Singapore—The good news is that a lot of people attended the first-ever climate change rally in Singapore last weekend. The bad news is a lot of people left a lot of trash at the Singapore Grand Prix last weekend, including a lot of plastic items such as bottles and other disposable items.
Plastic also featured in another way at the Formula One event, as Kevin Magnussen, who races for Haas, had a plastic sandwich bag stuck in the front wing of his car, which affected its aerodynamics, and therefore, his overall performance.
And so, while climate change and saving the environment has been on the lips of Singaporeans from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to 11-year-old Oliver Chua, one of the speakers at last weekend’s rally, the reality is that there is a long way to go in making concrete and lasting changes.
Netizens were first alerted to the amount of trash at the Grand Prix when DJ Joakim Gomez posted a photo on Twitter of the aftermath of the race, showing a field strewn with a lot of litter, mostly from food that had been consumed, including plastic cups, single-use water bottles, disposable trays and cartons, and the like. There were also a number of people standing about in the photo, none of whom showed any concern about the trash, or the initiative to start a clean-up.
Mr Gomez tweeted:
“Most People: Climate Change is real! Save the planet. No more straws. Plastic Bottles should be recycled rightly. etc.
Also Most People:
Many netizens liked and shared his photo, with one commenting, “The action doesn’t reflect the cries for change.”
On September 21, just one day before this, over 1,700 people attended the country’s first climate rally at Hong Lim Park, despite the haze that has loomed over the past week.
A number of climate rallies have occurred since last Friday in different parts of the world, sparked by teenage Swedish activist Greta Thunberg’s appearance in US Congress to appeal for concrete action.
Last month, at the National Day Rally, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the threat to the environment and said that the Government intends to spend $100 billion on initiatives that would mitigate the effects of climate change and help prevent more damage to the environment.
One of the speakers at the rally was 11-year-old Oliver Chua, a Primary 5 student from Temasek Primary School, who asked the crowd, “How habitable will Singapore be in 46 years’ time when it celebrates its hundredth birthday?”
He added, ”I feel that my friends are in that ‘don’t know, don’t care’ or ‘I know but I don’t know what to do’ phases because we tend to take (things) for granted and we can’t really comprehend the impact of climate change.”
As for the Grand Prix, plastic made itself felt in other ways, with one little bag causing a racer big damage.
Autosport.com reported, Magnussen had looked on course for an eighth-place finish at the Marina Bay circuit but it all went wrong after the final safety car period when a clear plastic bag got stuck in the left side of his front wing – badly affecting the car’s aerodynamics and effectively dashing his chances of a points-scoring result.
It is thought the bag cost Magnussen around four seconds per lap of pace once it became lodged on his car.
The team had no choice but to pit him to remove it three laps the end of the race because he was losing too much time and was also destroying his tyres.”/ TISG
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