What’s so wrong about this picture?
I’m standing in front of a coal power plant in Taichung, Taiwan. Also known as the “largest coal-fired power station in the world”. You might/might not know that those colorful chimneys behind me had contributed in costing people’s lives – especially those in Taichung – due to air pollution (not to mention water pollution and other pollution that follows, of course).
Coming from a such or even more polluted city than Taichung, it was kinda hard to take the issue seriously at first. Maybe because as someone who lived her whole life in Jakarta, I’ve seen and even been living through a worse situation.
I was expecting a more dramatic scene on my field trip. But little did I know, a disturbing reality can appear less alarming in a glance.
No, there was no smoke – they release the smoke in the evening to avoid more protesters coming for them. They also discharged the coal-fired residue to the sea, but I kinda struggled to see the filth under the bubbly salt water. I didn’t wear a mask too since it wasn’t deadly necessary.
But that’s the thing.
One of the biggest challenge in raising awareness about air pollution issue is we can’t see what it’s about, but it affects us indeed. It takes extra effort to avoid overlooking subtle-but-severe destructions around us.
Learning the fact that many locals do take it seriously about the current air pollution issue in Taiwan only made me realize on how far Indonesia is lagging behind in the fight against climate change. We really need to work hundred times harder!
This is an unfiltered photo. With clothes I’ve picked carefully and a friend with a good taste in photography, this picture had made it to be Instagram-worthy. Just like those colorful chimneys behind me, even from something so dangerous and deeply upsetting like this can produce aesthetic photo worth for Instapost. Only more proof at how it’s too damn easy to ignore the real problem that’s existing and focus on what’s appealing on the surface instead.
But allow me to use that appeal to tell you my stories.
Listen to more stories at http://world.350.org/east-asia/camp2017/