Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Good Day from the suburbs south of Manila!
Another gladdening news for us global citizens just came out recently from the heraldry mills: that of Asians leading the way to fuel-saving behavior. For those advocates of mitigating ‘greenhouse effect’ gas emissions through direct motorist interventions, the news surely comes as a refreshing one.
In a report summarized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (by Amy R. Remo, 22 August 2012), the Shell corporation accordingly conducted a research which shows the greater inclination of Asians for fuel saving then the Europeans. 3,300 drivers across Asia and Europe served as respondents, and was released by the Shell FuelSave Report.
The motivation for fuel-saving, as validated by the research, were (a) the prospect of saving money and (b) being environmentally responsible. One can see, from the report, how economics has been merging with ecological balance concerns for the entire Asian continent, a reality that wasn’t there two (2) decades back.
The increased awareness of Asian motorists towards fuel utilization efficiency clearly deconstructs those contorted notions that developing countries are too low in environmental awareness. It’s plain stereotyping, this protestation from Western/Northern countries that Asians can’t commit to cutting down fossil fuel emissions as their development path still lingers on in the phase of ‘smokestack economy’ of yesteryears.
Fact is, the research findings coincides with the recent manifestation of exemplary behavior by Asian countries in re-engineering their policy environments to shift their power production and fuel consumption towards more clean energy in the foreseeable future. It is the Northern/Western countries that have been remiss in this regard, as one can see, with the USA leading the way to stubborn non-commitment to international protocols on cutting down fossil fuel emissions.
The report accordingly conducted online interviews beginning March 21 this year in the following countries: Philippines, UK, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand.
My own country, the Philippines, has been among the most applauded internationally as it had reshaped its policy environment to develop and mass produce green energy fuel sources. Hybrid engines are now available in the country that utilize a combination of alternative and fossil fuel sources, while solar-powered vehicular prototypes are being designed across the country (even university students are vying for exemplary prototypes that can be mass produced locally and abroad).
The resort to fuel saving is a transitory phase towards a shift to total clean energy sources (solar, fuel cells, to the more ambitious gravitic and plasma technologies) that will be the viable option in the near future. My own forecast is that it won’t take till 2025 when the total shift can be accomplished across Asia, with the emerging markets of today leading the way towards that ambitious goal.
[Philippines, 12 September 2012]
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