Q. Tell me, what do you think are the greatest environmental problems facing your country at present?
Answer: There is hardly any country in the world which is not facing serious environmental problems today. However, some of the greatest environmental problems, my country is facing today, include extreme high temperatures in some parts of my country (due to the greenhouse effects) and surface water contamination because of many industrial toxic and plastic waste. In fact, the high-temperature problem is so serious in my country that some parts of it are becoming like deserts slowly but surely. Then, there is the issue of serious air pollution as well, especially, in the big cities of my country.
Q. And what has been done so far to solve these problems?
Answer: To deal with these serious environmental problems, my country has taken slow but effective steps such as, planting more and more trees in the affected areas and dredging the rivers and lakes in order to keep a larger reserve of water so that they can help keep temperatures low during the hot season. Besides, my country has also taken steps like closing down coal-based industries slowly in order to limit the carbon emission and greenhouse effects. Finally, my government is also trying its best to increase awareness about the dangers of environmental problems among its citizens.
Q. How successful would you say these measures have been?
Answer: I would say that these measures are bringing some success slowly but surely because the high-temperature problem in the affected areas of my country has not got any worse during the last couple of years. Besides, many people these days are also seen to becoming serious about keeping their neighbourhoods clean and garbage free. However, we have some serious environmental problems, which have compounded over the decades if not centuries, and therefore, we will have to work even harder and be patient before we can achieve any measurable success.
Q. Do you think things are likely to get better or worse in the future?
Answer: Well, it is going to get worse in the future before getting better because unfortunately, we are way too late in addressing these serious environmental problems on a “macro” level. Besides, countries around the world can’t seem to agree upon the best courses of actions in order to deal with these environmental problems on a larger scale. Finally, it is going to get worse in the short run also because we don’t see any sign of slowing down in (mis)using the “resources of the earth” in order to feed our “greed” to ensure the comfort and luxury of our modern life.
Q. Is what you are going to study likely to be of any use to solve these problems?
Answer: No, my study has nothing to do whatsoever with addressing these environmental problems. But, then again, just because I am not studying to solve these problems, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I won’t be able to do anything about them. In fact, I can also try to raise awareness on the dangers of environmental problems from my own position on “micro” level, in addition to doing little things like planting trees at my front yard or not throwing any plastic waste in the lakes, wherever I go, and whatever I do.
Q. Should countries try to solve climate change problems together or individually? Why?
Answer: In my humble opinion, countries should try to solve the climate change problems collectively, as opposed to doing it individually, because while countries may have “land boundaries” between them, they don’t have any boundaries between the oceans, they share, or any “wall” to separate the “air” between them. In other words, the action of a few countries is enough to spoil the good environmental works of all other countries because, again, we share the same ‘air’ and ‘water’ one way or another. Besides, global warming and environmental problems are global concerns and are not manageable by countries individually. Therefore, we need collaborative planning and initiatives to address them.