I am a South African native and have been a resident in Hong Kong for the last 15 years. I am amazed how 'business as usual' continue to thrive in Hong Kong - by that I mean the:
a. continual increase in lights around us
We are committed to reducing carbon right? To my shock and horror the new ICC accross the harbour started flashing at 6pm every night. It is not yet dark - yet 'flshing is imperative'.
Add to this the endless demolishing of 6 and 7 floor building esp in mid-levels and replacing these with 40, 50 and 60 floor buildings.
The totally crazy aspect of the URA and the developers are the advertising of 'sustainable development' outside every construction site as well as the report from the 'town planning or transport planning (whatever they call themselves)' that 'the development will commnence with mo impact on the traffic......" and we have to believe this.
Reminds me of Bangkok in the 90's..... when all came to a grinding halt due to poor planning (before the fly-over was built to the airport) and I fondly remember when asking the hotel concierge what time to leave the hotel in Central Bangkok for a 8am flight I was asked to play it 'safe' and leave at 3am.....
b. Increasing buses
We are serious about reducing carbon in HK right? yet we increase the buses on the road as we need to have more buses to move more people due to the increase in the number of high rises built along a road infrastructure in mid-levels and Island south that did not cater for ANY buses when these roads were built.
Let's close our eyes and dream of the roads widening by themselves or even better let's play a game of guessing how many buses it will take to create total "gridlock". Maybe the jockey club should get involved and we can all guess and bet on the number. That would be cool as the jockey club would benefit as well. Let's forget about the emissions of busses as we can start doing assessments now and write a report that will be published 3 years later and then we will now then what we were supposed to know now.
Every lunchtime we in Hong Kong discard at least 2 million polystyrene lunch and noodle and dumpling containers. Yeah, the white containers that are disposable. And we do this every day. Apart from ingesting some rather nasty chemicals released by the polystyrene we fill the landfill with these ..... We are shocked that we run out of space in the landfill as we would argue that we are paying for plastic bags in supermarkets only and surely the levy has reduced plastic in Hong Kong. Yet, 2 million food containers at least per day.
It is cool to do this, some would argue as the people need to eat and we need to have a coastal clean-up every quarter that we can go on a boat to a remote beach, pick up bottles and polystyrene that we do not feel guilty to return home and buy a bottle of water and buy a rice box on our way home as we did our part.
d. More high rises block more airflow and result in more air conditioners running more hours pumping more carbon into the environment....
e. so we polute the air (emissions) we trash the land (landfills) and then we still pump loads of sewer into the harbour and reclaim more land (so higher concentrations in smaller areas) ............ and we wonder why the quality of air (land and sea is not that visible - we are not yet visibly chocking on the land and the sea) is deteriorating and families are leaving Hong Kong for health reasons...
Wake up Hong Kong and please start being serious about what you are doing to our Hong Kong. In 15 years the deterioration is quite shocking!