Religions, political creeds, economic growth targets et al are all illusions. The one factor that binds the human race together is that we are all beholden to Mother Nature. There is no such thing as a ‘natural disaster’; they’re all man made and can trace their roots to human foibles.
If you don’t want to be wiped out by a tsunami, then don’t live on a beach especially when you’ve cut down the mangroves which not only bind the land together but also offer some protection from the onrushing water.
If you don’t want to be wiped out by a land slide or avalanche, then live and play elsewhere. If your house collapses in an earthquake, then why didn’t you build a dome? And don’t build a nuclear power plant close to a constantly shifting tectonic plate,
The problems in the Middle East of the past century, the South China Sea in the past ten years, are all about the mad grab for oil, which, like coal and natural gas, is a finite resource. Once they’re gone, Planet Earth will take a million years or so to decompose and compress whatever vegetation is left in order to supply the sentient beings which may replace us.
Planet Earth is being raped for materials to manufacture gadgets and appliances which have built in obsolescence. Does anyone really need the latest smart phone?
E-waste, from handphones and computers, contains more than 1000 different substances, many of which are toxic, such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, hexavalent chromium, and flame retardants, all of which are extracted from below the ground, land which could have more productive uses.
In 2005, it was estimated that up to 50 million tonnes of e-waste was generated worldwide. That was ten years ago … and now?
To put this in the vernacular, humans are the only species which befouls its nests..
So, what of our prospective leaders?
The only mention in the Jokowi-Kalla manifesto is a brief one that “environmental destruction as a result of natural-resource overexploitation” is one of the “weaknesses in the pillars of the economy.”
One would hope that this awareness will be fleshed out with proposed concrete programmes before the election. But then in a section entitled Promoting economic independence by developing domestic strategic sectors you read:
– Construct more gas pipelines
– Prioritize the use of coal and gas to fuel electricity
– Cut energy imports by promoting exploration at home
So that’s two thumbs down from me.
Prabowo-Hatta have a whole section entitled Protect the environment with a number of positive restorative actions.
– Actively address the impact of global climate change
– Replant 77 million hectares of damaged forest.
– Provide incentives for farmers to plant trees, to a maximum of 5 ha, for industrial use.
– Ensure coal, nickel, copper, bauxite and iron-ore miners comply with environmental rules.
– Require the use of sustainability certification for forestry companies in order to comply with international rules.
So they get a thumb up from me, even though a number of vital programmes are missed out.
— Promote and support the development of alternative energy sources, eg. solar, hydro, thermal.
— Severely punish industries which pump their waste into rivers.
— Promote an incentive-based ‘Keep Indonesia Clean’ anti-litter/recycling campaign.
Both pairs are promoting economic growth, which is largely responsible for the current devastation of the natural environment. So on second thoughts, and for their lack of critical reasoning, Prabowo-Hatta are awarded just a thimble rather than a full thumb.
Current score: Jokowi-Kalla -2 (!) / Prabowo-Hatta ½
I regularly add links to environmental news on my FB page Green Indonesia.