Today is Earth Day, which Wikipedia describes as an annual event celebrated around the world to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.
Perhaps 2020 will go down as the biggest Earth Day ever conceived. Courtesy of the covid -19 pandemic, Earth as we know it has shut shop. The world has stopped flying, driving and cruising. We have flooded hospitals with oxygen stopped drinking coffee in non recyclable cups, and reduced bin collections have induced us to be more pernickety in separating recycle stuff form landfill.
You can see the bottom of the Venice lagoons and canals, not that you might want to. The lack of traffic has stopped churning the water but there are probably hundreds of supermarket trollies and bikes now visible.
The pollution levels are at an all time low. Ironically lower than during the industrial revolution, and the horrific smogs of London way in the past. Sunsets have changed, normally diffracting sunlight through the haze they are now different. Vistas over hills valleys and mountains are in much sharper contrast. Roadside pollution is at a minimum, factories have paused from emitting clouds of exhaust fumes. China had become visible from space once again, not that they might see that as a positive.
All the huff and puff of the great and good, not so good and self opinionated look at me bodies that attended this years Davos jamboree will have seen the entire content pour straight down the drain. Greta will have wondered at the power in her fingertips that has wreaked such massive and all encompassing vengeance on the polluters.
Supermarkets have seen customers queues that they can only dream of. Customer clambering for any product line that is on the shelves, and a good many that are not. PPE, a new word in our vocabulary is front and centre of every journalist, politician, NHS and CARE workers waking thoughts. The front line version of the domestic need for toilet rolls the essential medical needs for PPE are global and every country in the world is buying up whatever they can. This is anathema to the journalist who spends 23 hours 59 minutes a day dredging up issues that could lead to an ‘exclusive’ that deflect energy needed to solve the problem. One of which is the opportunity to marshall the UK manufacturers into home production.
And the underbelly of society has been busy. Hedge fund companies have gambled and won or lost fortunes. Wealthy individuals have sold shares inn their own companies at the top price and bought them back at the bottom price and popped the proceeds in tax havens. Online Gambling companies have been targeting reformed gambling addicts with promotional offers. Scammers have been attempting to steal from venerable trusting people. Anybody in the oil industry is wondering what just happened.
One of the great saying is ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. This could be the rebirth of the UK; we are great inventors. OK most of the ideas are stolen but that’s plan B. Today we saw a medical specialist who had designed a combined hood and visor with a battery powered HEPA filtration pack. This single unit dispensed with the need for mask, visor, googles and hat in one item. It also served to cool the wearer and prevented any contamination from swirling around the face visor. It meant only one inventory item to replace four. The irony is such a device existed 40 years ago used commonly in the chemical industry. The only real difference is the modern material and battery life of the new unit and the bureaucracy of the decision makers to purchase it. Now.