When Giants Fart

Ok, well, I could have used a less offensive word but I can’t think of one that has the punch. Anyways, sorry if you find it offensive, although it is funny if anyone would have found something that we do perhaps everyday offensive. Something like digging nose. Okay okay. Let’s move on.

Nowadays I am getting more and more aware of the environment, not that I am not previously especially after Al Gore’s excellent awareness generating campaign. This is because I am now (well, actually since April) the champion (the term is EMR) for our company’s ISO140001 :2004 Environmental Management System program. We should get certified by November 2009, which is soon and thereafter we are targeting a Green Certification either from the New Zealand Ecolabel or the LEED from the US.

Enormous amount of work! We have to look at each and every aspect of our raw materials and processes and each one of them must meet stringent green criteria.

I feel really great about this actually although this is an extra project that I have got to take on besides other stuffs I have to do. It gives me a feeling that I am contributing to something important.

Anyways, the thought of China and India and Brazil etc. coming out as upcoming economic super power is one of happiness but is also something that is of concern. Happy because we need a multipolar world. A world dominated by only one superpower is not going to be good. But above all, the thought of millions and millions of people is going to come out of “poverty” and have the opportunity to live a better life is very good.

But with all these there is a price to be paid especially the damage that is to be done to the environment (not only the damage to Man’s soul). Development eats natural resources. Lots and lots of them, from oil to aluminum, steel, coal, etc. And the burning of fuel contaminates the environment badly, especially from the burning of coal.

The thing is countries must grow but how to grow intelligently without great damage to the environment is the way forward. The old way of burning ourselves to death does not work. We need to work out new and better ways of doing things, use clean and renewable energy, etc. China contributes a lot to the world’s CO2 emission but China is also at the forefront in spending on new environmentally friendly energy. In fact China is focusing a lot on environmental issues as seen in the new laws that is being passed, as well as it is number one in the world in terms of green spending.

One of the nice thing I observed was when you buy books in Beijing, they wrap it in paper and tie it with strings. If you want a plastic bag, you have to pay more. This kind of practices is really good and I hope to see this happening in Malaysia as well. Also, architects have a great responsibility in designing houses or offices or factories that is environmentally friendly, by using natural lighting, solar and wind power, intelligent power management systems, natural air-ventilation systems, etc. We are already seeing a lot of these in new buildings in China.

After all, we have to take care of our house. But we also have to grow and make our people live a better life, lead a better quality life. But we can do it much more intelligently, with our new technologies and insights, our new understanding of science and engineering. If we continue to grow using the Industrial-Age methods, we will burn ourselves to death.

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