A former head of the Hong Kong Observatory has called on locals to eat fewer Brazilian chicken wings to help save Earth.
For Hong Kong could be on the verge of never again having a cold winter, Lam Chiu-ying warned.
That is clear from temperatures last week. The 24.9 degrees Celsius on Wednesday was the warmest second day of the Lunar New Year since record keeping began in 1884.
Likewise, new records were set for the third and fourth days of the year at 25.8 and 25.1 degrees respectively.
Speaking on radio yesterday, Lam said strictly speaking people can still experience winter as Hong Kong's temperature drops to 12 degrees or below on some days, which triggers the observatory to issue a cold weather warning.
Even so, Lam said, it is strange to see plants like rhododendrons blossom in winter. He said temperatures have been rising since the 1980s, while the last four years were the warmest on record.
"Even if all human beings disappear from the Earth and there is no more carbon emission, the temperature will still go up 0.5 degrees," he said. Climate change is a global problem, he added, and everyone must help solve it.
That took Lam to the subject of people changing lifestyles and consumption habits.
He urged people to buy fresh food and products from nearby regions while eating less Brazilian chicken wings to reduce carbon emissions from ships that transport the meat.
He also wants less online shopping, urging people to ponder over the necessity and durability of a product before buying it because it will produce pollutants and waste when thrown away.
Online shopping also requires extra packaging and creates more waste, he said.
Lam said he avoids using air conditioners. On that, he said people can reduce their electricity consumption by 75-80 percent if they do not turn them on.
Talking about "glass curtain walls" in buildings completed in recent years, he said developers use the design to reduce construction costs and increase saleable areas.
But if an entire building consists of glass walls, Lam said, it creates a vicious cycle as it is difficult to dissipate hot air inside, so people use air conditioners.
The Buildings Ordinance should be amended to make it illegal to build such walls, he added.
Lam also said new buildings should not use large panes of glass as they increase danger during typhoons.