Dear Residents of Hong Kong Outlying Islands,
Greetings. This afternoon my whole family (my daughter, son, wife and I) also came to join your march against the construction of incinerators in Shek Kwu Chau.
There were many kids joining the march, and so let me talk about my favourite subject: picture books! There is a tale called "Town Mouse and Country Mouse" and countless picture books have been drawn based on this tale. In some versions, town life is about the consumption of earthy resources while country life is about the conservation of the natural environment. So the story is actually about the choice of different value systems and lifestyles. We live in one of the most crowded and polluted area of Northen Hong Kong Island, and as town mice we came to support all of you country mice :-)
One of my son's most favourite picture books is called "I Stink!” This is a famous American picture book and has earned a lot of prizes. It is about the daily life of a trash truck (and hence also of the trash workers). One of the most striking images of the book is that when the trash truck feels itself being discriminated by citizens (because it stinks!) it goes on strike! Then the whole city becomes a trash mountain! The story is very funny yet highly educational, and is especially suitable for kids reading together with their parents..
In the Taiwanese, Chinese version of the book, in the appendices there is also information provided for kids about the solutions of the problem. And as every one of you knows, these are about "Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle", or 3Rs. These basic principles of environmental protection is also being taught in the curricula of every primary and secondary school in Hong Kong, and many pupils are actively participating in school 3R projects too.
So, the construction of these 15-billion-dollars GIANT MONSTERS called "incinerators" which during operation emit such poisonous particles as Dioxin which will enter the food chain and eventually endanger fishes, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, fetus, babies, and children, essentially means that the teaching of 3Rs at home or school is totally redundant.
After all, these expensive MONSTERS need to gobble up huge amounts of trash everyday (even "trash" that contains vast reusable values) in order to maintain its "cost-efficiency", at the expense of other more sustainable strategies of waste management like recycling industries and community recycling teams, because of the displacement of much needed public resource support.
What's the point of reducing wastes, reusing reusable stuff and recycling recyclable materials then? Why don't we just consume more, and feed these MONSTERS with trash to satisfy their enormous appetite?
So should we tell our children that our teachings at home and school are all wrong?
Or should we all come out now and tell the government that its waste management policy is WRONG instead?
Thank you for helping us build a sustainable Hong Kong!
Franklen and his DD, DS and DW