On Paris Agreement

“BOOORING.” You probably feel like you’ve had enough of listening to the different versions of ‘climate change’ campaigns.

After all, it is likely that it won’t affect you directly (unless you live in coastal area or depend your life on productive agriculture). Some others argued that this had all been the Western agenda to limit our development.

Well, I hate it too when environmental activists play God and tell us to hug trees because we need to save the planet. Because the truth is, Mother Earth could take care of itself. It is us—the human race—who needed saving.

Throughout the past 2.5 years of working on this issue, I realized that the problem is so much more complex than ‘using less plastic’ or ‘taking the bus’. It’s about protecting ourselves from a massive species suicide from the way we produce and consume every day. It’s about respecting the poorest and most vulnerable people from the impacts of global warming-induced catastrophes.

Yes, there is politics involved. A lot of it. And then there are ignorants who will get in the way. I used to be somewhat-pessimistic.

But today—eight hours ago to be precise, it all changed. A historic, binding Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to 2 degree Celcius had finally been reached, and it’s a deeply meaningful pivot point which showed that we left the dark side ever since the last Kyoto Protocol. At the national level, more than 180 countries, representing 98% of global emissions, have officially put forward national climate plans, including Indonesia. We also ditched behind the old-school division of developed and developing nations, admitting that this is a non-exclusive, everyone’s issue.

The homework now is to strengthen this long-term ambition, and making sure that administration cycles do not let new flocks of ignorants to take control and toss away what humanity reached today.

Congratulations, mankind.

You’ve done yourselves proud.

(Not sorry for being emotional about this.)

P. S. Learn more about it from @worldresources or @WRIClimate on Twitter.

Unless You’re a Book Fan, No Need to Read This

In the end, what I’m going to elaborate in the following paragraphs will come down to a single sentence: if you read (buy) more than 23 books per year, ebook reader is a more environmentally-responsible option.
So grab one.


[Disclaimer: ‘e-book’ is the appropriate spelling at the status quo while ‘ebook’ (without dash) is just my own attempt to make people accept it as an intact word and not an abbreviated phrase (from electronic book).]

As most of you might have realized, these days there’s a plethora of choices when it comes to ebook readers: Nook, The Kindle and iPad are several examples. Ebook readers are sexy, sleek, and they serve tremendous environmental benefit through a global surge of paperless reading. Let’s start with a couple of dazzling facts before you argue about how printed books are more convinient:

  1. The U.S. publishing industry consumes 16 million tons of paper to produce 2 billion books and it results in 32 million fallen trees annually.
  2. For every printed book you have on your shelf, you’ve produced
    4 kg of CO2 during its production process. In total, publishing companies emit over 44 million tons of CO2/year (that’s like 7,3 million cars)!
  3. Throughout Amazon and iTunes ebook sales, lives of
    1,267,200 trees were saved in 2010.
  4. Reading printed New York Times everyday means triggering the production of 700 kg CO2/year. On the average reading speed, having it online/on ebook readers will reduce the evil number to 10 kg.
  5. Directly comparing, printed books consume 3x more raw materials and 7x more water for production than paperless books.
  6. If every book bought in U.S. and Canada was digital, 49,6 million trees, 1,2 million tons of CO2, and emission from 193,000 cars
    could be saved each year.
  7. Other than trees, adopting paperless reading as a lifestyle also means saving energy during paper production, printing, book-binding, packaging materials, disposal, as well as recycling.

Some of my friends rebut this perspective by saying that ebook readers also consume certain amount of energy for its production and the reading process itself. I don’t deny such reality. Instead, I thenceforth strongly urge those who read less than 23 books per year to not buy ebook readers at all. There’s a mathematical explanation beyond that number yet unfortunately I’m not an expert who can elucidate further.

If there’s only one principle you need to uphold in being a paperless-reading supporter, it’s the fact that electronic devices will always evolve to the direction of energy-efficiency. 100 Watt light bulbs are now replaced by 27 Watt compact fluorescent lamps; so are our televisions and fridges. I believe that ebook readers will also get more and more energy efficient, while paper production will always cut trees and thus waste too much.

Printed books are indeed indispensable. However, we need to categorize ourselves (as readers) and figure out the most suitable reading-style for each of us. Those living in remote areas without electricity or employees who hardly go to bookstores do not need ebook readers. Students or book fans, on the other side, can help reduce environmental damage by start buying one.
With a price range of 130-250$, an ebook reader might be your lifetime’s best investation.

More and more people are becoming aware of the crucial importance of paperless readings. Since 2010, ebook sales are continually growing to 112% increase of trade from 2009. Even my most favorite female author, J. K. Rowling, has joined the campaign through her very own http://pottermore.com.

There’s a huge difference between being classic and conservative.
You can save a lot from converting to ebooks.

“It is my view you can’t hold back progress. Ebooks are here, they are here to stay. Personally I love printed paper, but very very recently, later than a lot of people because I’m not very technologically adept, in fact it was this year for the first time that I downloaded ebooks. And it’s miraculous, for travel and for children particularly, to carry around a thousand books in your pocket on a small device is an extraordinary thing, so I feel great about taking Harry Potter into this new medium. But I still love a printed paper book; I think you can enjoy both.” –J. K. Rowling