Scorching hot

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


THE weather is getting hotter. That could be one possible reason why we have hot heads. No one seems to like to cross the street and deliver a minor report to the nearby office. If the workers are complaining, what can we expect from sugarcane cutters, traffic enforcers, and street cleaners? The earth is really having a fever.

One would prefer to stay inside the air-con room to combat the heat. Is this the solution? Turning off the air-conditioner will only make the weather hotter than ever. The air-conditioner consumes a large amount of electricity. Electric power is releasing a lot of carbon dioxide that would worsen the greenhouse effect. How shall we explain it?

Our planet is protected by an ozone layer. When the ultraviolet rays of the sun pass the ozone layer, some of them are reflected back to the space. Gases in the ozone layer will absorb some of the ultraviolet rays and retain light and warmth. That is the reason why the earth is moderately warm. It could be compared to a greenhouse in our garden. We use glass in our greenhouse to retain the heat energy from the sun but no direct sunlight is hitting our plants. We try to maintain a room temperature that could be favorable for the growth of our plant.

The gases in the ozone layer that trapped the heat are called greenhouse gases. The too much heat accumulated by the greenhouse gases will increase the temperature of our planet. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, water vapor, carbon monoxide and others. Out of these gases, carbon dioxide is dominant. Industrial areas that burn coal, oil, and natural gas release a large amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Observe the streets in Negros Occidental. Many of our vehicles have defective engines and their exhaust gases contain large amount of carbon dioxide.

Our tropical rainforests (our beloved North Negros and Kanlaon) can absorb carbon dioxide. Are we taking good care of them? Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Task Force Ilahas have provided the answer. If you are in your air-con room, you contribute carbon dioxide into the air. Turn it off! The greenhouse effect makes our weather abnormal (we, too). It brings natural disaster such as rainstorms, cold waves, floods, droughts, and heat waves. Icebergs will melt that will cause sea level to rise. (Our Spratlys will submerge. That will frustrate China.)

Abnormal weather changes will cause the loss of our flora and fauna. If F and F cannot adapt to the new environment, they are in danger of extinction. Experts believe that global warming will give birth to new diseases and will accelerate the spread of contagious diseases. If our temperature goes wrong, some bad insects will breed at a faster rate….flies, mosquitoes, cockroaches, locusts.

The best thing to do is to come up with very strong advocacy on how to reduce global warming and greenhouse effect. We reduce our consumption of electricity. We follow the tips we learned from the Earth Hour campaign. Those who have cars, drive less. Walk often or share the mile with your bicycle. Climb the stairs. (It is good for your heart). Hate the elevator and escalator.

It is best to join projects like watershed reforestation program, mangrove rehabilitation campaign, and coastal clean-up. We have to volunteer in activities geared towards the protection of marine organisms. Social Studies and Science Clubs can educate student members to wear sunglasses or apply sun block to reduce the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.

Parents and teachers’ organizations should launch a campaign not to purchase items having chlorofluorocarbon. CFCs are chemicals used in our air-conditioners, refrigerators, fire extinguishers, hair sprays, and household cleaning products.

We have to take a courageous move now. Let us not wait for Captain America, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to appear. This time, we are not just saving our lives. We are saving our Mother Earth. If Mother Earth dies, we die also. This column simply reminds you.

Good people (like you) need to be reminded of how good you are. Please, consider yourselves reminded today on what we can do for Mother Earth.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on April 08, 2014.

Opinion

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