Fifty years ago from this Wednesday, April 22, 2020, people around the world marked the first Earth Day. Thousands gathered to raise awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful planet for future generations.
We’ve been fearful of the massive impact that humans and our industry have had on the Earth for a long time. Yet, here we are now and the majority of populations and industries are shut down, giving our Planet a much needed deep breath. Here are some facts to celebrate Mother Earth this week and what is currently healing on a global level.
LESS AIR POLLUTION
Satellites have detected a significant decrease in the concentration of a common air pollutant, nitrogen dioxide, which enters the atmosphere through emissions from cars, trucks, buses, airplanes, and power plants.
SOUNDSCAPES ARE CHANGING
There’s significantly less noise from cars, buses, trains, and other transportation. It’s well established that noise pollution can negatively affect our health, contributing to stress-related ailments, high blood pressure, sleep disruption, and other problems.
OCEANS ARE QUIETER
Marine life is showing back up in the Venice Canals. Endangered bird life has re-emerged around the globe, perhaps you have been hearing more birds?
For other species, less noise pollution is no doubt welcome.
Research has shown that ambient noise from ships/maritime traffic can increase stress-hormone levels in marine creatures, which can affect their reproductive success. Whales have even shown they can adapt to the din, pausing their singing when cargo ships are near and resuming when they move away. North Pacific humpback whales, who have begun to move northward this month and will soon be swimming with newborn calves in southeast Alaska, a region also popular with cruise ships for views of local wildlife. This will be the quietest entries that humpback whales have had in southeastern Alaska in decades.
As the Earth has changed during this time, how will you contemplate continuing to be of service to Mother Earth when this is all over? What will be different and what will the next medicine be?