Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Butterfly Effect


Imagine a vast expanse of unequivocal plane and its pale and windswept seascape. Then envision a fragile layer of ice spanning across a large body of water superimposed onto this precarious panorama. With only the blustery breeze to buffet the amorphous surface of the ice and the wailing wind to warn the unwary of the approaching storm, the serenity of the surrounding is enthralling in its own right, evenhanded in an equilibrium environment.

Then picture the drop of an illusionary icicle with deadly precision and peril onto the arctic ice and spectate the instantaneous fissuring and rapid descruction of the entire view in one single sweep.

This is a glimpse of our Earth's current dire situation and its "promising" future if we maintain our present principles. Our current environment is like the thin layer of ice on a large lake. Left alone and preserved properly, it can withstand the forces of nature perpetually in its strong but brittle state. However, this arrangement is tenuous that all it takes is a small group of irresponsible people to continue leading the world in ignorance of the existing environmental issues to destroy it. Like the deadly icicle falling onto the thin ice. The damage perpetrated then will be permanent, irreversible and too late...where the ice on the lake is shattered and no more.

Now visualize the fading lushness of a vanishing oasis and its evaporating water basin surrounded by the putrefying carcasses of hopeful creatures seeking its lost reprieving riches. Then envisage a desolate desert beyond despair amidst the arid landscape of desiccating death translated onto this vicious vista. With only the coarse sand to contain further deciduous acts from the bleak backdrop and the loutish vultures roaming the skies for its precious prey, the barrenness is despondent in its deathly display.

Then consider the odds of a windfall of rain onto the lands below and observe the oasis transforming into a verdant vista overnight with tremedous life supporting capacity until the next draught cycle.

This is a glance into the possible state where we can bring our planet to if we change our attitude and tenets regarding environmental policies now and actually act on it. Consequently, all hope is not lost yet as our current environment is like the oasis in the middle of a desert. To revive it back into a sanctuary, all it takes is a lot of rain...just like how it takes the efforts of many a great people on this planet to come together and start making the change. Even then, that will not suffice as it is also about preserving and sustaining the environment once it is saved because the next draught is always around the corner.

It is a case where to destroy the world, it only takes a handful of people and little effort but to save it, you need the world to unite in a world-scale endeavour and then to galvanise and sustain this definitive dilution to preserve the planet thereafter.

The world is less than a week away from witnessing one such world-scale undertaking. It is prominently and aptly called Earth Hour - hailed as the biggest ever global movement, a vote for the future of planet Earth. Just hearing these two words gives me the notion that it has such a simple meaning to it yet so profound a result, requiring only a little effort from each of us all to create a chain reaction...a resolute renaissance of our environmental awareness to start heeding the cries of Earth Mother.

A little more than a week ago, Prince Charles of Wales issued a warning that the world has less than 100 months to act and save the planet from irreversible damage caused by climate change. He counseled that the need to tackle global warming is more urgent than ever, even in the face of global recession. He also urged us not to lose sight of the "bigger picture".

Our local 8TV station has been actively creating this awareness amongst the populace and spearheading the Earth Hour movement locally. One of the station's strongest message sent out so far, besides the advertisements and celebrity endorsements, is that it will cease its transmission from 8.30pm to 9.30pm (during primetime) on the 28th of March, 2009 in conjunction with Earth Hour. Also, for the entire month of March 2009, it will air one hour less of transmission daily to support this movement. Apart from that, two major landmarks in our nation has been cited to switch off its lights during Earth Hour - the KL Tower and the Penang Bridge.

Mankind are narcissistic by nature and we can continuously live in careless complacency indefinitely as long as it does not affect us. But when it does, we start to panic and figure out how to act. More often than not, it will then be too late. This does not mean we are ignorant creatures that will never change. When pushed to the edge, we cling onto the cliff for our dear lives. When stripped off of our possession, we feel the loss and yearn for the familiarity again. At the precipice, we change...

This is our time now, it is our precipice and time is still our ally. Most of us do not realize that if we continue on with our old habits, no matter how small or insignificant it is like the wasteful use of water, electricity or paper and littering, all this contribute to the subtle but impactful deterioration of our environment.

This is called the Butterfly Effect where small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behaviour of the system.

However, imagine what can also be achieved if we start to ensure we save that little bit more of water or paper everyday or do a little bit of recycling weekly. When you explode the efforts of billions of people, you observe the impact on the world at a scale of epic and profound proportions. All it takes is only a little from you. Nothing more. That is what Earth Hour symbolizes.

I can only do my part and express my views here in hopes of inspiring others to share my opinions and spread their beliefs to others because our generation is the deciding dynamic...the DETERMINANTS of our future where our descendents will look back in time and judge us for what we did today. It is as simple as that. We are the ones, not our parents...but WE.

So let me return to the beginning and reaffirm that if the ice is left in its own fragile state without outside interference, it will remain stable and long-lasting but introduce a new variable into the environmental equation - the icicle, no matter how small or insignificant it is...and it will destroy the balance within and shatter the ice shelf forever.

It is up to us to create our very own butterfly effect of our generation for good, or for worse for it has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly's wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.

16 comments:

Rabbit's Fewt said...

weihan, you should try submitting this article to earth hour or wwf. i am really moved by your words and the way you paint the harsh reality of our world today into real life examples that me as a reader can relate to easily. your depiction of the two outcomes from our current situation if we change and if we don't is beautiful = will be committed to turn of the lights this coming 28th too, haha! you have a great week ahead now ;)

joslip said...

woh dude, i see the irony in the ice scenario if we dont change now and the oasis scenario if we start changing now. nice post. let's go watch kl tower switch off this sat night :)

InceV said...

