Talking about the Environment, and Democracy


Any chance better than those Formosa's incident and all the dead fishes in the central seashore of Viet Nam to talk about the environment?

Recently I had read a news article about forestry which inspired me to think more than I usually do about our environment. Then I realized it’s very easy for people who live in some fantastically wealthy cities to say “Let's save the earth” or “I’m an environmentalist”. They don’t have to worry about food everyday. They don’t have to worry about clothing everyday. And of course they don’t have to worry about their safety. So it’s very easy for them to care about making sure that we protect the environment, the forest, the ocean, the rhinos and the whales… In fact, I , myself do care about all of that, in action, not just words. But it’s very hard for someone who makes less than $1,000 a year or someone who makes less than 2 bucks a day (World Bank’s poor standard) to do anything about the environment. And I don’t blame them.

So, I’m probably “greener” than a large of people who live in the my country today. But that doesn’t make me a better person because of my current position. That explains why some say climate changes is dangerous than terrorism (although I don’t totally agree with that). That also explains why we’re not doing much concretely about the environment from a global perspective, depending on who you are and where you live.

I'm done with my thought on environment. Why democracy? The environment issue brought me to a similar thought on democracy in Vietnam. It’s easy for Western governments or foreign NGOs to blame that Vietnam doesn’t have democracy, and technically it's true, indeed. But is democracy the ultimate goal of 90 million Vietnamese who nearly a quarter of them are still struggling with how to get food everyday, many of them everyday still remember how they lived during the war years ago and feel totally satisfied with their current life (like my dad)? How many of them really care about whether the election is free and fair or whether they want to have freedom of speech? It is true that there is a growing number of young Vietnamese fighting for democracy…on Facebook (sadly). But unless I see million farmers protesting on the street (like in Thailand), or a real young leader who can fight in reality (like in Hong Kong), or at least a real strategy, not just words in a Facebook status, I really doubt about democracy movements in Vietnam. And I don't blame anyone.

And finally, an old man had told me some words of wisdom: The word of man is slowly, but surely growing elderly.

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