Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Being Responsible .....

In general, as a country, when it comes to our kids, we are very protective, very responsible. The practice of sending and picking the kids up from schools especially primary and pre-school levels is a good indicator how responsible we are. Most parents will only trust themselves to send and pick up their kids. Obviously safety is the main consideration. Safety when transporting them, safety from them being picked up by unwanted and dangerous strangers with criminal intent.

Often we see some, quite a high number actually, of government staff arriving late to work or goes off from work early especially lunch time. 745am in the morning, car parks at the government office complexes are not even a quarter full. The normal excuse given is sending their kids to school. Despite being late to work can be seen as a form of indiscipline, thankfully being late due to sending the kids are tolerated. In fact, there are some bosses who are so kind and thoughtful, they even go to the extent of telling their staff to leave meetings if they have kids to be picked up from schools.

Now that school holidays are here, it is only fair to expect the scenes at the carparks and arrival time to office to be different. Carpark full by 745am. A high percentage arriving to work on time. Yet, the scenario remains the same, school holidays or not. Carparks still empty, arrival time still beyond the expected time, empty work stations.

Why? May be a number of the staff is on leave. Or maybe the parents are having their well deserved break from waking up early, from their normal day in day out torturing routine stuck in endless traffic jams. May be they are taking in the scenery that would normally be missed in rushing here and there. May be they are enjoying the pleasure of driving smoothly on roads almost with no traffic jams. May be some are busy attending to the kids at home, having breakfast with them at home for a change instead of in cars. May be......

Talking about being responsible, there is an interesting article on Climate Change by REHMAN RASHID titled “2 degrees of separation from disaster” which appeared in the New Straits Times on 29 November 2009. Here are some excerpts from the article:

“....On the two key facts underlying all this, the scientific consensus is in. Firstly, global warming is clear, present and "locked in" (even if all fossil-fuel burning stops today, what's already out there is going to keep raising temperatures for years to come). Secondly, we are to blame. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change holds that post-industrial human activities are "90 per cent likely" responsible for global warming, due both to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commerce and industry, and the deforestation that has shrunk the planet's "carbon sinks" for soaking up carbon dioxide and turning it into something we can breathe. Before the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, the concentration of GHG in the planet's atmosphere was a stable 280 parts per million, most of it from vulcanism, bio-metabolism and other natural processes. It is now 387ppm..... That would hardly mean a lovely Edenic world for humanity; we might only hope that climatic catastrophes won't get much worse than they are now. But it would still be a tremendous achievement for mankind; greater, indeed, than anything we've ever done. The builders of the Pyramids and Angkor Wat couldn't pre-empt climate change. But that's what this generation of planetary citizens is going to do, or roast, drown or starve trying.... On the baseline of a century ago, our present +0.7 degrees and the +2 degrees we do not wish to reach are on a scale where +6 degrees would extinguish life on Earth as we know it.....”

In short, global warming is real and here to stay and WE , humans, are to be blamed. So, let’s do something about it. Let’s be responsible ......

Dr Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said “We do not have to go back to living in caves, but we do have to reduce, re-use and recycle.”

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