They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

It was exactly on the parking lot that this conversation between me and my niece happened.

"You see," I tried to catch my breath as we walked down to Sir Coy, "these developed countries don't even care to fulfil their commitment, while they keep condemning us for our reducing number of trees."

Of course I was talking about the cap-and-trade system of the Kyoto Protocol. Or better name: crap-and-trade system, as the parties seem to blame each other most of the time and look for loopholes to escape from their obligation.

We were arguing earlier about a thing as small as turning off the lamps in our apartment. I usually let the computer on all the time and will prefer the lamps on too. I often remind my niece that the rent is inclusive of gas and electricity, and I therefore need not worry about the bills.

"I know," she answered back, rolling her eyes. "But we ought to save the energy for the environment."

Hence came my short lecture (and pointless defense) on developed industrial countries failing to live up to their emission trading commitment. "Remember, we don't have sufficient sources to do all those works. We don't have the money and the technology. Yet we keep being pushed, maybe even beyond our limit, while they can go away with it.

So I see my wasting their energy as a sort of compensation. We already paid for it."

"I totally understand," she responded after a while. "But if the whole world think like you do, it will be armageddon in an instant. Everyone continues harming the earth for stupid reasons such as everyone else is doing it anyway. I wouldn't give a damn about whether I get compensated for a super-easy task like turning off the lamps for I know this will eventually secure my future."

She was right, for sure. And I had known that earlier, even before I offered my insensible rationalization.

The convo brought me back to another chat I had with my sister. We were talking about, let's say, a room with a view.

"I guess the view from floor 16 should be awesome," I said.

"Well, the view is actually the creek. But they're gonna do something about it," my sister replied.

A filthy creek in Jakarta will be the most unpleasant sight. So I interpreted the treatment that my sister just mentioned as cleaning up the water, like the Surabaya's government had done to the Kalimas River.

"No, no, it's not like that," my sister corrected me. "Actually they will pave the area, plant some new trees and make a fountain."


Suddenly I could hear Joni Mitchell singing.

Trading for luxury. The man-made paradise. Designed by architects, who are probably young people, at times wearing cool branded t-shirts that read "Save the Environment".

Isn't it also nice to see teenagers in the shopping malls, with their trendy outfits and hairdos, showing their concern by sporting their red bracelets with statements on environmental issues . Then they don't even care to turn off the tap water after they finish washing their hands.

Or celebrities who take part in shows or gigs with boasting labels such as "Live Earth", and refuse to share vehicles with other artists to go to the events.

There's me as well, who don't turn off the lights when leaving the house. Unofficially a first class hypocrite.

Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til they're gone...

I hope they won't, ironically, pave our Paradise Island in preparation of the Climate Change Convention.


venus said...

naaaahh, ini lagi. matiin lampu before leaving the house is a must, dear. apapun pembenaran dan alasanmu, kamu tetep salah, hahahah...

aduh aduh, maap lahir batinnya udah belom sih? :D

mpokb said...

semoga makin banyak yg sadar, bahwa kita berutang udara, air dan lingkungan yg bersih pada generasi mendatang, bukan pada generasi lalu dan sekarang yg bisa membangun tapi nggak bisa merawat..

Ardita Çaesari said...

I don't think we are going anywhere with this whole climate change thingy.. Been observing the arena since mid 90s.. *sigh*

Although ironically, humans do have the intellectual ability and the technology to start curbing the heat now.. *sigh again*

Let's just anything we can in our personal capacity to save whatever we have.. Or.. read "The Road" for a simple description of "Earth 2020"..