Saving Our Earth

With the earth warming up rapidly due to increased CO2 emissions, it will only be a matter of time before our earth succumb to global warming. Polar ice caps will melt and low lying areas will be flooded. Plant and animal species will go extinct, unable to cope with the changes to the environment. We’re facing a very grave situation here.

Global warming is caused by CO2 emissions.

There are of course many ways to deal with global warming. The reduction of CO2 output will help to stabilize the CO2 content in the atmosphere. Plants will be able to convert the excess CO2 back into oxygen through photosynthesis. Without the excessive CO2 in the atmosphere the earth’s temperature will slowly return to normal.

But if the amount of CO2 released to the atmosphere cannot be controlled then we need to find a way to take away the CO2 faster than we can produce them. This can be done by planting more trees or creating a device that can extract and store the CO2 elsewhere (e.g. Underground). Inventing a device to store CO2 might not be such a great idea because a machine of such scale will probably require massive amounts of energy to operate. With current technology, such energy is only available through the burning of fossil fuels. That means more CO2 will be released and a waste of energy that can be used for other processes.

What we need is something that will take away CO2 without consuming large amounts of energy. Something that doesn’t require lots of raw material to construct. Something that is self-sustaining and require little maintenance. Something that will not harm the environment.

The answer is pretty obvious. Nature had one of the most efficient air purifiers in the world. Trees. Perfected through million of years of evolution, with the help of sunlight trees will convert CO2 and water into oxygen and food. Not a lot of money is needed to plant trees. After planting, maintenance is minimal. Large trees will last over a century. They don’t pollute, they don’t destroy the environment and when they die, they are 100% recyclable.

Trees blanket the mountains of Langkawi.

So it seems very obvious, no? Our Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak is doing just the exact opposite. He’s proposing to cut down 1 million trees at the Ulu Muda forest reserve area to increase the government’s coffers to fund development projects. Let me ask you something Menteri Besar. What’s the use of development if people are going to suffer in the future when the environment is destroyed.

If he had said this during 1908, I would have brushed it aside. It’s now freaking 2008! Which century is he living in? Everyone’s planting trees now and addressing environmental issues. Global warming is serious. Didn’t anyone tell him about it? Sure, he might not live long enough to feel the effects of global warming, but he should at least think of his children.

I don’t even know how to explain this. You’re supposed to be preserving the trees.

Development should compliment the environment, not destroy it. It didn’t come as a surprise when local environmental groups and NGOs voiced out against the proposal. The felling of the trees will earn the government RM100 million. In the process, the government has to spend money on felling the trees. Helicopters will be used to lift the trees out after they have been cut to reduce the damage to surrounding areas. I’d like to imagine the cost of lifting 1 million trees using helicopters. And not to mention the 400KM road that has to be constructed to transport the logs out. If the logging activity doesn’t destroy the environment, the building of that road will.

For our sake, I hope this proposal doesn’t go through. Continue reading