By Montana Grant

Posted: April 30, 2020

Everyone appreciates Montana for its clean, clear, and fresh open spaces. Thanks to the Quarantines, around the world, everyone seems to be enjoying more clean air, water, and less pollution.

We all know that this is short term, but apparently it has become noticeable in many ways. The Space Station has been taking cleaner and clearer photographs of our Earth. Waters have cleared up and fish populations appear to be bouncing back.

Smog, and pollution from cars and trucks have been way down. Since folks are not commuting, and industries a re shut down, the result has become clearer and cleaner skies. In some areas, like India, residents are seeing the nighttime sky for the first time. Air pollution measurements have been recording reductions in air pollutants of nearly 50 percent.

Wildlife seems to be spreading out into more wild places left vacant by folks staying in their homes. Sightings of bears, wolves, and wild cats are more frequent. National Parks and local wild areas have fewer people which means more freedom for critters. Schools of fish are more visible in cleaner and clearer watersheds. The canals of Venice, Italy now have schools of fish and seagrasses returning.

Researchers are examining all the current data and will be making recommendations on how to help the Earth in the future. Carbon Dioxide levels continue to rise but have also shown significant reductions. Weather patterns, noise, light pollution, and other wild conditions have shown change. The data will support the need for more clean burning fuels and transportation policies. This could become a boost for electric cars.

Greenhouse gases can remain for over 100 years. They tend to trap heat and seem to be the cause of Climate Change. Certainly, a few restricted months will not save the Earth, but it is a start. The chronic issues of pollution like smog, particles, nitrogen dioxide, and other types of air pollution are responsible for the deaths of up to 7 million victims annually, according to Health Effects Institute.

Cleaner Big Sky air means healthier lungs, less asthma, and better quality of life. The quarantine impact has created a perfect test platform to measure many things. It seems that air quality, family time, cultural traditions, and how we navigate through our lives will all change for the better in our futures.

It is sad to have lost so any victims to the Covid 19 virus, but we must wonder how many folks were saved, or helped, because of these improved air quality and less crowded conditions.

Breathe deeply!

Montana Grant

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