Today is Blog Action Day, this year’s theme is Climate Change which many of you know is happening rapidly. Sea levels are rising at an increasing pace, and we’re losing glaciers and polar ice caps. Global action on the subject is a long way from being satisfactory or effective. The US demands China to lower their CO2 emissions because China is the worst offender when it comes to emissions. On the other hand, China demands that the US lower emissions since the US has the largest carbon print per capita. The blame game goes on and in the end – which is coming a lot sooner than we projected – all of us are losing.
In this post I aim to highlight some of the initiatives taking place in Syria to lower the impact on the Environment. One important initiative is a presidential decree to lower import taxes on eco-friendly hybrid cars. Another decree came to my attention, this time banning smoking in all public places. Some might say “But isn’t that a health issue? and how is it related to climate change?” Well, the actual smoke of cigarettes has virtually no effect on climate change, but the tobacco growing, manufacturing, distribution process has a sizable carbon footprint. This means, less smoking is equivalent to less emissions. Another commendable effort is providing loans for individuals to purchase and install solar water heaters as opposed to using electrical or diesel water heaters. Also, the Syrian Government is currently studying using natural gas in public transportation buses instead of the current diesel fuel which is contributing to the smog over Damascus and a number of other major Syrian cities.
There are simple ways that each one of us can participate to slow down and hopefully in a hundred years or so reverse the climate change. Hereunder I list a few that I can think of off the top of my head (excuse me for restating the obvious):
- Turn off any and all lights before leaving a room.
- Recycle (if Recycling is available where you live).
- Don’t use excessive heating or air conditioning.
- Make sure that you maintain your car’s tire pressure to save on fuel consumption.
- Unplug chargers that are not in use, most chargers still consume power even when they’re not plugged to a device.
- Use paper or fabric shopping bags, avoid plastic like the devil.
Edit: This is a lovely take on the subject by Maya Zankoul, one of Lebanon’s booming bloggers.
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