The silver lining

about 4 months ago
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An indirect beneficiary of this grinding halt to the world economy – the environment. The air has become much cleaner and skies have become bluer, quite a novelty for most who see the sky as something which alternates between grey and grey-white.

For China especially, air quality has become better. Satellite images released by NASA and the European Space Agency show a dramatic reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions -- those released by vehicles, power plants and industrial facilities -- in major Chinese cities between January and February. The visible cloud of toxic gas hanging over industrial powerhouses almost disappeared.

According to the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air (CREA), an air pollution research organization, apart from fall in oil and steel production, and a 70% reduction in domestic flights, the sharp decline in China's coal usage was a major cause for this clean air. China saw a 36% (YoY) drop in consumption from February 3 to March 1.

But mind you, once the threat of this virus is gone, China will start manufacturing with a vengeance as all over the world, there will be a shortage of goods. And all the clean air they see today, will be gone.

One thought – with China already saying that its threat is gone and the virus is now only outside China, maybe it has already started producing on full steam to take advantage when the crisis goes.

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