20 Nov 2006

The Singapore Sink

Apparently, it does not matter if Singapore sinks.

Today's Straits Times, Science section, 18 November 2006, an article entitled 'S'pore will practically disappear' is a shocking title.

I am not sure if it was meant to be sensational but it certainly caught my attention. Based on an interview with Sir David Attenborough, he was quoted as saying, "Singapore will practically disappear".

This disappearance, according to the article, would be caused by global warming. The aforementioned phenomenon is caused by rising temperatures due to burning of fossil fuels which leads to an increase of carbon emmisions in the atmosphere. One of the disastrous consequences of global warming is the rise of the sea level which will sink Singapore, as we contain low- lying coastal areas.

Page 44 of the Straits Times contains two articles with global environmental themes, "Global Warming 'also affects small nations' " and "24 hours of freak weather Down Under".

The former contains keypoints of a speech delivered by Dr Yaacob, Singapore's Environment and Water Resources Minister at the UN Climate Change Conference in Nairobi. In his speech, Dr Yaacob talked about how the Singapore government supports the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol (earlier this April). He also revealed the process on how we switch from carbon- intensive oil fired power plants to clean new low- carbon intensive, natural- gas- fired systems and erecting environmentally sustainable buildings.

Sure the Singapore government is appearing to be doing its best when it comes to reducing global warming within our frontiers. Whether they could have done more is another topic for discussion.

The very apparent problem is that we are not sending out stronger signals to our trading counterparts that global warming is a serious and important issue.

When George Bush was in town on Thursday, the Singapore government did not talk about global warming with him.

America and Australia, of whom we have close business relations, are two remaining developed countries that have yet to sign the Kyoto protocol. We also have close business relationships with China and India which are heavy and growing contributors to global warming.

We can argue that the Singapore government has been diplomatically wise to avoid discussing global warming issues with these trading partners. The perverted logic is this, "We are a small nation and hence, we should not ruffle the feathers of these influential countries."

Yet, this is not a justified assumption given the direct consequence is the sinking of Singapore.

We must put it on the talks as an agenda item with other governments as global warming affects the world. More importantly, it can and will destroy us, perhaps much faster, as we are much smaller physically and hence, probably the first to sink, if a major natural catastrophe occurs.

If Singapore does not exist, how can we even talk about trade or economic well- being?

According to the other article, "24 hours of freak weather Down Under", Australia is seeing insane weather conditions. Sydney experienced its coldest November day since 1905 with temperatures dropping to as low as 8 degrees centigrade. Parts of Victoria and Tasmania are also seeing snow. Yet, it is supposed to be summer now. The irony was that firefighters were struggling against blazes in the Blue Mountains when the temperature was hovering around zero. These are just a few examples of how crazy the weather has become in Australia, whom I need to remind you, is not that far from us.

However, Dr Yaacob, in his speech reiterates that "any climate change regime must take into account the principle of common but differentiated responsiblities" and that "developing countries had a right to energy for development".

If countries with major trading powers are allowed to get away with it, and risk the survival of Singapore literally, our government must have the temerity to stick their necks out and raise global warming as a discussion topic with these countries with whom we have close trade relations with.

4 comments:

freemason said...

The stinkapor govt did not need to talk environment with Bush, he did it himself in his speech ;-)
Bush may have bungled about iraq but he's a straight talker, and may i remind that stinkapor is supposed to be a 'republic' but its actually more of a 'socialist democrat' with large bureaucracy, liberal political elite, and central control.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is:

PAP's Island or Harry's Island ... whatever.

Anonymous said...

Singapore is one the worst wasters of energy in the world; scrapping, good cars. impossing a coe on cars giving the vehicles only a ten year span. rebuilding offices for the sake of it. knocking down everything colonial and rebuilding with a modern monstrosity.

The list goes on and on.and I don't think the little aresole who lives in Heartlands even knows the meaning of the word global warming.

Anonymous said...

LKY only understand global warning.