Thursday on CNN’s “New Day,” reporter Bill Weir asked if the coronavirus pandemic “has helped humanity buy some time when it comes to global warming.”
Partial transcript as follows:
BILL WEIR: And before and after satellite imagery shows how nitrogen dioxide pollution over North America’s big cities is down by as much as 30%. But the blanket of heat trapping gases around our planet is still thicker than ever. There seems to be this perception that maybe the virus has helped humanity buy some time when it comes to global warming. What’s wrong with that assumption?
DR. JONATHAN FOLEY: We have to keep doing this even more and do it for the next 30 years to really begin to bend the curve on the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. It’s kind of like having a really huge bathtub, in the sky filled with pollution and we have the faucet pouring, pouring, pouring more in and all we have done is kind of turn down the faucet a little bit, but it is still filling up.
WEIR: Thanks to the current oil crash, when the lockdown is lifted we’ll see the lowest gas prices in generations. And with Donald Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency gutting dozens of regulations, experts say a spike in pollution seems inevitable. Both the EPA and Earth Day were born when the air and water got too foul for everyday Americans to ignore. Fifty years later, science is warning that the storms, floods, and fires of the climate crisis are growing too frequent and too severe to ignore. Saving what’s left will take everyday folk everywhere deciding the planet deserves more than one minor holiday like a dead president deciding that to save life as we know it, every day should be Earth Day.
Virologists tried to warn us that an invisible enemy would come out of the jungles if we kept cutting all of them down and they were right. So, if anything good can come of this, maybe it is the understanding that the climatologists who warning about the invisible enemy in our sky and our seas, maybe we should take them seriously too.
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