I'm leaving Jakarta !!
Actually, it's only overnight, but it will be the first time since April last year.
I'll report some time later this long weekend about what it's like in Puncak, Jakarta's weekend retreat for the rich up in the surrounding hills. But this is new job related, so there won't be much time for exploring. Still, fresh air? I hope so. Traffic problems? I hope not.
Until a light breeze wafted over Jakarta today, this appeared to be one of the most polluted days ever. I say 'appeared' because it was nigh on impossible to see the tops of some buildings from the streets below. My hands got filthy from handling the pole used to put up the red and white flag every household keeps for display on August 17th, Independence Day. (Actually, this day is the anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence by Sukarno in 1945; real independence from the Dutch wasn't to come for another four years.)
The Jakarta Post yesterday had an article, not online, about the introduction of Naturfuel
, marketed by PT Energi Alternatif Indonesia. Wonderful news, except that they only have a production capacity of 500 kilograms per day. Hopefully they'll soon achieve their target of 2 tonnes per day. Most of the fuel, made from 40 types of plants, is being sold to industry. Distribution to motorists could prove problematic, but maybe with the connivance of Governor Sootyoso they could force the bus companies to become environmentally friendly.
Like it or not, something must be done very soon. According to George Monbiot
, "We live in the happiest, healthiest and most peaceful era in human history. And it will not last long.
" Not that the British government
Some things seem to be better 'back home'. Local councils manage, on average, to recycle 14.5% of local rubbish
and the amount sent to landfill sites went down. Many councils now provide boxes for paper, glass, plastic bottles and containers and tin cans. Many are providing recycled plastic bins free to households to compost kitchen and garden waste that would otherwise go in general rubbish. The result has been a spectacular increase in recycling.
I wonder if such results will ever be achieved here. According to one's perspective, Indonesia is the centre of the world
; setting an example for environmental awareness is not part of the picture though.
Down To Earth
, the International Campaign for Ecological Justice in Indonesia, is actually based in Britain. I thought the slogan was Think Globally, Act Locally
and not the other way round. If, however, you want to know about the many and various environmental concerns in this country, then you can do no better than to download their newsletter, available in .pdf format
Climate change affects us all. Natural disasters don't. The chunk that threatens to unleash giant waves if it falls off one of the volcanic Canary Islands probably won't 'wreak havoc
' here. Then again, maybe it won't even fall. Yet.
There aren't any volcanoes in Puncak so I think I'll focus on the positive for a day or so, whilst looking forward to getting back in the smoke for the start of the Premiership on Saturday night.