Importance of Natural Resources

NASA Ventilator, Earth Day Live, COVID-19 & Climate


Welcome back for another Monthly What’s
What! I’m Mr. Weather, joined by Mr. Relevant. Let’s venture into Earth Science related
news that occurred this past April. In the midst of COVID-19, there has been a
great need for ventilators. These life-sustaining devices mean the most
when it comes to the possible recovery from the virus. At NASA, their team in the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory turned their focus away from instruments for telescopes and robots to traverse the
solar system, to ventilators. In 37 days, the team created the prototype
for VITAL. A ventilator geared specifically for COVID-19. It is designed to last 3-4 months in hospitals
and provide temporary breathing relief for patients affected by the virus. After their final round of testing to ensure
its safety, the FDA approved the device for emergency measures so it could be sent off
to companies to mass-produce. April 22, 2020, marked the 50th anniversary
of Earth Day. The annual celebration of the environmental
movement that started in 1970. Given the circumstances preventing large gatherings,
people went online to virtually celebrate the day. Earth Day Live 2020 featured celebrities,
entertainers, and speakers such as Bill Nye, Dave Matthews, Aloe Blacc, John Kerry, Al
Gore, and Elizabeth Warren. Also in attendance was Pope Francis, who called
for action and unity. He said humans are failing as the guardians
of the Earth because of our exploitation of resources and damage to ecosystems. Overall, the event shared hope and encouraged
action and change for a better tomorrow. As many people worldwide have been confined
to their homes, there was evidence that the Earth has benefited from the lack of travel
and man-made pollution. NASA images showed a dramatic decrease in
NO2 over China from before the virus and after, during isolation. These changes seen have led to questions on
how humans can minimize their carbon footprint after things return to “normal” to benefit
the planet’s survival. At UC Berkeley, experts discussed the importance
of reinstating the push to use reusable bags as single-use plastic bags increased in demand
during the outbreak of COVID-19 due to the scare of contracting the virus. They mentioned we can shift the paradigm by
strictly encouraging green practices and coming together worldwide as we did for the virus
to combat the threat of Climate Change. It’s our job on this planet to keep our
environment safe and clean for future generations. Watch the Monthly What’s What every first
Wednesday of each month. To catch all other episodes, please subscribe
to Mr. Weather’s World on YouTube for new videos every #WeatherWednesday.


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