Thursday, December 30, 2010

Love and Biology

This is a short entry I found in my journal archives back in my journalism days:

I was doing some research for a story about the science of love and attraction, I realised something: the scientific community here is not quite interested in Romantic Love.

I was not able to get a scientist (apart from the social sciences) or a neurologist in Singapore to comment on what goes on in the brain and the body when a person is in love.

Perhaps I did not search hard enough, but if I had to spend more than a week to find such a person in Singapore, it would also indicate the amount of importance the research community gives to the study of romantic love.

In Singapore, we seem to be more interested in 'fertility' more than the stuff that leads to fertility. Young couples seemed to be more concerned with missing the biological boat than getting on the boat together with the love of their lives and enjoying the ride.

Have we as a society become too occupied with the practicalities of love that we have forgotten that it is a process and experience that is meant to be savoured, relished and, yes, sustained?

We always seem to be in a rush. We rush to get a job after graduating. Then we rush to get married. And then rush to have kids. We almost forget what the rush is for.

Social scientists often argue that social pressures should be reckoned with in the human psyche. Perhaps it is time we recognise that biology is crying out for us to let some love into society.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cancun COP16: Deal or No Deal?

So if the reports say that a deal was made in Cancun, but Bolivia has objected to it, and the UN mandates that ALL countries must agree to the text in order for the agreement to be sealed, how can it be called a deal?

Why is Bolivia so adamant about rich countries agreeing on a post-kyoto agreement anyway? That agreement is flawed in so many ways. Emissions have continued to rise throughout the Kyoto protocal period and it has failed to bring in the kinds of green technology that developing countries need most. Their CDM system is so complicated that even carbon consultants are themselves confused, much less the locals who don't speak English, and worse, techno-bureaucratic language.