Why We Emit Gases and How to Save the Planet

World Environment Day 2008 Logo

With the exception of a contractor bulldozing a strip of land on the lush green mountainside and leveling a couple dozen 100-year-old trees, World Environment Day was uneventful in my neighborhood.

In 1972 the UN created World Environment Day to make governments aware, on the 5th June every year, of the need to strike a balance between clean air and civil unrest. From the start, policymakers at the UN agreed that destroying the environment in order to provide employment and wealth was like smoking a cigarette to relax. Every Year World Environment Day has a tagline and this year the tagline is, CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy. Basically the theme suggest to countries they should work towards reducing carbon emissions in amounts that would make Al Gore proud but without starving the people.

Countries emit carbon gases to please the Carbon God, who, if pleased, will shower these countries with jobs, wealth and tall buildings. The need for jobs and the addiction to wealth and elevated structures makes it difficult for any carbon-emitting country to reduce emissions without causing mass unrest and the installation of a new leader. Carbon is not only the stuff people are made off but also the stuff the wealth of a nation is measured by.  Unfortunately, the the happiness of the people cannot be measured using carbon.

Trinidad and Tobago is currently listed as the 5th largest emitter of carbon dioxide per capita in the world, a fact that has made our Prime Minister blush with pride and our trees to die without dignity. Luckily, the total emissions from Trinidad and Tobago is not large since the population is small and preoccupied with the ridiculously high levels of crime and the availability of rice.

Experts and Al Gore predict if the levels of carbon gases emitted are not drastically reduced in a hurry the World could die sooner than expected. To reduce the carbon footprint of the planet people must consume less since this will cause factories to reduce production and thus emissions. Consuming less means not only eating less but also it means recycling more. It means reducing your electrical energy consumption by using compact fluorescent bulbs, hanging clothes out to dry and by not paying your electricity bill. Consuming less means driving less and walking more. Think about it, we can help save the Planet by not only doing what comes natural like showering in the rain, we can save the Planet by enjoying the simple things in life.