Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.
As students in schools of modern Singapore, we see many videos or even documentaries about how other countries combat the effects of climate change and their existing features how to combat climate change however for Singapore, we are only shown what we can do to combat climate change but rarely have we been told on what has already been done to combat climate change. Upon research and general knowledge, I feel both ways on how ready Singapore is to combat the effects of climate change and how to reduce the process of it.
For my first opinion, I feel Singapore is ready to combat climate change. In modern civilization, one of the biggest worries is sea level rise and this is proven that it might be a major problem for Singapore in the future not only because we are a low lying country surrounded by ocean but also because of what we can see from the sinking island, Kiribati, how it used to be a paradise in the past and now a victim of sea level rise due to being a low lying country like us. So, what have we done, to reduce the problem of sea level rise in the future? Firstly, we have built seawalls at many of our coastlines, resulting in 70-80% of our coastlines being protected by these embankments. Secondly, due to projected sea levels to rise between 0.25 and 0.76 meters by the end of the century, authorities had raised the minimum land reclamation level from 3 meters to 4 meters in 2011 along with the raising of height at Nicole highway of up to 0.8 meters according to The Straits Times. Lastly, to cope with increased rainfall due to climate change, Singapore had invested highly on improving drainage systems around the nation, a total sum of around 2 billion Singapore dollars over the last 30 years spent on the improvement of the drainage systems. Hence, with all these feats Singapore has done to combat the increase of sea levels, a product of climate change, this is one reason why I feel Singapore is ready for taking action against climate change and its effects.
Secondly, I feel that Singapore is ready in combating climate change because being a first world country as most of us like to call ourselves, we, more than most of us realize are all extremely dependent on this very energy called electricity. Well, don’t believe me? A few days ago, there was an announcement letter in my letterbox which states that there will be no electricity on 19 of June between 2 to 5pm, like everyone else, at first I felt no big deal, however in the two hours of 2 to 4pm, it felt like torture, no fan, no microwave, and worst of all, no Wi-Fi. Even though it was only two hours, it felt like torture. I am not the only youngster who feels this way many of my classmates all feel this same way. If this is just the mindset of youngsters, what about young adults or working adults? As you clearly see, most of us are highly dependent on electricity. That being said, Singapore has done a couple of ways to generate clean energy to reduce climate change. Firstly, for the fuel of generating power through heat, Singapore is using natural gas instead of fossil fuels, this process of burning natural gas does not release toxic gasses and particles like how fossil burning does, therefore leading to cleaner and less toxic air. With research, 80% of our electricity is generated from natural gas. Another way is how Singapore deals with its trash. For an average plastic rubbish to decompose, it takes a few hundred years, here, the trash is collected and brought to incineration plants where it is then burned and the heat is used to generate power and electricity for the nation, then what about the toxic gas the toxic particles you may ask, the smoke is then filtered through the chimneys till the particles released is less than 1 micron, cleaner than the air around us! How’s that? Then, the toxic ashes are then dumped into a water body separated from the ocean where it finally rests for eternity, underwater hidden from us since. This method of getting rid of trash has prevented pollution of soil and the ocean which has allowed the coastlines of Singapore to harbour corals and a healthy ecosystem.
However, Singapore can also be not ready for combating and reducing the effects of climate change. With many human activities driving a busy nation, the amount of human activities has caused the temperatures to increase significantly, one of the effects causing the temperature increase is known as the urban heat effect where it’s caused by heat trapped in our buildings and human activities, with air conditioning at the top of the list for contributing the most in this effect. For HDB flats, this can be observed easily, for example, the air conditioner vent at the second floor releases heat, this heated air is then absorbed and released at a higher temperature from the vent at the third floor, if everyone on all the levels use air conditioners, this effect goes all the way to the last level. In other words, you can see this as a lighter, with a flame at the top. Hence, I feel Singapore can also be not ready for climate change and its effects due to this very reason.
In conclusion, Singapore as a bustling and busy nation has reasons to suggests why it is or not ready for climate change and its effects, whether is it through a unique way of getting rid of trash or to the heating effect of using too much air conditioners, hence this is why I feel both yes and no for whether Singapore is ready for climate change and its unpleasant effects.