People keep asking this question. Newsweek says yes. I say it's an irrelevant question. Even if the recession is closing dirty factories, it's not creating any permanent change that is going to help nature recover. As soon as the economy improves, those bad factories will start right back up. Moreover, the recession is creating poverty and poverty is definitely not good for nature. Theoretically, if governments decided to capitalize on the recession to pass strong environmental laws, something good could come of it, but the opposite is what actually will happen. Countries will decimate environmental laws to spur economic growth.