Jakartass & Canute v Climate ChangeThe Guardian has asked
: "What single breakthrough would best advance the fight against climate change?
How about "What single individual action would best advance the fight against climate change?" and each single individual can ask "What single action can I do in the fight against climate change?"
We can't shut down factories, demolish shopping malls or, as my old mate King Canute
discovered, hold back the tides. However, we can all do our bit to reduce Jakarta's carbon footprint and mine is that old favourite - pontificate.
The following are a few suggestions, specific to Jakarta, which, if the powers-that-be care to think about them, could go a long way to making our lives much more pleasant. All it should take is a willingness to adjust lifestyles.
I venture to guess that 90% of the motorists are first generation. In other words, their parents didn't have personal transport so current drivers do not have an 'inherited' road sense and hence the lack of discipline which is an enormous contributory factor to the chaos on the streets.
* Leave the car at home.
- set up a registered car pool
and campaign to be entitled to subsidised fuel.
- cars entering city limits - the further afield the better - should pay a hefty congestion charge.
(This is in addition to the non-subsidised market price for fuel
which the Government has just agreed to.)
- demand to use public transport.
Yeah, yeah, I know this is wishful thinking. Or is it? Isn't it time for the citizenry to demand some basic rights?
The freedom to walk is surely one of those. Demanding public transport is another. And consider whether public transport should be provided by private companies.
If enough people refuse to commute by car or motorcycle, it would cause such chaos to Jakarta's business community that there is a chance that this will force City Hall to:
- provide footpaths, sidewalks, pavements everywhere - if necessary at the expense of a traffic lane.
- build cycle lanes - if necessary at the expense of a traffic lane.
- provide better railway services.
- ban inter-city trucks from the inner city during rush hours. (This was a traffic law during the latter years of the Suharto era.)
* Switch off air conditioners
Air conditioning is also relatively modern. Setting thermostats to 16ºC is ridiculous and does nothing to improve productivity - colder blood is slower blood.
- use fans instead.
- design buildings to increase ventilation.
- surround buildings with gardens, albeit an array of potted plants
- design new buildings with 'ventilation shields' to deflect direct sunlight and create a cooling external airflow.
*Introduce compulsory composting
- and community recycling of plastic, paper and glass.
- refuse to accept plastic bags in supermarkets and other stores.
Most neighbourhoods have collection sites for their rubbish, from where it is taken by municipal trucks to rapidly filling landsites.
There's money in muck!
There's money in ideas too, so please feel free to add suggestions.
Maybe someone in Bali
is reading this.