The coronavirus isn't just a public-health crisis. It's an ecological one. The article cites Stanford professor Marshall Burke's estimates of lives saved by the reduction in pollution from the shutdown of factories in Wuhan, China.
The coronavirus pandemic has not only quickly changed the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe, but also the environment. The reduction in emissions from COVID-19 countermeasures has saved tens of thousands of lives in China alone, according to Marshall Burke.
Experts say that the conronavirus could hurt climate change action in the long run. Companies that are currently hurting financially will be likely to delay or cancel climate-friendly projects, says Stanford's Rob Jackson.
"The reductions in air pollution in China caused by this economic disruption likely saved 20 times more lives in China than have currently been lost due to infection with the virus in that country," Marshall Burke said.
Stanford Earth's Marshall Burke says a preliminary estimate of premature deaths avoided due to cleaner air in China offers "a useful reminder of the often-hidden health consequences of the status quo.”
Stanford Earth professor Marshall Burke's calculation of how the coronavirus affects air quality is cited in the context of a discussion of the "political, financial and economic storm" facing climate change advocates.