With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic, humanity has lessened its negative impact on nature. International airlines have canceled or are about to cancel a significant number of flights. Carbonbrief reports that, due to the reduced growth rate of many industries in China, carbon dioxide emissions there have decreased by 25% compared to the same period in 2019. The same trend was detected by satellites over Italy. In addition, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns of a sharp decline in oil demand.
Numerous employees in U.S. metropolitan areas prefer to commute by bicycle, while others are moving to telecommuting. Business meetings are also held virtually. Educational institutions in many countries have already switched to distance learning. All of this has led to a dramatic reduction in humanity’s carbon footprint.
However, overall electricity consumption increased with the introduction of the quarantine, and there was more shopping and ordering of food online.
As Scientific American magazine notes, scientists have a unique opportunity to study how people react to a large-scale crisis. The results suggest that humanity will be forced to change its social behavioral patterns in the face of an immediate threat.