How to solve environmental problems?
At AsiaIsGreen, we believe that there are already existing solutions and technologies to solve most environmental problems, such as lack of clean drinking water, malaria deaths and climate change. What we need are not solutions and technologies but the willpower and leadership to change the status quo. We also need planning and coordination so that we know what we have to do, what financial resources and manpower are needed, how much time we have, what success looks like, and a process or someone to make sure things get done.
There are existing technologies for providing clean drinking water to developing countries. Ask any experienced environmental engineer about the process of obtaining clean water and you will hear of processes like sand filtration, microfiltration, reverse osomosis, solar distillation, desalination and ultraviolet disinfection. We already know how to get clean water from undrinkable water sources, so why do 1.1 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water? Maybe we lack manpower and money? Or do we lack willpower, leadership, planning and coordination?
Malaria causes more than 1 million deaths annually around the world. Do we lack the technology or money to treat malaria? In the latest issue of Scientific American, Jeffrey Sachs argues that we can end malaria deaths in Africa “if we will follow through”. Technologies and approaches are currently available and it takes about “$3 from each person in the high-income world” to control malaria. We need the determination of more people and countries, and proper planning and coordination to tackle the problem.
When it comes to climate change, similarly we will need the willpower and leadership of developing and developed countries. We need planning and coordination with proper targets, timelines, carrots and sticks. We already know what to do although we lack the resolve.
After all is said, the best way to solve a problem is to solve it.