Kudos to those who observed Earth Day this week, including the Ashland Town Center, which hosted KidX: To-Go Earth Day, teaching children about reusing materials and reducing waste. The mall also planted a tree, dedicated to local employees “who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.”

Also on Earth Day, which was Thursday, The Daily Independent reported Beam Suntory, producer of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, plans to cut companywide greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in half by 2030 and to remove more carbon than is emitted from its operations and among its supplier base by 2040. It also aims to plant 500,000 trees annually by 2030.

Manmade climate change is a fact. Earth’s response to the change in human behavior as a result of COVID-19 shows that to be true.

Because many people reduced their amount of driving because of stay-at-home orders and working at home, deforestation in some areas slowed, air pollution diminished, water quality improved and snow has become more reflective, meaning cleaner. That's based on preliminarty research by NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and the European Space Agency done by using Earth-observing satellites.

Science.org even reported the decrease in pollution was first detected in Wuhan, China, where the virus is thought to have originated. Then, the decrease spread throughout China. It seems to have followed the path of COVID-19, giving us another reason to believe our lifestyle changes have led to improvements in the environment.

While more study is needed to confirm these results, it’s pretty clear humans can make changes that affect Earth. The morally correct changes are the ones that make our home planet healthier. It’s also simple common sense to take care of the place where we live.

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