What is the temperature in Hong Kong today? 32°C? Or nearly 34°C? It is burning hot that you need to find a shelter, if not, you will nearly melt. In the past, Hong Kong’s temperature would not reach so high. So, what’s wrong with the Hong Kong weather in the past few decades?
It is mainly due to the extreme weather getting more serious in Hong Kong. Extreme weather is a weather event that is rare for the place where it occurs, such as a heat wave or a hurricane. Hong Kong has been getting hotter and hotter during summer and there is no clear cut of four seasons during the year. It seems that there are only two seasons remaining throughout the year, which are summer and winter. According to the statistics provided by the Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong’s average temperature increased from around 21.8°C to 23.2°C for the period of 1885-2019, and the rate of increase in average temperature became faster in the latter half of the 20th century.
How can we help to stop worsening the problem? We all can contribute by conserving energy. By conserving energy, we can reduce the use of fossil fuels, which leads to significant increase in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases and trap extra heat on earth.
For individuals, we can reduce our energy consumption and use it more wisely, especially air conditioning which is a major form of energy consumption in Hong Kong. Another example that we can do is to switch off idling engines in order to contribute less to global climate change. Besides, we can use more public transport instead of private cars so that we can use less fuel. However, not all of us want to ease the situation in Hong Kong, as some people do not want to sacrifice their own convenience and enjoyment.
The government plays an important role in solving the problem. It can introduce some legislative regulations to limit citizens’ behavior. For instance, the Hong Kong Government has implemented a regulation to prohibit motor vehicle drivers from leaving idling engines on. Also, it can publicize the importance of saving energy. For example, the Hong Kong Government encourages us to set the temperature of our air-conditioner to an energy-efficient level to save electricity while we are still able to enjoy the cool temperature.
Besides the above reactive actions done by the government to respond to our climate change problems, I think that more preventive actions can be done or emphasised by the government, such as educating citizens to have more self-discipline. If the government put more resources in education to teach students to pay more attention to environmental conservation since young, then it can save more costs in monitoring or penalizing the citizens.
Every day, we read news about extreme weather that is happening all over the world. Such news helps us to stay alert and educates us not to exploit our Earth too much. We learn from the news that solving the problem of extreme weather cannot be done by an individual government alone. If the world leaders can reach a consensus to co-operate hand in hand to save our planet, such as reducing waste gas discharge from the factories, it can help the situation more effectively.
If we can beware and take actions now, our future generation can live in a place with fewer threats and problems caused by extreme weather. If we are not trying to take the actions now, our present situation will not be changed in the future. As Emma Watson says, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” So, what are we waiting for? Let’s save our planet together!