China is a notoriously polluted nation. While she has been very economically prosperous, it has come at the cost of the health of the environment and her people. Because of the COVID-19 Coronavirus spread, factories throughout the nation have been shuttered, which has caused serious disruptions to supply chains and is threatening the health of the global economy. However, an interesting piece of news was reported by the UK Daily Mail by way of data from NASA and the European Space Agency, confirming that not only has production failed to restart in spite of claims by the Chinese government, but that as the factories have been shut down, the pollution has largely cleared up.
ncredible satellite images show how pollution has significantly cleared over China as the coronavirus outbreak keeps people indoors and factories are forced to close.
NASA and the European Space Agency have used pollution monitoring satellites to track the decrease in nitrogen dioxide levels over the past two months.
Air quality researcher at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Fei Liu said: ‘This is the first time I have seen such a dramatic drop-off over such a wide area for a specific event.’ (source)
It is good that pollution has decreased in China, especially for the health of the people. The government does not care about the people, and many of the Chinese people sadly do not care a lot about each other, so while a little relief from the weather does not change fundamentals, it is good news for the short term.
Likewise, the fact that the pollution cleared up so quickly leaves one to question, in a western context, the constant emphasis on the weather as a reason for promoting eugenic policies. While pollution can remain, if it clears up so relatively fast, it is just a reminder that a lot of the emphasis on “stopping pollution” is not really about pollution, but using pollution and its effects as a device of political control and to rob people using the cover and support of law.