While riding along the PIE one day, two thoughts about climate change suddenly popped into my head:
- Roads = traffic = exhaust fumes = global warming. This probably increases exponentially during traffic jams which occur during the morning and evening rush hours. Why are they rush hours? Because the bulk of the people are commuting to work/school. Why are we still commuting to work/school en masse when technology empowers us to work at disparate locations?
- Warm temperatures in SG = increase in usage of air-conditioning = increase in electricity generation = increase in both fuels burnt (at power station’s end) and machines working (compressors and the like) = increase in output of heat = increase in temperatures in SG = global warming. Is air-conditioning the only way to reduce temperatures in SG, and on a macro level, the world?
It seems to me that both of these ‘problems’ are caused by sociological factors.
- People, especially Singaporeans, place great value on ‘showing your face’. So be it for work or for school, the indicator people still stick to in order to measure work carried out or amount learnt is physical attendance. Perhaps this entails a paradigm shift: if we can harness the power of technology to delegate work or conduct lessons, we reduce the need for people to ‘show their faces’. Though it might mean an increase in computing power, electricity generation, etc. which might also contribute to global warming. But at least there aren’t traffic jams, right?
- For reasons that I still cannot fathom, we still stick to ‘Western’ dress codes of suits, jackets, long-sleeved shirts, tailored pants, etc. to go to work. Why? It doesn’t make sense to do so especially in our weather. Logically, we should be wearing clothes that aren’t so warm but we aren’t. Inadvertently, this artifically increases our dependence on air-conditioning. So will this blind embrace of ‘Western’ culture secretly be our undoing (and because I cannot resist it: what has happened to our Asian values??? LOL.)?