Sunday 10 January 2021

Climate Change In Action?

While climate change is quite a main stream issue in continents like Europe, it may not be the same in this part of the world. The common excuse which I heard before is that, "the Westerners had messed up their environment in the past and now they want us to take care of the planet on their behalf".

I was brought up in Kota Bharu which is located at the Kelantan delta. Hence, flood was a common phenomenon since my childhood. We differentiated between flood caused by rain and the real flood which originated from the highlands at the southern part of the state. We could guess whether there would be flooding from the speed of the wind and the direction of the cloud.

However, fast forward 50 years later, Malaysians could not claim that we are free from environmental issues especially from land clearing for various commercial reasons, legal or otherwise. Many popular highlands are no longer as cool as before. Flood is getting more devastating compared to before. However, are we taking climate change seriously?

The Malaysian government is committed to reduce carbon emission by 45% by 2030, a very serious target. The question is whether this aspiration is shared by all of us, Malaysians, and what are our contribution towards achieving this target? Are we distracted by the Covid-19 pandemic or we are simply clueless?

The flood season this year appears to be more serious than before. From the news, there are reports about many houses destroyed, life lost and property damaged. While many of us are starting to talk about the root causes of these calamities, we have to wait whether we as a society will be following up on climate change matters when things get back to normal. 

I have a small plot of land in Batang Kali. The Batang Kali river flows along side this property. When it rains heavily upstream, the river will swell and sometimes can overflow. Just imagine if the volume gets larger due to heavier rainfall and the water level downstream is higher than usual? There could be flooding and the life of people along this river could be affected. What would be the situation 30 years from now?

Perhaps, being exposed to the risk of climate change causes me to appreciate what possibly could go wrong if we do not do anything collectively as the occupier of this planet, our only planet. What about those who are chasing profits and share prices without being bothered whether their conducts and behaviours contribute towards expediting climate change impacts?

It is time for major investors in Malaysia to step up their game to bring climate change issues main stream and send a clear message to corporate Malaysia that they have to start making the difference. 

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