Heating up-A A +A
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I STEPPED inside the cab I hailed, dropped my weight on the back seat and welcomed the "cool air" inside while the pain of heat slipped off my head a bit as I moved to meet the cold air straight on from the airconditioner and commented on how hot the days had been.
The driver simply smiled. “Nahurot na man gud ang ozone layer, ma'am,” he said quietly.
I looked at him but saw only the back of his head as he looked ahead and stepped on the gas. Could a simple guy like him make a difference in the fight against world-warming for understanding (a bit or deeply) the global problem? I told myself he was probably one of those guys who drove cabs at the daytime and attended college classes after 5 o'clock in the afternoon.
“Ozone layer man tingali to nga nag-cover sa kalibutan, ma'am,” he said.
I nodded and I wanted to explain a bit, that the ozone layer was like a cover that protected the earth from too much sun, but now it’s mostly gone.
Would this guy with his outlook be of help in the world-wide effort to decrease carbon dioxide emissions, reduce use of electricity, recycle, use bike, plant trees? But he was using carbon, for months emitting unwanted gas! Who's really to blame--the taxi driver or presidents and prime ministers of countries vastly burning coal oil and natural gas?
One time I saw a picture of a polar bear, the poor animal looking puzzled at the feel of the condition of its atmosphere which was never this warm before, as an environmental study says. And the bears would run away, wonder out into the world new to them, arriving at the wrong place, in the wrong climate, in the strangest of conditions, helplessly lost.
There was a time when climate change was not accepted by all scientists until the climate fluctuated more than anyone could explain.
When you feel that the heating can't be reversed, you'd want to keep quiet and not talk about it to a young one,--not even to a bright boy like the cab driver.
Last Sunday, there was an AP good news in the science and environment section of Sun.Star Cebu, The Good Earth. It talked about a UN report of the slowing down of global warming in the world in the past 15 years. But this is a matter to debate on among researchers and scientists, the news said. While the UN report on the slowing down of heat implies good news, it's also considered by some as only "a wrinkle in the meteorological data."
Some scientists say the slowdown was a "statistical mirage" or "random climate fluctuations" using an unusually hot year with which to begin the study. Others are even saying that the "missing heat" is simply hiding quietly under the ocean and will eventually slip out and up into the pained world all over again.
Climate change is like a monster in the world and yet, it's also just the reaction of the environment to human activities. It’s like the quick initial heat in the past years with the rich countries industrializing and emitting unwanted gases.
Climate change summits are set. There were earlier summits but which ended without the true help of developed countries in whose hands the result of change in human activities (like use of gas) predominantly lies.
The capability of rich countries to make a difference in the effort to protect nature from cataclysmic warming is in the hands of leaders in government and in US President Barack Obama's administration.
Who's to blame--the taxi driver or presidents and prime ministers of countries burning coal oil and natural gas indiscriminately, all these years not truly reducing warming, some too late in doing so, such as what others say of America’s promise to take climate change summits seriously this time Let’s pray it’s not too late.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 29, 2013.