Reflecting on World Environment Day

World Environment day has just recently passed. There was a very informative handout from our local newspaper.

In one article, it was showing the Ecological Footprint 2003. This was an eye opener. You would think that the most developed countries are the ones most able to protect our environment because of all the resources available to them. However, scanning through that we find that they are the one doing the most damage. Looking at the list, United States is 9.6, Canada is @ 7.6, Australia 6.6. Seems that the lesser-developed countries are the ones that are supporting the world the lowest being Afghanistan @ 0.1, Cambodia @ 0.7, India 0.8 and Myanmar @ 0.9. Even China is now @ 1.6, Ecological Footprint is a measure of man’s use of natural resources against nature’s ability to supply and renew these resources and is measured in global hectares (gha).

Another interesting fact is our food contributes to global warming. It is the whole supply chain and every step of the process contributes to global warming. This is aggravated by the transportation. This is especially true where eating imported meat from other countries is usually a status symbol. So the further the food travels the more harmful it is to the environment.

In business, we always try to create a company that has sustainable growth. That can only be achieved by making sure we do not generate too much of a deficit. Yet, we see that we have been going on deficit when it comes to our environment. To make things worst, this is the only world we have and yet, we do not appreciate it. Ultimately, we will have to pay the price. Question is can we afford to pay when the time comes? We keep borrowing and the interest is accumulating.

In the story, “Wealthiest Man in Babylon”, accumulated interest when we save will make us reach. The reverse is also true, what we owe will grow in astronomically if we ignore it for too long. We see that with credit card debts because somebody will chase us for the payment. We see that now with our environment with all the recent disasters we encounter such as Katrina, earthquake, and flood to name a few.

It is still not too late but only if everybody starts chipping in. Doing it for one day a year is not enough, we need to start practicing it daily. Little steps like:

  • Reducing consumption
  • Reusing whenever possible
  • Recycling

Saving energy, water or whatever resources you can. It is also interesting that some companies have started to learn how to harness the gas produced by the landfills.

Careful though, there is a lot of talk of alternative fuel with the skyrocketing prices of oil. However, did you know that the amount of energy to produce some of these alternative fuels far outweighs the energy available these fuels generate? This in turn will aggravate global warming. This is similar to a person on diet. He goes for food with less fat but those food actually contains more calories because the reduce fat is replaced with sugar so end up the person consumes more calories.

I am looking forward to see the message from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.