A Life Threatening Environment

Environment is a very broad subject, and something during my life, I have always been at least aware of what is going on around me . Just over the past year though, one topic really got my attention in todays environment, things are in fact physically changing on a global basis, that will affect everyone in some way. I know you have heard this, and it is standard stuff, but on the contrary, it is happening right now, and this my friends is Global Warming. You may hear it in the daily news, but I have never been more sensitive to this before, since I have personally encountered some events that got my attention. Global Warming : Another broad topic one might say, just listen to the environmentalists talk about all the theory, etc.

Well I have news for you, I live in a foreign country, worked all around many countries world wide, including most of Asia, and all areas of Japan. Todays Environment: Sometime within the last year, the automakers in Japan announced facts about global warming by an increase of 1 degree. Now, at that point I listened, but later just kind off pass it off as standard news. Well, traveling through Japan, I have many professional friends, who I have a lot of respect for, running major factories, and they are very sensitive to environmental conditions. I know the culture and basic way of living probably better than the average person just from travel experience, friends, working with many factories. So, when this announcement was made, it triggered a prior agreement , basically requiring reducing emission control in automobiles.

Now, you have to understand, its like turning yourself into the local police station, a confession. I was very impressed with the automakers, and Japan, actually taking initiative, which will probably be very costly. Lets call this a mild wake up call, which got my attention. More Global Warming: I was watching discovery channel, and noticed a brief segment I recall on the cook islands, and how tidal flooding had occurred across the entire island. Villagers had never experienced this every before. I thought this was very unusual circumstance.

I live in the tropics, and have been in a drought over the past 4 years, until this year, and now, way to much water, tropical down pours, and here in Thailand, they call it the 60 year storm, mudslides, the works. Well, coming from California, this is quiet common, along the ocean, and we call it the 100 year storm. Changing Environment: Well, living in Thailand I was here during the Tsunami. Just over a year or so ago. Now this was very unfortunate act of nature, but from California, I am use to earthquakes, and went through some big ones. Time has passed, people move on in life, but last month, I came across a situation that I will call my real wakeup call, and I wanted to share with readers everywhere.

I was traveling south to a large industrial area called Rayong. Many factories, ocean on one side, Cambodia on the other. This was just a get away weekend.

I was driving along the Oceanside by a city near Rayong I have passed many times over the years, but this was a very unique situation, which I have seen on Thai news reports many times . Some of the area is very low to sea level. Miles out, I could see telephone poles in the ocean, following the streets, all under water now, six feet deep and more in some areas, and this wasnt just a rare high tide. The locals I spoke with were just bewildered as best described, dont know why, and a bit scared . It had been this way for quiet some time, approximately 1 year or so, and many homes were either under water, dismantled and moved miles inland on higher ground. Just to understand the magnitude of the situation, and area, the Thais say over 11,000 Rai, which is about 5,000 thousand acres, now underwater, did that get your attention ? It certainly got mine.

Side note, telephone poles are made from cement/steel rebar, so they stand like statues in the ocean. This was quiet a wake up call. Now, this probably didnt show on BBC, or CNN, but when you phsically experience something like this, it leaves you with a very empty feeling, and the reality hits hard. Changing Environment/ Global Warming: I dont have all the answers, but in general wanted to share some of my experiences, as the indicators noted. I am very proud of the Thais for making major changes from oil, to NGV on all taxis, city buses.

You could say this is cost driven, but Bangkok is the most crowded traffic in the world, with many improvements in the works, you can probably imagine the emissions as a result, and now cleaner air is in fact happening rapidly. A very strong effort by all to improve these conditions. Now my concern is Bangkok, and how close to sea level the entire city of 12 million is. How many years until all is under water? Last, I believe the environment is a responsibility for all to some level. These are changing times, and I think we should all take a second look, and see if there might be something we can all contribute.

I decided to reduce using my vehicle by 50%, and to my surprise, using public transit, I am probably at 70% plus have added time to read the paper, since not driving. More amazing is the cost savings as a result. What can you do to help, and take just a bit of this responsibility to help others, its not that difficult to pitch in, dont foget the future, and what the next generation will be faced with. Possibly there is something each can do to help towards a solution.

Reed Langdon travels the world, and shares his unique experiences through his publications. For more infomation visit his site.

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