Sunday, January 24, 2010

S.O.S: Save Our Selves


We (my wife and I) went to Carrefour yesterday. It seems that all my effort to teach people to say the name correctly, has proven to be futile. Carrefour is pronounced like this: Car (kereta) Foo. That's how the french said it and it means junction... simpang. Maybe, the first Carrefour was built near a junction.... Anyway, here in Malaysia, we all call it Care For and the Carrefour management just use this and add the slogan, we Care For you...

But, what I want to talk about is that yesterday was "no plastic bag" day, and I see quite a few people carrying green colored bags, given away free by Carrefour. These bags are made of bio-degradable material (I presume), and surprisingly strong, since it could hold 6 of those 1 liter milk cartons, 4 tins of condensed milk and 4 tins of Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (my young son loves them).

As I push the trolley, doggedly following my wife up and down the aisles, I suddenly remembered a quote by somebody, that we do not need to save the earth, what we need to do is save ourselves.

That's the most inconvenient truth of all. The earth do not need us, we need the earth. We need the environment, the environment do not need us. If we are too much of a bother to the earth, well, earth will just adjust itself here and there and a few thousand of us will perish. Earth has been kind to us, considering. With a few quakes of the tectonic plates, we will all go the way of the dinosaurs.

Then, a new species will arise, and take dominance of earth, until this new species, too, becomes forgetful and greedy and start consuming more that their basic requirement.

Our earth has been around for billions of years and it will probably be around for another billion more. So, the question that we must ask ourselves is, how long we want to live on this earth. Polluting our environment only decreases the source of our consumption. Maybe we can rear fish and chicken and cows for us to eat, but we need to source for the food for our source of food. We need to plant more grains so that we can have enough for us and these animals.

So, the requirement grows. To make it worst, we keep on multiplying, more babies are born and more people live longer.

That's what we are. We are consumers, and we consume. We cut down trees, to make our houses, and our houses need electricity and so we dig deep into our earth to suck out oil and dig out coal to power our generators. We buy cars and drive them everywhere and we complain about traffic jams, spewing out all sorts of gases into the atmosphere, creating a green house effect and global warming.

Then, the ice caps melt, creating havoc to our weather, then the glaciers start to melt, too, raising sea levels, flooding coastlines and drowning islands.

Whatever we do to "save the environment" is really an effort to save our own existence.

But, whatever it is, our time on earth is coming to an end. There's just too many of us, and there are just not enough resources to sustain everybody.....

So, what the point of using these new green bags? We'll it look good, and it does have a "I'm doing something about it" feeling. Not a bad feeling at all... :-)




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