If not us, who else?

1 12 2009

CLICHED OR NOT, this all too familiar Malay phrase: “Kalau bukan kita, siapa lagi?” (in Brunei Malay slang: Mun inda kitani, siapa tah lagi?) which literally means: “If we didn’t do it, who do we expect to do it then?” i.e. putting it slightly in a longer context. Shortest translation in English, “If not us, who else?”.

Interestingly enough, this popular ‘cliche’ is applicable in almost any areas or situation of concern such as the current prevailing AH1N1 or HIV AIDS epidemics (Happy World AIDS Day by the way), indiscriminate acts of littering, wasteful usages of water, electricity, etc. The most current issue is how to tackle the global phenomenon of Climate Change which will be the focus of world attention next week in Copenhagen when world leaders converged to debate the crux of the matter close to most of their hearts…

Obviously, this ‘alarming’ issue of climactic changes is the least of worries affecting ordinary citizens of the world like yours truly. I mean I have much higher priorities to suss out my own personal problems, financially or otherwise. However, each and every human being fortunate to be alive today on Planet Earth does need to be a bit worried about the whole situation. Worrying alone won’t solve the problem, of course. I think the least that any responsible person could do is to take the stand by saying, “I can make a difference!”.

Perhaps the simplest action would be to save energy use in our everyday lives, be it in the form of cutting down on power usage at home and in the office or even adopting a ‘Green initiative’ such as tree planting, etc. Our children should be taught at an earlier age to practise the Three R’s Concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — yeah, yeah, easier said than done. The urgency now is to create some kind of public awareness.

But it’s got to start somewhere, somehow and by someone. That someone is none other than each one of us who collectively will certainly make a lot of difference toward creating a much better and environmentally-friendlier world to live in. For the past few days, I’ve cut down on my car travel, hence saving fuel or reducing carbon monoxide emission (not that it’s as crucial as carbon emissions on a larger scale).

Speaking of the larger scheme of things related to Climate Change, in my honest opinion, leaders of powerful nations in the world community like the United States, China, the EU, Russia and others have to take the lead by setting exemplary attitude without any slightest notion of ‘double standards’. Let’s take for example the United States of America which is being faced with trillions of dollars in financial debts today. And where do the largest portion of the US annual budget go to? Why, toward the destruction of other weaker countries like Iraq and Afghanistan by means of unnecessary ‘over-the-top’ military spending, no doubt!

Even as I am posting this piece now, the American President Barack Obama is probably proud to announce an increase of 30-odd thousand new US troops to be deployed in the so-called Afghan war on terror vis-a-vis the Taleban plus Al-Qaeda ‘eradications’. In essence, such a move would cost American tax-payers about USD40 billion! This is on top of increased US military spending in the billions since the Iraqi invasion. 😦

Imagine if the money were to be spent on much more meaningful and tangible ways and means to solve Climate Change problems instead of on wars which have killed thousands of innocent lives but still no solution in sight, democratically-speaking. Is the US serious about Climate Change or simply about lip-service? 😉





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