Sam Wong, writing to the NST on 11 Jan 2010, is concerned about climate change – which is supposedly caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including carbon dioxide.
However, the main focus of his letter is the use of plastic bags and lack of recycling. Take a look:
CLIMATE CHANGE: More than lip service needed
SAM WONG, Petaling Jaya
THE Copenhagen United Nations climate change summit took place last year and all countries participated.
However, how has the summit inspired us? What are the changes for the citizens on this earth?
Petrol continues to be burned, contributing to the greenhouse gases in the air.
Selangor has the “No Plastic Day” every Saturday, and Penang has extended its “No Plastic Day” to three days a week, but what has the public actually learned from the campaign?
What is the message the government is trying to disseminate?
Many people are against the no-plastic concept.
They complain that they have no plastic bags to pack garbage.
Moreover, some people might not use plastic but they will use other unsustainable bags.
There are also people not using plastic on a particular day, but are not adopting sustainable practices in their daily life.
For example, one of my friends is working in Singapore and she thinks she knows more than the people here.
She shopped every day during the New Year period, but she did not think of maintaining a sustainable lifestyle and shopped using plastic bags every day.
I see people around me throwing paper cartons, used paper and used plastic bottles into the dustbin.
All these things can be recycled. This, then, is the scenario around us.
The people understand what climate change is, but they do not know how to combat it, which can only be done by living a sustainable lifestyle where recycling is the basic principle.
This explains why we are only talking with very little action.
To encourage consumers to adopt more eco-friendly habits, we need education and an awareness programme for the young — and a penalty for their elders.
In actual fact, using and then throwing away non-biodegradable plastic bags actually sequesters carbon into the ground, where it will remain trapped for milennia instead . Isn’t this a good thing according to climate change activism?
As for recycling, it certainly helps maintain a ‘sustainable’ lifestyle – but not in the vein of combating climate change, as recylcing processed use more energy than raw material processing does, expect for aluminium.
So yes, people understand what climate change is, and many claim to know what causes it. However, many people confuse climate change activism with other environmental concerns.
While some claim that climate change activism raises awareness about environmental issues as whole, I am of the opinion that it actually distracts from all issues not directly related to the release of carbon dioxide. Take the Copenhagen summit for example – as it dominated the headlines for weeks, can you name one single initiative that was not about carbon caps?
So Sam Wong or friends of his, as I have said before: Global Warming Theory is to Environmentalism as Blood Letting is to Healthcare.
And oh yes: Global Warming is Unfactual.