On Haze

It has been (and we are still pretty much in it) a crazy run for Indonesia, in terms of dealing with haze problem. Everybody, it seems, are very confused on whom to blame, assuming that there is one particular body or be it a side that is ultimately responsible for the months and months of smoke problem. With respiratory problems number increasing daily in various islands in Indonesia, death toll and especially child mortality are also rising. Indonesia has somehow being faced with a same old problem, only bigger, better and stronger.

We tried to figured out the actual problem with this haze at the office, and even with our qualified guests, the only answer we could find that came up as a mere solution is that if we can somehow tell god to give us rain. The natural disasters bodies of Indonesia (BNPB), the government and even foreign help hasn’t seem to be successful in stoping the problem that has light up (pun-intended) for almost more than 6 months now.


So perhaps, the only thing that we could do right now is to wait for rain. Of course, we should still do something to put out the fire. But the most that we can do right now is to try as hard as we can to contain it. So that the haze doesn’t somehow get to other islands, or you know, get worse somehow.

So I guess we are not dealing with a puzzle anymore at the moment, we are literally trying to put up an untameable fire. Indonesia, right now, is like a hostage being held in a cubical made of concrete with only small hammer waiting for execution. The only thing that we can do is to keep punching those walls with the tiny hammer hopping that the wall will crumble before the execution comes while praying to anyone that an earthquake will strike so that the walls would crumble and we could get out.

Bad simile.

But anyway, what I’m trying to say is that, maybe it is time to recognise our defeat and start thinking about future plans (while still dealing with our current problem). Because when the rain does come, the fire will stop.

Now I am not going to come up with any suggestion or ideas like I usually do. Frankly, I just don’t know any shits about forest burning regulation, the climate or anything environment related really.

Instead, what I’m going to offer is an invitation to not blame any(fucking)one. Because this problem (as too many other problems are) is not something that “caused” by just one event, rule, side, or whatever that is.

It is not the fault of president SBY for his forest burning law, that somehow make people assume, is triggering companies to open up Palm forest with burning. Because like in many countries, forest burning has become some kind of solution to deal with uncontrolled natural fire, ecosystem balancing and is the most efficient way to provide new fields for other purposes. Now of course this would need to be guarded by a strict law enforced by a good forest police of some sort.

Second, Jokowi is neither on fault nor does he is free from blame in this. We have a poor canalisation problem, and if his forestry minister is not lazy, they should have seen the “El Nino” thingy coming and prepare a better canalisation solution before the fire are actually lit. Not, you know, when they are already as high as an adult giraffe.

Third, “El Nino” really is a thing, and it has some sort of cycle. “El Nino” is like “the time of the decade” (if you know what I mean) for our climate. So we are bound to face it between now and then. Knowing that, then we should have an integrated emergency system amongst our society and government to be more prepared towards this problem.

All and all, this problem is neither simple nor does it easy to deal with. And us trying to find a single perpetrator for the problem are not solving anything. Our complains (including this one) about how unhealthy the condition already are, followed by moving pictures has become redundant, because it has served its purposed. To take our nation’s attention, and it is no longer needed.

What we need to do instead is to pinpoint where the problems are and tell the nation where they should concentrate on. If the law is failing us, then tell them that they should change it. If the emergency and health facility is not enough, then tell them it is not enough. And if there is anything we know that they don’t, then we should by all means let them now.

When you woke up in your room hearing the fire alarms, you don’t just shout and hope people will recognise do you? You call the firefighter, you run outside, and you tell them the possible source of the fire and what you see inside the building that can help them put out the fire and save lives.

You don’t just take a bloody picture and curse at the fire on your Facebook do you?

Well maybe some people will.

“Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.” – dan castellaneta


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