It’s Now Or Never

The topic of climate change or crisis is a passion of mine.

Despite repudiation by some, I remain persistent in my efforts to raise awareness about climate issues. Undoubtedly, it has been draining, but the love of God strengthens and renews me with every step.

God’s love called all things into existence, including us human beings. And He made us stewards to care for all His creation. That very love of God exists to be paid forward to all creatures with whom we share the world.

Today, there is increasing publicity on climate issues island-wide, but I wonder: How many Singaporeans are taking it seriously? I think many still take our planet Earth for granted, thinking, “What does climate change or crisis have to do with me?”

Without a second thought, we over-order and waste food. We are also a plastic nation. We are used to taking plastic bags for our purchases. Even though food waste and plastic are among the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions, we do not change our habits.

It is business as usual since we do not experience firsthand the wrath of nature and our daily needs are easily met. Many are still oblivious to the impact of climate change. One direct consequence we notice is that the heat is becoming unbearable. If it gets any hotter, we will not be able to enjoy outdoor activities in the future anymore.

Singapore is not insulated from the impact of climate change. As a developed country, we use more energy and resources, as well as produce more carbon emissions, and so will also heat up faster than other developing countries.

During the Arctic Frontiers conference in Tromso, Norway on 28 January 2020, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Sam Tan painted an alarming picture: “With climate change, a melting Arctic and rising sea levels, Singapore is also in trouble… If this happens, our future prime minister will have to conduct Cabinet meetings in a scuba diver’s suit, for we will be submerged underwater.” We will also face food insecurity. We are dependent on food-producing countries for food. When these countries are hit by climate change, our food supply will be disrupted.

Thanks be to God for environmental advocates who, often at their own expense, tirelessly educate the general public on climate crisis. Yes, it is a crisis. Scientists have attested that if we do not change our high-greenhouse-gas-emitting lifestyle, global warming will reach 1.5 °C between 2030 and 2052, posing “risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth”, and the damage will be irreversible in a decade’s time.

We must start now by making a conscious effort to adopt a greener lifestyle. It’s not just about you anymore. It’s about your loved ones, our future generations, and our vulnerable brothers and sisters in poorer countries who are feeling the brunt of climate change.  

Remember, God put you in charge to take care of this Earth, and so you must protect it.

Eve Ong is part of the Parish Engagement Team at Caritas Singapore. She is a passionate environmental advocate who has a great love for God and His creation.