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Green citizens make a green country

By M.A. Saki, Tehran Times

How much have Iranian government institutions encouraged citizens to respect the environment, other citizens, and the society as a whole?

For example, state television spends millions of dollars of public funds but it has not promoted good citizenship as much as it should.

How much do Iranian national TV and radio stations advise citizens to avoid using private cars when possible to help reduce air pollution, which is becoming a serious problem in big cities like Tehran?

The same is true of the Ministry of Education. It is one of the main consumers of public funds, but has it created a school curriculum that properly educates students about environmentalism?

How many of our citizens are being informed about global warming and its repercussions? Are citizens being taught that they would contribute less to global warming if they avoided wasting energy?

Many people say, "What a good winter, it is just like spring!" But do they know why that is the case?

Of course, individual citizens of one country cannot solve the problems of air pollution and global warming by themselves, but teaching citizens a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can help governments a lot while they are looking for efficient ways to deal with pollution and climate change.

It is true that rules -- like traffic regulations -- are needed to enforce public order, but citizens would act in a more responsible and civilized manner if they understood the effects of their actions.

Once smokers felt free to light up in public places like restaurants and workplaces, but now they do not feel comfortable smoking in these places, even if they are allowed to do so.

If there were enough warnings about careless driving, Iran would not have one of the highest road accident fatality rates in the world.

A few years ago, prior to the Iranian New Year holidays, which begin on the first day of spring, when there is much more travel throughout the country, the police implemented a plan in which students were instructed to warn their parents about dangerous driving, and this actually influenced families.

As in the health sector, where prevention is much easier and less costly than treatment, increasing the people's sensitivity to things that threaten their lives and the environment will certainly produce positive results.

... Payvand News - 03/10/09 ... --

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