Looks like Greta Thunberg is getting an early Christmas present! With travel being closed down all over the world there are thousands fewer planes in the sky.
Just think about it, no flights in and out of Italy or Kuwait. Only flights to a few countries from most GCC countries, China and Hong Kong and now the US has barred all flights to and from most European countries.
Airlines with hundreds of expensive airplanes on the ground, thousands of staff with nothing to do but still loan payments and salaries need to be paid.
Already one airline in the UK, Flybe, has gone under and whispers on the industry boards are that there are quite a few to follow, watch out for Norwegian.
When this pandemic is over, and the shaking out begins there will be less options available to the public when they want to fly somewhere. Inevitably with less competition the prices will go up which will mean that the number of people flying will be markedly less than before it all started.
Good news for Greta and the planet then.
In time new airlines will arise and it will all go back to normal but the atmosphere will have had a holiday.
The amount of CO2 produced by aircraft is tiny compared with the amount excreted by industry and yet again the coronavirus is having a beneficial effect.
With a great many factories in China and soon to be the rest of the world closed because the workers are quarantined, these factories are not emitting their normal clouds of pollutants.
Last week I saw an aerial image of central China which measured nitrogen dioxide and the image was completely clear compared with normal when most of the country is covered in NO2.
It will be interesting to see if the benefits to the planet can be measured in order to give us some idea how to move forward with anti-pollution policies.
If we all were to make the phone last another year before we upgrade or run the car for another three years before we renewed it, and if our household appliances could be repaired when they go wrong, then demand for manufactured goods will decline sharply which will mean fewer factories and QED less pollution.
So, it was with some interest that I noticed a set of new draft rules from the European Union this week which intends to make it law that manufacturers build longer lasting devices.
Ones that can be repaired (put together with screws and not glue) phones that you can change the battery or the screen when they are dead and perhaps they can also try and get Microsoft to stop requiring more and more processing speed when they upgrade Windows. This would mean we do not have to keep buying faster and faster processors.
Honestly our computers and phones are fast enough, so now they don’t need to be upgraded. It’s a scam.
Apple was the first company to produce phones where you could not change the battery, and have recently been found guilty of deliberately slowing down older phones so that you had to buy a newer one.
These are the culprits. Hopefully US policy will follow suit, but I’m not holding my breath.