So yesterday at the panel session I was trying to keep to the guiding points given to me, to share on Singapore’s position and commitment at UNFCCC.
I slept on it and I’m still thinking about what I wanted to say personally but did not.
At the end of they day, like Colin, I also agree what’s more important is to know what’s going around in our surrounding area and do something about it. He gave the example of forest fires and haze. For me, since last year, I’ve been harping on nuclear power plants.
Recently I attended Green Drinks, and there was a short mention on nuclear power plants. I forgot if someone from the audience asked the question or it was brought up by the panel themselves. In any case, the NCCS rep gave a similar reply he gave at an IPCC regional outreach event I went last year; that Singapore acknowledges there are risks involved and at this point, given the current technology, it would be risky for us to embark on a nuclear power plant project. And in both instances, last year and this year, I kept thinking to myself. “Well yes, but our regional neighbours have embarked on a few and Vietnam for example is expanding fast. Regardless of Singapore’s foray into nuclear power energy, if something were to happen in the region, we will still be affected by it. And given our small size of about 700km square, there is no where for us to run to.”
The conservative me is thinking I should be grateful. A few years back Singapore did a pre-feasibility study (and said no to it), and last year we (I don’t know for what reason) embarked on a 5 year long nuclear safety and science research programme. You know.. “Let’s find out everything we can and prepare for it!”
The pessimistic me is thinking “Yeah well. It’ll possibly be a ‘death-by-nuclear-power-plants-in-the-region’ scenario instead of ‘death-by-climate-change’ scenario for Singapore.”
And the optimistic me is saying, “The Singapore government is well prepared and Singapore citizens in general can afford to move out to other countries and do a mass human migration thing, joining the ranks of the Japanese Nuclear Refugees rather than the Pacific Islands Climate Refugees.”
There’s only so much Singapore can do.
It sounds cliche and all, that we’re a small island city state and a low-lying coastal area, that we’re alternative energy-disadvantaged and therefore there is only so much carbon emissions we can reduce, and it’s just how it is right now that our economy is fuelled by the oil refinery and shipping industry.
But that’s how it is. Climate change or Nuclear energy, ultimately Singapore is doing what we can to protect our people so that we survive physically and financially.