Just talking about it?-A A +A
Sunday, September 9, 2012
THERE was news some years back in the World section of a Manila paper about a disastrous wedding party in a county home in America. There were many guests in the party---friends and townmates. In the middle of the cheering and dancing before dinner, the house was probably like a shaken balloon. Not built strong enough to hold such total human weight, the floor collapsed into the cellar.
That was chilling news, I refused to look at the photo of it. The picture of the accident, which was bizarre, was in the head of the reader who would shift the pages of the news to happy ones.
Today, we see newspaper photos of houses collapsing, sliding, crashing as though that’s the way the world moves, are we getting used to it?
When we sense a push in the air, we might get to a point of waiting to see if it’s an after-shock, then simply try and verify through media what it was—an after-shock or a woozy shake in the head from lack of sleep. We wonder about the next scare in a tsunami, or a heat wave and we run, but getting used to it?
We used to read about tragedies, like landslides, as happening to neighbors (not to us), in the next country (not here), or on an island out there in the middle of the ocean, and occurring only between decades.
These days we can’t help but wonder what’s coming after a rain or a heat wave or a scary shake that comes as though an invisible giant is playing pool and we’re the white balls.
Today we walk out of the house under the sun’s glare, then turn a corner where it’s raining. From the Capitol site, I’d call a friend, “Nag-uwan ngari sa Kapitolyo, wa nganha sa Mandaue?”
A taxi driver once said, as though in usual conversation, about man’s misuse of the ozone layer. “Hurot na gyud tingali ang ozone layer,” he said simply, as though this layer was part of his growing up in grade school and his teacher’s favorite subject in the Elementary.
The way the earth breathes in its experience now makes us think more deeply about the planet gifted to us by our forefathers, shaken through the decades by the human being and his need for food, for comfort, for life in constant quiet revolution.
Oh, yes, there’s still beauty in drizzles and the summer sky which man has inherited from nature in a relationship that goes back millions of years ago. But it has been a story of climate changes, first affected by and affecting animals on earth, then man, from one physical revolution to another.
My simple take on it is that the atmosphere doesn’t only have human beings but certainly what the universe is in our life—there are matters we can’t see, those affecting us badly or well.
We, in turn, affect our atmosphere when we try to improve life through industrial processes to which the environment reacts— the process becoming natural at a time, then abnormal in another.
What I know of the ozone layer may not be any more complete than what the taxi driver knows. The ozone some kilometers high covering the planet Earth protects man from radiation or unfriendly carbon atmosphere. Then the action and reaction in the atmosphere also affects the concentration of ozone, in turn affecting the environment.
Man’s physical existence isn’t simple anymore, not as man understands it now with the plain eye of a plain human being. When it starts raining, we stop and measure in our head the water’s strength as we wonder whether rain is here to cool our surroundings or to flood us over.
This, even as we wonder why the polar bear is acting strangely these days, feeling the strange heat, sensing the melting of some parts of the Arctic Ocean… and seeing water in the world increasing abnormally.
Isn’t it scary?
We have to do our thing in the act of saving the environment, thus help save ourselves with God behind us.
Start by reducing use of plastic, a simple act… Or are we still just talking about it?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 09, 2012.