Sunday, April 13, 2008

Climate change requires concerted response, says Vietnamese IPCC contributor

From Viet-Nam News’s “Inner Sanctum” column, a worthy interview with Tran Quynh Hoa, Vietnam’s lead participant in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s ongoing work: ….I think everyone must have political determination and solidarity to deal with this shared problem. The responsibility belongs to all. Everyone must do their best to protect the environment, for themselves, for their family, for the whole society and for the entire human race.

For example, please remember to turn off all electric devices after using them, keep air conditioners set to reasonable temperatures, work to increase the role of public transportation, cycle or walk to work, build eco-houses and eco-offices, push for the development of biogas in rural areas, and protect wetlands and forests. All those activities will help protect the environment. That’s the moral thing. Each individual saves a little bit, and when combined together the small savings add up to a lot and bring huge benefits for the whole society.

Viet Nam is not a large green-house emissions country. We generate about 1 tonne of carbon dioxide per capita (totally 70-80 million tonnes a year). This is much smaller than many other countries, such as the US with 1,500 tonnes per capita a year. Thus, I can say that Viet Nam has to suffer from the consequences of global climate change. But getting into a panic can solve nothing. We need to accept the reality and find ways to adapt ourselves and develop. Of course, we’ll lose more than gain. But we need to turn those challenges into opportunities.

The human is also an organism. And the first and most significant characteristic of organisms is adaptation.....

Map of Vietnam from the CIA's World Factbook, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: