CNN’s chief climate correspondent Bill Weir said there is some “good” that could arise from the coronavirus pandemic.
A segment that aired Thursday morning explored how certain environmental conditions are improving, including reports of Indians being able to see the Himalayan mountains “for the first time in decades,” amid widespread shutdowns geared toward stopping the spread of the outbreak.
“There seems to be this perception that maybe the virus has helped humanity buy some time when it comes to global warming,” Weir said.
He asked Dr. Jonathan Foley from the climate-change group Project Drawdown if there was anything wrong with that “assumption.”
Foley argued humans would need to continue on this path “for the next 30 years to really begin to bend the curve on greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
Weir reported, “Experts say a spike in pollution seems inevitable” with President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency “gutting dozens of regulations.”
“Saving what’s left will take everyday folk everywhere deciding that their planet deserves more than one minor holiday, like a dead president, deciding that to save life as we know it, every day should be Earth Day,” Weir added.
On Wednesday, the World Meteorologist Organization released its global climate report, which said the world can expect to see a 6% decrease in carbon dioxide emissions as a result of people sheltering in place. Oil prices have taken a major hit due to the loss of production, with May’s future contracts spiraling into negative valuations this week as demand shrinks.
In concluding his segment, Weir suggested the novel coronavirus outbreak should serve as a cautionary tale for those who ignore the warnings of scientists.
“Virologists for years tried to warn us for that an invisible enemy would come out of the jungles if we just kept cutting all of them down, and they were right,” he said. “So, if any good can come from this Allison, maybe it’s an understanding that the climatologists, who are warning about the invisible enemy up in our sky and in our seas, maybe we should take them seriously too.”