The parable of petroleum-A A +A
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
“IN NOAH'S TIME, a huge flood destroyed the earth. Now, it looks like God is going to set the world on fire.”
This was the premise of what a cab driver was telling me on my way to the airport early this year. Silence is bound to be broken if you’re alone in a cab for about an hour’s trip and the driver is in the mood for some small talk.
“What’s your business in Manila?” he asked.
“I’m watching former US vice president Al Gore talk about global warming.”
Then I spent the next 30 minutes listening to a guy’s theory on how he thought God would punish the wicked by making the world boil in its own soup. And also on the more practical note, how it’s been terribly, terribly hot the last couple of months.
As uncomfortable as the situation may have seemed, he did have a point.
This particular flashback played when recently thinking about how our global community today has become very much aware of our environment’s plight. You know? Global warming, oil spills, climate change—all that stuff.
The evidence of this awareness is in the steady escalation of once-apathetic members of society, to becoming now more active role-players. Even cab drivers preach their brand of gospel prepared with their “parables of petroleum-use.”
But they (among the many more nature-conscious drivers) have all the right to get their point across. An efficient transportation system is one of the things that could lead to a more progressive city. But more so similarly, the danger progresses as the effects of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from our respective vehicles rise day by day.
“Ninety million tons of carbon dioxide is being released in the air every day, 30 million tons of carbon dioxide to the ocean every day,” Gore shares in an updated Asian version of his award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
“Carbon dioxide makes the difference. If we go on, this is the single most reckless, immoral act we’ve done and the consequences to our future is devastating.”
If we don’t do something soon, the planet is going to choke in some sort of gigantic man-made gas chamber. But for now, thankfully there is something happening.
Did you know that today is supposed to be “World Carfree Day?”
According to website worldcarfree.net, this is celebrated every Sept. 22.
“People from around the world get together in the streets, intersections, and neighborhood blocks to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society,” states the site.
Then, this should serve as a perfect day to remind one another of the many more eco-friendly approaches to traveling.
Website independent.co.uk rattles down a few pointers on this like: trying out alternative fuels, going out and checking electric or hybrid cars, simply availing of the mass public transportation system instead of using your own car, and lastly, even as simple as switching to “two wheels.”
“Scooters came into fashion in the 1950s and made that form of two-wheeled transport, at least, irreversibly sexy. Anything powered on two wheels will use less fuel than a car. The world of bikes doesn’t bother much with alternative fuels.” Yes, in case you haven’t noticed, cycling these days is gaining popularity as well, as a transport trend.
So there you have it. Take your pick and make dudes at those smoke emission centers proud. Perhaps you’ll realize one day that it’s possible to care less about being car less.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2010.