00:55 Number 10. Nature Healed Drastically.
No, we are not talking about those Whatsapp forwards! We are talking facts here, while humans were inside their homes, following the lockdown, mother nature took her time to heal. The United Nations Environment Programme has claimed 2020 to be a super year for nature and biodiversity. Carbon Dioxide emissions dropped down by 17 percent.
Humans have been the dominating species since the beginning of time. While we were away, the wildlife also got to cherish its’ mother Earth. Dolphins, Turtles, Deers, and Nilgais were seen on the streets, enjoying their time.
01:38 Number 9. We Made the Oceans Cleaner.
You probably didn’t notice given everything else going on in December, but 14 nations that own 40 percent of the world’s coastline just banded together to create the world’s biggest ocean sustainability initiative. In other words, an area of ocean the size of Africa will now be focused on restoring fish populations and reefs while eliminating plastic.
02:07 Number 8. Carbon Emissions Fell by The Largest Amount Ever Recorded.
Luckily, there are signs that countries around the world are putting these emissions pause to good use. China, Japan, and South Korea all committed themselves this year to net zero emissions by mid-century. The EU and the UK, locked in Brexit drama, seem to be competing for the greatest emissions reductions by 2030 (pledging 55 percent and 67 percent respectively).
02:39 Number 7. Electric Cars are Speeding Growth.
Part of the reason for declining oil demand this year is the (quietly) roaring success of electric vehicles. Globally, 10 percent of all cars sold in 2020 were EVs — a 28 percent increase in 2019. That’s some momentum; sales are predicted to go up again by 50 percent in 2021. The EU is driving much of that sales growth at the moment, but California — the world’s largest car culture — just mandated an end to internal combustion engine sales by 2035.
03:21 Number 6. We Saved A Lot of Animals.
The pandemic’s likely beginnings in a “wet” food market in Wuhan has forced a rethink on the treatment of other species that go far beyond its point of origin. China’s Wildlife Protection Law now applies at sea for the first time, reducing its vast fishing fleet’s massive footprint.
That’s not all. Back on land, China started protecting the pangolin, the world’s most trafficked mammal, which was close to extinction. Interpol launched a massive international crackdown on multiple forms of protected species smuggling.
04:00 Number 5. We Started A Work-From-Home Revolution.
A lot of genies were let out of bottles this year; one of the largest was the number of people who discovered they really don’t need to be in the office to be productive. An estimated 3.4 percent of the U.S. workforce was allowed to work at home pre-pandemic, a number that had barely budged from 2.9 percent in 2015. Now, says one Stanford economist, it’s 42 percent. Despite what some office-loving managers might have expected, the sky did not fall.
04:43 Number 4. The Internet Passed Its Ultimate Stress Test.
Of course, such a radical shift would not have been possible without apps like Zoom, Google Meet, FaceTime, Skype, and the whole gang. More video conferencing took place in 2020 than at any time in human history — for work and for socializing — and amazingly, with a few small exceptions, the infrastructure held up. It’s a myth that the internet was designed to be decentralized in order to withstand a nuclear attack, but we now know for a fact that it can survive a global pandemic.
05:22 Number 3. The Covid-19 Vaccine Arrived.
In an extraordinary effort lead by scientists, we have a Covid-19 vaccine. With vaccines from Pfizer to Moderna, front line workers and the most at-risk are now getting vaccinated. And, while we mourn the lives lost of over 300,000 people in America and over a million globally, all we can do now is wait patiently for our vaccine, continue to mask up, social distance, and wash our hands.
05:56 Number 2. The Importance of Time with Loved Ones Was Amplified.
Whether you were stuck at home with them for months on end or kept apart, the importance of friends, family, and the human connections we crave helped us all remember what is really important.
06:15 Number 1. Discovered Heroic Healthcare Workers.
Covid-19 stopped the world — but not heroic healthcare workers. The majority of the world — may be on lockdown, but legions of healthcare workers have answered the call to continue to test, treat, and rehabilitate patients battling Covid-19.