GP Extra Credit: Reflections On Climate Change in Singapore

Written by: Aloysius Tng (19-U4)

Designed by: Jo Yeoul (19-A2)

This year’s National Day Rally speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong touched upon a myriad of issues that Singapore is facing and the government’s plan to tackle the problems. It also outlined the future of Singapore and the bold plans to develop it. From making education for all ages more affordable to the daring plan to upgrade the Greater Southern Waterfront, the new blueprint certainly looks promising.


A key point addressed by PM Lee (and the one I feel is most significant) is the plan to alleviate global warming. While global warming is most definitely a worrisome issue across the world, we rarely notice its impact on Singapore, despite its extensive coverage of the destruction caused by global warming. It sometimes feels that Singapore is a spectator of the environmental catastrophe, and has yet to feel tangible impacts on ourselves. (And what is a temperature rise of a few degrees to Singaporeans who already endure sweltering hot temperatures all year round?)


Thus the decision to divert resources to combat global warming came as a surprise to many. The National Day Rally speech brought to the forefront Singapore’s vulnerability to the impacts of global warming, such as the danger that rising sea levels on the low-lying island of Singapore. Additional water pumps, building polders and reclaiming offshore islands are some steps that the government are considering, all of which, I believe, will aid in the defence against the repercussions of global warming.


The government’s decision to treat global warming as a potential threat and to take measures to counter it is a much welcomed one. Singapore should not underestimate the danger global warming poses, evident by the destructive South Asia floods in 2017 and Hurricane Irma, all of which had severe consequences. It is good to see that Singapore is taking the danger of global warming seriously, much like its counterparts around the world. (Netherlands, for example, has taken to building polders to prevent floods). Seeing the steps our government is taking to combat global warming could also have the beneficial effect of jolting Singaporeans to pay attention to the effects of global warming on them.


It is of utmost importance that Singaporeans realise the danger climate change poses as it threatens our entire livelihood. Singapore is a small, low-lying country, and an increase in sea levels could have drastic effects on Singapore. Coastlines will be in danger of being submerged and if a flood caused by global warming, rising sea levels or heavier rainfall were to hit Singapore, there will be severe consequences. The Orchard Road floods years ago caused significant damage as it were, and a future flood brought about by global warming would surely be more catastrophic.


Though this endeavour to combat global warming is an expensive one costing $100 billion or more, in the face of the disasters that it could cause, no amount is too big. Despite the fast-rising temperatures and gloomier scientific predictions, I am heartened that Singapore is definitely one step closer to preventing an environmental catastrophe.

This article was written in the author’s personal capacity. Views, opinions, and thoughts expressed in all articles published on The Origin* belong solely to the author(s), and do not represent the values or ethos of The Origin* or the College.

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