Earth Hour has very big coverage here in Aust too. Very happening. the whole neighbourhood going to switch off this saturday night also, then some of my frens going to the city to celebrate together.

I'm also doing my little part, using recycled papers of any kind i can find in my house,LOL! u r rite! all it takes is for US just to do a little bit. Earth has my vote,LOL!

Han said...

Rabbit's Fewt:
If you've read some of the articles published at those websites about climate change, there is no comparison between mine and theirs la but thanks for the appreciative thought. I write for myself and my friends only. Not the world. I think sometimes trying to do something for the world nowadays is a monumental task. I feel that if we just concentrate on the immediate people around us, that will suffice. The key is - that everyone in this world thinks the same: just helping the immediate people around them and imagine the cascading and domino effect it will start around the world. Then indirectly, you are helping and doing something for the world already :)

Make sure just turn off the lights, k? You can leave your TV and heater on :P Or you'll freeze and bored to death!

joslip:
Thanks, nigga! Haha! Spread the word :P Sounds like a good plan, wei...lemme see what I can conjure up. Let me check the local happenings first ;)

InceV:
Yeah, it should have a HUGE coverage there since Earth Hour originated from Sydney two years ago ma, haha! That's right, buddy...it's all those little things we start doing now that's gonna make a difference. And also not to forget our mentality.

悦子 said...

knew this theory quite a long time and search for some details about for an article...

you may directly link with the environment issue whereas the theory came from, however I like it if it put into our life...meaningful right?

tiny/small thing that we did now, nobody will knows that it brings effect towards future...

well, first of all, the thing we got to do is care the earth rather than other things......

Han said...

Yeah, totally agree with you. It's a very general and useful statement not only for the environment but really, just about everything we do in our lives. Remember ah, according to Prince Charles, we only have 100 months left...haha!

Kelly said...

this is beautiful. by the way, klcc is switching off too, so is putrajaya, dataran merdeka and a host of hotspots around klg valley. the heat is building up exponentially day by day. what a sudden turn of events. your hope is in place as other ppl also share your opinion. you're not alone, haha. i am inspired by this. let's create our own butterfly effect for our generation ;)

Amy said...

a very tantalizing post. you truly paint the harsh reality out there for us all....it really boils down to us individuals in the end to make any kind of difference in this world at all. i dont think there's any other event in the world that has ever seen so much of ppl from diff background, race, religion and countries coming together doing the same thing in the same hour besides Earth Hour.

i think we are looking at beginning of something great happening for us all in the near future. keep up ur writing as u have a gift of making ppl see an issue for what it really us and making ur readers connect and relate to it, at least for me ^__^

Han said...

Kelly:
Yeah, I know that...thanks for the info, in case I forgot, haha! Your source is from earthour.org/my? LOL! You are right to say the excitement and hype for Earth Hour is building up day to day, which is a good thing but I hope all this last minute hopefuls do not lose sight of the meaning of this event. It's not some event like a V-Day or New Year's Day kinda celebration, it's to remind us of the state of world at the moment, how are we causing the damage to it and what it will lead to if we do not change now. I just have an inkling many don't see the point...yet. Glad you were inspired :) Let's hope the flutter will echoe on throughout the years and ages ahead, haha!

Amy:
Tantalizing in what context? Haha! Come to think of it, you are quite right...this is indeed the first of the very few event in the world where everyone from diverse origins converge in terms of thoughts and sights. Truly a magnificent event and I pray this will grow to be something bigger in the near future, the event that will kick-off something grander.

and thanks for your compliments. will take it into heart, haha! at least i am not so confusing anymore, huh? ROFLOL!

J said...

nice composition, bro. totally like the way you deliver your story. hope you have a momentous time celebrating earth hour. the event is quite huge here. can imagine u holding one of those placards up in a rally one day, ahahhaha! peace :)

Rabbit's Fewt said...

weihan, i don't need to read the articles from those websites la, i only need to come here :) your message resonates most of our general thoughts. but i don't think doing something for the world is monumental. it is the goal in mind that we must take into heart and use it as our launching pad. i think it is what drives us or people like you to motivate others, in small special ways. we are all motivators in life and by living our life in the fullest way, we are doing something monumental in itself already. i can't wait for 2080 hour this saturday =)

Kelly said...

hhahahaa, what is there another source? :) think ah..most people out there are harping onto this event to earn money and all. i was reading this article yesterday at the star about this guys saying earth hour is overrated and a gimmick. he claims it is a marketing ploy to siphon away useful money and that we are all hypocrits to join in the event. perhaps he is right...one never knows. but i think his article is a wakeup call. you should post this entry up into the star as a reply, you know? LOL! hehehehe!

Han said...

J:
Please ah dude, you think I'm like those goons in the movies protesting in some rally? LOL! Hmmm, not a bad idea come to think of it, ahaha! Enjoy your celebration there and let me know how it's like ;)

Rabbit's Fewt:
The Secret Plateau is always a good source of insights...and...crappy rantings! LOL! The resonation of my message is no more different and no less available that what are already out there, among all of you :) I like what you said about us all being motivators in life to others and ourselves, in certain ways. Oklah, I think I see your point about being monumental to a certain extent, haha! Keep the excitement flowing and flutter on! ROFLOL!

Kelly:
Don't mind my rethorical question, haha! Eh can share the link of that article? I wanna check it out. Feeling pissed already even before I read it, haha!

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