The world is in environmental distress. Consumers Association of Malaysia (CAP) calls on Malaysians to be aware of the serious situation we are facing and take steps to slow the effects of global warming.
Over the past years Malaysia had experienced extreme weather fluctuations resulting in the loss of lives and properties from severe floods and landslides, and also disrupting food production. Malaysians have no alternative but to join the global community in reducing the impact of global warming caused by greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane that trap heat radiating off from Earth’s surface into space.
Malaysians should not be complacent, thinking that rising sea level caused by melting glaciers and ice caps will just affect certain countries. It has global impact as can be seen from the rising sea levels in many parts of the world. Preventing coastal areas from being drowned by sea with catastrophic consequences needs a global effort.
Substantial reduction in the release is the correct approach to reduce and delay global warming which scientists predict will flood low lying areas, Malaysia included. For sceptics of global warming effects, an excellent example is Kiribati, a country in central Pacific, whose two of its islands Abanuea and Tebua Tarawa were completely submerged in 1999.
To tackle the climate requires changes in our lifestyle. We need to cut down our consumption, particularly meats, use public transport, and prevent waste.
Transportation, largely based on private cars and motorcycles, contributes to 28 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions and the livestock industry contributes 19 per cent. We must shift to take public transport and eat more vegetarian food.
Our energy consumption must transit from oil and gas to clean energy. Opting for clean sustainable energy sources such as hydrogen, solar energy, wind power, hydropower, and wave power is the way forward. Malaysia, in transiting into clean sustainable energy, is using natural gas which is less polluting to produce electricity while looking into much cleaner options.
The government should escalate the improvement of public transport system and deter car ownership just like what Singapore did. It was recently reported that the number of registered vehicles had reached 36.3 million units as of October 2023. Almost 24 million of them are active with valid motor vehicle licenses or road taxes. Imagine the amount of carbon dioxide and other pollutants that these vehicles spew out whenever they are in use.
Meanwhile consumers can consider installing solar panels on their roofs, switching electrical equipment off when leaving the room, purchasing energy efficient electrical equipment (e.g. LED lightings, air-conditioners, installing lights with motion detectors that switch off when there is no one in the room), and many other ways that one can find in Tenaga National Berhad (TNB)’s website https://www.tnb.com.my/residential/energy-savings-at-home.
The Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) urges the present generation of Malaysians to help in the global effort to try to stop the negative impacts of global warming by reducing electricity consumption whenever possible so that the future generations can continue to enjoy what Earth has to offer. This is the least but significant effort that every Malaysian can take to make the world sustainable for future generations.
Mohideen Abdul Kader
Consumers Association of Penang (CAP)
Letter to the Editor, 14 December 2023