Chinese New Year, and reflections on combustion

Late Saturday morning, I watched children go down the snow-covered streets with sleds as text messages started to stream in from my family. It was approaching midnight of Chinese New Year in Malaysia, where my family returned every year to reunite with my father’s siblings and their families. It occurred to me that there are a lot of Chinese practices that involve burning stuff. If climate change went up against these deep-rooted traditions, who knows what sort of debate we’ll get into?