When attention is on the climate again…

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Issue 890, Page 2
Word count: 628
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

What month are we in right now? December, and it’s just two weeks to go until Christmas. What season is Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere where we are in? We all know Christmas is a winter affair, well, or at least it used to be. I’m not very sure about the situation in Europe, but I think the weather in Macau and Hong Kong is already giving us a clear idea about what global warming means.

Most of the women love shopping, and I am no doubt one of them. I have got myself nice thick beanies, nice coats and warm sweaters – but they are still being folded inside the shopping bags as there is no chance for me to wear any of them as yet, whilst my old winter clothes are still hidden somewhere in the secondary wardrobe.

Christmas is just around the corner and besides heading out to buy gifts for our precious friends, families and lovers, I guess most of us should have a plan to go shop for adorable and eye catching clothes to wear during the Christmas period. But are you concerned about whether it is still going to stay around 20 degrees two weeks later? Nevertheless, let’s keep our fingers-crossed.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference has just begun in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, which I think is one of the perfect places in the world to hold such a summit. Leaders from all the participating nations and regions can take the opportunity and feel the power of having a refreshing and beautiful urban environment.

Wikipedia describes Copenhagen as “one of the world’s most environmental friendly cities with the water in the inner harbour being so clean that it can be used for swimming and 36 percent of the citizens commuting to work by bicycles, every day bicycling a total of 1.1 million kilometres”.

In addition, it says that the Danish capital has repeatedly been named one of the cities with the best quality of life and in 2008 the city beat the other 24 places and was ranked the ‘Most Liveable City in the World’ by an international lifestyle magazine. Travellers have also voted Copenhagen the ‘cleanest city in Europe’. It sounds so much like a paradise!

While most of the people are focusing on what kind of goals the world leaders will reach at the end of the summit, I would say it’s equally or even more important to make sure if the countries or cities will try their best to meet the goals and contribute to combat climate change after securing their commitments this time.

More droughts and flooding, less ice and snow, more extreme weather incidents and rising sea level are all horrible and life threatening, but in the present money-oriented world, it is not common to see companies and governments give up more money-making opportunities or economic development for environmental conservation.

Due to the large amounts of documentaries, films, environmental conferences and daily news, I’m quite sure most of the people know well about the consequences of global warming, and they may be worried or scared for some moments after learning how climate change is melting polar bears’ Arctic hunting grounds, forcing them to survive on land for longer and hence causing the starving animals to turn on their own for food. However, how long will this bad feeling last and how often will a person really turn their concern into daily actions to help save the Earth?

It’s not easy, and that’s why environmental education is so important to teach particularly children how human beings can manage their behaviour and ecosystems in order to live sustainably, and also raise their awareness and determination to be part of the “green power force” in the world.

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