Lessons from the June 2013 Haze Disaster in S.E Asia
1 A Classic Case
Everyone except a few farmers were caught napping- scientists, weatherman, ministers and disc jockeys. It was a classic. Like other disasters for millions of years, we humans were either switched-off at the eleventh hour or just busy channel surfing. Welcome to disaster 101!
2. Humans Seldom Learn
When it comes to disasters, humans seldom learn. It’s in our DNA. The haze has been around for decades, but each time it happens, we get mad, then we smile and hug each other and sometimes our trees, when its gone. Our foresight is no longer than the height of our noses!
3. It Takes Leadership
When nobody folds up his or her sleeves, nothing gets done. Until Indonesian President took responsibility for the haze emergency for his country, there was little progress. It was same old blame game. Stop crying crybaby, someone said. He was right?
All humans, including me (with the exception of Bob Marley) suffer from the effects of shot-termism. Call it any name, all I know is that it is a debilitating disease that dwarfs what Hamlet once called, “what a piece of work is man!” Well, sometimes you can tell Hamlet was wrong.