CANGGU ~ Ignorance and a lack of education are leading to severe environmental problems in Bali, according to a leading activist.
Baliâ€™s unorganized waste management system and unregulated vehicle-emissions standards were adding to the islandâ€™s woes, Emerald Star told The Bali Times.
â€œPeople today are becoming more and more aware of environmental problems such as pollution. They donâ€™t necessarily know what to do to fix the problem, but everyone agrees that something must be done,â€ he said.
â€œWhat we need to do now is properly educate people to realize how they affect the environment,â€ said Star, a longtime Bali resident and environmental engineer who will give a presentation at a screening of Al Goreâ€™s Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth at the Canggu Club on April 28.
Star says global weather patterns and their destructive nature show the Earthâ€™s climate is imperiled.
â€œToday we are seeing typhoons, storms, hurricanes and flooding in places that have never experienced those types of disasters before.
â€œYou see how Jakarta was flooded, how the recent typhoons in Bali destroyed temples, trees and interrupted sea transportation. These are indications of a more serious climate crisis,â€ he said.
A collective effort was required to help stave off future disasters. Everyone, including â€œthe government, schools, NGOs and expatsâ€ had to get involved, said Starr.
â€œWe need the people to be 100-percent aware that our activities affect the environmental in a negative ways.â€
On a more local level, poor disposal of waste products such as plastic was harming Baliâ€™s pristine environment, Starr said.
â€œPlastic is very carcinogenic; this is a serious problem the people should be aware of,â€ said the 56-year-old from New York.
Star also said he is concerned about the rising level of air pollution in Bali, given its small size and dense population.