GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS
We hear so much environmental news about irresponsible companies, uncaring governments, and stupid citizens that it’s refreshing to hear something good for a change. When it is news about an actual reversal in environment destruction, it’s even better.
I just read an article, in my local Colorado newspaper, about a multi-year study that has shown an encouraging turnaround in the problem of acid rain. The research station that collected this data is located on the Niwot Ridge of the Rockies Front Range. The study, conducted by the University of Colorado, showed that the alpine tundra is beginning to recover from the impact of acid rain caused by car emissions.
The study analyzed the levels of gases and particles transferred from the atmosphere into the ground, and into water, from 1987 to 2017. The study found that levels of nitric and sulphuric acid stopped increasing in the early 2000’s. It then started decreasing in the mid-2000’s.
The lead scientist on the study expressed his pleasant surprise that the increasingly stringent air pollution requirements, enacted over the past decades, have produced such quick results. He admitted that the changes may not be publicly noticeable, but a drop in the number of trees dying has been dramatic. The improvement in the chemistry of streams and rainfall has also been remarkable.
The study expressed the belief that environmental problems can be solved, and trends reversed, even in areas of high growth. All it takes is will-power, science and legislative commitment.
The study also commented that ammonia levels in the area have more than doubled over the period of the study. It attributed that increase to agriculture, and called for more research into that sector of the economy.
I find it refreshing to see the results of positive actions to control environmental destruction. It shows that it can be done.
The results of this study provide long-term scientific evidence for something larger that we have witnessed during the current pandemic. The air quality indexes around the world have improved. Less traffic, less public transportation, far fewer flights have all contributed to a reduction in air pollution. One report struck home with me. I read a report that said people in Lima, Peru can now see the mountains every day. I remember being amazed to find out that the Andes come down almost to the city limits, and I couldn’t see them. Someone had to show me a map before I was convinced it was true. The same issue applies to Mexico City.
It’s now obvious that Mother Nature has a far greater capacity, than we thought, to repair the damage we humans cause. Let’s cut her loose from our selfish restraints, cooperate with her, and watch.
We humans have a great need to “fix” things, which generally ends up with us making those situations worse, in the long run. We should try cooperating with Mother Nature instead of trying to compete with her. She’s been around a lot longer than we have, and is, certainly, a lot wiser.