The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has been spreading rapidly across the world – affecting 170 countries with more than 530 000 confirmed cases worldwide. The coronavirus outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, and has since stated that the disease is ‘accelerating’. In order to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, countries across the world are implementing strict measures – placing cities and even entire countries on lockdown.
The measures lead to a temporary sharp reduction in activity in the transport sector and industry. However, as a side effect, this also leads to a reduction in pollutant emissions. This reduction is being observed from space with the Dutch TROPOMI instrument on the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite. The Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has recently mapped air pollution across Europe and China and has revealed a significant drop in nitrogen dioxide concentrations – coinciding with the strict quarantine measures. NO2 itself isn't a strong greenhouse gas, but this is associated with CO2 emissions (which is a very strong greenhouse gas).
In "less - the film" this is illustrated. I will talk in more detail in "background" about the satellite and the effects in greenhouse gasses. For the "make a tool to move something" I have created a positive empowerment tool. I want to show people that we as individuals can have a positive impact and that the effects are immediately visible. I want to empower people to take bits and pieces of this slow living into their daily life, when the pandemic will be over. So for example, think twice if it is really necessary you have to book a flight (can you go bij train? do you really need to go?).
I have used two meanings of the word "move". The first one is to make the audience feel something when seeing the film. So see some positivity in these negative times. The second one, the main one, is to make encourage people to make more sustainable decisions, to learn something from this slow living.
In the first part of "less" you might feel tension and in the second part you might release this tension. What we are currently doing with the planet can be compared. Very slowly, the air clears up. The planet clears up, like your body releases emotions or mind clears up. I connect pollution with emotions/feelings and try to make the audience feel the release like the earth is experiencing right now.
I want to shine a light in the darkness, because even though we go through dark times we can see a light; together we're doing something very powerful for the planet.
These images are from KNMI. The changes that result from the corona measures are particularly reflected in the NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) measurements of TROPOMI. In China, a strong reduction is measured in the amount of NO2 from the Chinese New Year when the measures came into effect. NO2 is a pollutant. In fossil combustion of NO2, CO2 is released. CO2 is a very a strong greenhouse gas.On average across the country, there is a reduction in concentrations of about 35 percent compared to 2019. For individual cities this rose to 50-60 percent.
More recently the corona outbreak has also began in Italy, particularly in the north of the Po Valley, which also triggered measures. For this area, there is a strong reduction in concentrations compared to last year. In Milan, the concentration at the end of February and March is about 40 percent lower than in the same period last year.
An analysis of satellite measurements from 2019 and 2020 estimates that the measures have led to a decrease of between 20 and 60 percent of the concentrations above the Netherlands.
read the home assignment and the first thing that popped up in my mind was the moving as in thrilling, arousing emotions. That was the starting point; I looked for other meanings of the word "move". I had this idea of making a robotarm for paralyzed people to be able to still caress themselves, as touch is a basic necessity like eating and drinking. I had to admit I am not that technical oriented and that will be a bridge too far to produce in a short period of time.
The next thought was "move" as in moving houses. I wanted to address housing shortage and lonely elderly and combine those two social problems into making an app to link, for example, a student who is looking for a home and a lonely elderly person. Yeah, I didn't put that into practice, because I wasn't fond of the idea.
Then Professor Pieternel Levelt passed by to have a look at "rise", which I made for the "me and my..." assignment. She talked about her current work at KNMI en how the instrument she designed, called TROPOMI, measures significant drops in NO2 concentrations. I was intrigued by this. She sent me the details and I "less" arose.