A video recently circulated on Facebook shows a river of waste flowing in a canal. The description explains that this is the arrival of the monsoon season in Indonesia, the rain has revealed the scale of pollution. We can not even see the water, it’s a river of plastic, garbage, chemicals etc … The video is quite shocking and it causes a lot of emotions. Nobody likes to imagine that we are destroying our planet. Besides, we all know that this is not the only place where this pollution exists. The case of Indonesia is far from being an exception. In all cities, especially in developing countries, there are huge problems of waste management. A lot these toxins and plastics end up in the soil and in the ocean.
The rainy season in Indonesia has just begun …via Make A Change World
Публикувахте от EcoWatch в Четвъртък, 15 ноември 2018 г.
Introspection or accusation?
It is quite normal to have an emotional reaction and it can even be very useful, but the issue is to know how to direct these emotions towards effective action. Some will have an introspective attitude, they will say that we must do our part by decreasing the amount of plastic we buy and by recycling better. If you read the comments under the video you can see that many people accuse the inhabitants of countries where we observe this pollution. It’s clear that even though our countries are far from clean, we do not have these kinds of waste management issues. They say we have a rather fatalistic attitude, because as long as people in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh etc. do not stop polluting the future of the oceans will be jeopardized.
We are all in trouble
I think we have to give up the ‘me’ and the ‘you’ dichotomy. Goods and waste circulate freely around the world. So we are also directly responsible for what is happening in Asia or Africa. China has recently stopped importing our waste and this has caused a global crisis. Probably this waste will be redirected to Africa, which is already the dumpsite of our electronic waste. So it’s easy to believe that we are very green while exporting the production and the waste management of our consumption.
What is happening in Indonesia concerns us all. No matter who is wrong, we must give up our divisions and cooperate to find an effective resolution to these problems. We share the same ocean, the same atmosphere, we share the whole Earth together and we can not escape this reality. We can not just take care of what’s going on in our garden and ignore what’s going on with our neighbors. We must absolutely strengthen our cooperation with other countries and help them reduce their pollution.
More cooperation, less judgment
In the end, change happens only at level of the individual . Yes, we must reduce our consumption of plastic and we must absolutely recycle better. But our personal responsibility also extends to the political scene. We must demand from our governments effective and urgent cooperation at the international level. We need binding treaties that limit what companies are allowed to do in all countries. The ecological crisis is a global problem and at a certain level we absolutely need global solutions.
I’m absolutely certain that people living in these countries do not like to see this waste. They suffer directly from this pollution and they certainly wish more than us that it disappears. Many people of Facebook are keen to judge the Indonesians in the video, but is not it clear that no one wants to live in a toxic environment? We need to cooperate more and judge less ..
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