see the glass as half full or half empty?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

“We’re getting a glimpse of what might happen if we start switching to non-polluting cars,” Lefer says.

That is complete nonsense. There are no non-polluting cars, and anyway consumer cars are only a small part of of polluters. The worst polluter is actually ocean sea transport, which burns heavy oil, the dirtiest fuel on the planet. Which could be reduced a lot by bringing manufacturing back to the original countries, instead of outsourcing production to China.

Hoping to see that.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

When people stay home, Earth becomes cleaner and wilder.

I'm afraid that after the pandemic, people would be so gung-ho to reclaim lost time and resources that the world would end up more polluted than it did pre-pandemic. In my personal experience of the pandemic's curing effects to nature, due to the lack of passing vehicle traffic near my home, I could honestly hear vehicles passing along the main highway about a kilometer from where I live at night from how quiet the world has become. I wish we could keep it that way

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Temporary residents of the Planet are of the firm view that less consumption and less wastage will go a long way in addling life to the life span of the Planet.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

An unplanned grand experiment is changing Earth.

And the yahoo-class are trying to make things worse.

Coronavirus Leading To Vandalism, Illegal Camping, Short Staffing In National Parks

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2020/03/coronavirus-leading-vandalism-illegal-camping-short-staffing-national-parks

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It would be nice to imagine the rampant and pointless growth - regardless of the immense social and environmental costs will be reassessed and the world resets.

Hopefully people are realising that spending more time with family, working less, consuming less - ultimately offers a better quality of life.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

An unplanned grand experiment is changing Earth.

Not if the Trump admin continues to have its way.

The Trump administration is rushing to roll back a new wave of environmental and scientific regulations—including one that could hurt the response to COVID-19.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/trump-administration-epa-environmental-rollbacks-coronavirus

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Stars seems more visible at night.

The word is Seem... or Appear to be more visible at night.

In actuality, check out some science pages on pollution levels in Chinese cities. Things are not changeing as expected and the Chinese are trying to blame it on people burning grass. Why grass one must ponder? Me too. Any excuse they can think of for messing things up.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I was talking to my neighbour the other day ( being 2m apart ) she said she was taking to her farther who lives in India, and he said that its the first time in 30 years he could see the Himalayan mountains which are 150 miles away!! also the canals on Venice have cleaned them self up, apparently there are fish and dolphins can be seen swimming, and also the stench of oil polluted water has dropped, I wonder if the local government will now take the opportunity to say you need to get these polluting engines and oil spilling boat fixed or get them out of the water.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Stop feeding wild animals.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

As the Pope said, maybe the coronavirus is nature's way of telling us to knock it off.

16 ( +23 / -7 )

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