As is my won’t, i go over old newspapers to catch up with whatever news or views I’ve not been able to trawl from the Internet. But I do so only when my dear newphew H drops what he’s gone thru and have no use for at my place — irregular and haphazard, the drops, I mean.
Still, all the news and views that aren’t on the Internet i can live without any real loss.
This explains why it’s only today that I am reading Mak Yuen Teen’s letter published in the Straits Times on Oct 4, highlighting Singapore’s high profile contradictory behaviour (see letter reprodcued below) which resonates immediately with me, as I had just been ruminating mentally again about the hypocrisy of our green movement.
That was triggered by a news item I saw on Mediacorp TV last week touting that retail outlets and supermarkets can now apply to be formally recognised for their efforts, under the Green Mark Scheme, spearheaded by the Building and Construction Authority.
Acting Manpower Minister and Senior Minister of State for National Development, Tan Chuan-Jin, said retail and supermarket outlets which operate with more energy-efficient lighting and refrigeration system can enjoy significantly savings, as the systems account for about half of their energy consumption.
This news would have been fine as a stand-alone. But when it was followed almost immediately by the news that Singapore’s first ice gallery will open on November 1 as a permanent feature at Snow City in Jurong?
Designed around the theme of dinosaurs, the ice sculptures will be fitted with coloured lights, waterfalls and even an ice slide. And to prevent the ice sculptures from melting, the temperature is set at minus 10 to 12 degrees Celsius
How much energy does it take to sustain a gallery of ice dinosaurs of 140kgs each ad infinitum when Singapore’s natural temperature is around 28 degrees Celsius? How much natural gas, oil, electricity and CO2 would be involved to keep this going?
And for crying out loud, there’s Ikea and Fairprice depriving me of my plastic bag or two when i shop!!
F1 reveals ethical dissonance
Thank you Ms Anna Quek, for so eloquently expressing the concerns about the Government’s decision to extend the hosting of the Formula One (F1) race for another five years (“S’pore GP: full disclosure please” last Saturday).
Singapore risks evolving into a country of contradictions.
We welcome casinos and try to teach values in our schools.
We host a clearly environmentally hostile race, while we make increasingly loud noises about sustainability.
We also claim great pride in our reputation for integrity.
Yet, integrity is about doing the right thing, even if it costs one personally.
It means having to make financial sacrifices in order to preserve and build a long-term repuation.
I am increasingly concerned that we are unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices because we cannot see beyond dollars and cents.
If we do not watch it, we may one day be called ethical pragmatist, which is an oxymoron.
Mak Yuen Teen