[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: Gettin' hot in 'ere

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Gettin' hot in 'ere

So it's the hottest November in Hong Kong in 120 years. But that didn't stop many fashion victims today from donning their fur coats, I guess 21 degrees is an excuse to wear coats.
Then Donald Tsang said our air quality is comparable to Tokyo (also with LA and Barcelona), what rubbish! Tokyo is way cleaner while LA, which arguably is also dirty, still they've done a lot more to clean up their air, while here in Hong Kong people are still debating and fussing over any initiatives to deal with it.
Actually, to counter his comparison, according to figures by the Institute for the Environment HKUST, Hong Kong does have dirtier air by average than those three cities. Maybe if he said at least we have better air than, oh I don't know, Jakarta or Bombay, then at least there'll be some shred of truth.
But hey, even if Hong Kong's air does improve over the near future, does it matter when global warming really starts heating up? When the drastic flooding, storms and heat waves starts making an impact on a global scale? Will the dirty air in our teeny 430 square mile concrete jungle of a city matter when compared to a global scale?
The more I spend time here the more I realise the majority of people don't give a damn or are not motivated enough to help reduce pollution. Even restaurant staff grumble at you for bringing your own lunch box when ordering take away... do you think people like this care about reducing packaging waste? Let's get real... only highly educated, intelligent and people in power (and certain expats of course) are really capable of sacrificing convenience for the sake of a better environment. Not to mention that going 'green' can be quite costly, especially for businesses.
Now i'm not saying that most people in Hong Kong are dumb, they just don't know what it means to go green, much less the reason behind it when they see someone recycling in those quirky different-coloured bins.
I for one have no confidence in enough people getting on board so I'm all for any draconian measures dictated by the government. Ban plastic bags, enforce recycling, put heavy taxes on private vehicles, whatever. Doing some things via a democracy just isn't quick enough. (well, democratic enough anyway)