Saltwater Wells in My Eyes

February 4th, 2007   •   9 comments   

As alluded to earlier, something sinister is happening to our environment. Mankind’s multiple abuses – deforestation, overfishing, water and sea pollution, depleting fossil fuels and excessive carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions – have led to severe environmental degradation. More than 2,000 top environmental scientists have alluded that we are at the start of a major and irreversible climactic catastrophe.

Global warming (by as much as 6 degrees Celcius over the next 100 years), rising sea levels (up to 50 cm in the next century), shrinking tropical islands, melting glacial ice, and depleting of natural forest cover. These have affected entire communities and led to massive disasters in recent times like floods, mudslides, hurricanes, and numerous pollution related illnesses.

Are we safe here in Singapore? After all, we did escape from the brunt of it all in recent years.
Well, I seemed to sense that something was amiss today. Perhaps I am just paranoid but somehow things felt a little different.

First the sky seemed to be overcast the entire day yet without any occurrence of rain or haze. This was peppered with strong gusts of winds that made walking in the mid day rather pleasant and cool. Certainly February isn’t the hottest month of the year, but neither is it usually this balmy.

Sea levels seem to be rising as seen in this photograph of East Coast Park taken this morning. Water washed over the concrete embankment and looked as if they may cover the entire shoreline. Perhaps it could just be normal high tides but I noticed that sea levels are visibly higher these days compared to years ago.

The rising tides have also led to the nearby canal being dangerously full of water. All it could take are a few hours or continuous rain before the spectre of floods dawns upon us yet again.

Is the situation so desperate that we have to break down and cry?


Ethan asking his papa to carry him.

I guess Julian Lennon’s hit Saltwater (1991) best sums up what appear to be happening in this day and age:

“We are a rock revolving
Around a golden sun
We are a billion children
Rolled into one

So when I hear about
The hole in the sky
Saltwater wells in my eyes

We climb the highest mountain
We’ll make the desert bloom
We’re so ingenious
We can walk on the moon

But when I hear of how
The forests have died
Saltwater wells in my eyes

I have lived for love
But now that’s not enough
For the world I love is dying
(And now I’m crying)

And time is not a friend
(No friend of mine)
As friends we’re out of time
And it’s slowly passing by .. yy .. yy
Right before our eyes

We light the deepest ocean
Send photographs of Mars
We’re so enchanted by
How clever we are

Why should one baby
Feel so hungry she cries
Saltwater wells in my eyes

I have lived for love
But now that’s not enough
For the world I love is dying
(And now I’m crying)

And time is not a friend
(No friend of mine)
As friends we’re out of time
And it’s slowly passing by … yy … yy
Right before our eyes

We are a rock revolving
Around a golden sun
We are a billion children
Rolled into one

What will I think of me
The day that I die
Saltwater wells in my eyes

Saltwater wells in my eyes”

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9 comments

  1. posted on Feb 04, 2007 at 4:11 PM

    Dun make me paranoid. I live near the sea, sekali got tsunami, how?

  2. posted on Feb 04, 2007 at 11:57 PM

    Hmmm u remind me that it’s been very long time that I did not go to East Coast. Less know about the increase of sea level. But Singapore is too small an island to afford the tsunami, we better save before regret.

  3. posted on Feb 05, 2007 at 1:52 AM

    Cool. Daddy wears Crocs. But don’t you think that it is more environmentally friendly to wear real croc leather shoes rather than footwear made of synthetic material that takes 1000 years to decompose?

  4. posted on Feb 05, 2007 at 2:40 AM

    eastcoastlife,

    I think it will be at least 50 years or more before sea level rise is palpable. By then, I guess Singapore may be a very different island altogether. Perhaps we will be a city entirely of skyscrapers?

    pauline,

    We are fortunate to be protected by the continental shelf which is why the waves are seldom very strong here.

  5. posted on Feb 05, 2007 at 2:41 AM

    victor,

    Shhhh… You called my bluff. In any case, the sober realisation for me just came more urgently recently. I will now try to reduce my environmental footprint more substantially.

  6. posted on Feb 05, 2007 at 5:09 PM

    Esp at this side of the world, the environmental awareness is badly promoted.
    We know abt Global Warming is affecting our weather, we heard of plastic synthetic takes a thousand year more to decompose n etc. But how many of us really start to protect our planet by categorized our waste, bring recyclable bag to grocery shopping, driving hybrid car? Some might aborted the idea thinking its too troublesome, while some might thot its not gonna affect them. However, we are living on the same planet, wat happens in one part of the planet sooner or later will affects the rest of the planet. I just hope it will not be too late when mankinds finally realize the importance of prepare ourselves to overcome the challenges which global changes will bring in our lifetimes, maybe not to us, but to our offsprings.

  7. posted on Feb 06, 2007 at 7:13 AM

    hmm..from a personal point of view yeah? We should really watch what we do from now on yeah? The IPCC report that came out last friday didn’t seem pleasing with all that doom and gloom which unfortunately is really gonna happen if we don’t buck up as citizens of earth.

    Makes me wonder yeah? Do we really think for our future? I mean we are gonna have kids one day and would really want to do the best for them yeah? So why are we messing about? hmmm…

  8. posted on Feb 06, 2007 at 1:55 PM

    zeezee,

    I remembered reading quite a while back about the Amazon forests being destroyed at an alarming rate. Is that still true? Old habits die hard and I also struggle a bit myself with all the creature comforts.

    Jason,

    Its scary when I read about it. BTW, you have a pretty cool blog yourself. Very uncivil servant like leh… hehe

  9. posted on Feb 07, 2007 at 3:08 AM

    ERm..yeah Walter..I tend to bxxch alot about stuffs other than current affairs…think of it more like bo liao..keke…

    but hey..ur blog keeps me updated of some on-goings ard..keke..I am quite offline in a way… 🙂

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