Editorial: Caring for the environment, for real-A A +A
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
TODAY is the World Environment Day (WED) and the message should be felt even more as the past two days too have been on the dark side, on the first week of school.
Each mother must have been looking up the sky, measuring how heavy the rain will be and around what time.
That is now all part of our lives.
In the years past, it’s all right even if it rains the whole day and the children are in school. They have their umbrellas and colorful raincoats in their bags, anyway. There is also the ever reliable banana leaves for rural children.
But that was all in the past when rainfall was nothing but water coming down from the sky that will sprinkle the plants with life and make the weather cooler. Today, with rain will come flood and with flood will come other risks like leptospirosis or even being swept away by rampaging floodwaters. While we waded and stomped on puddles in our childhood, today’s children will have to wade if they want to make it home.
It is with these dark skies and rainfall that we have to remember why the world is celebrating World Environment Day and that we have to understand that this day is more than just planting trees along highways.
It is more than just shifting to biodegradable disposable grocery bags as some people would make us believe.
It is about nurturing and being part of a green economy.
From the United Nations Environment Programme, a green economy is one that results in “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.” If that is difficult to grasp, then here is how a green economy operates -- it is low carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive.
Meaning, there is no room for smoke-belchers and fixers in a green economy. There is also no room for disposable biodegradable bags. But there is a lot of room for discernment.
Discernment of whether we are being taken for a ride by giant companies who actually just want to cream bigger profits whether it be in monocrop plantations, power generation, or mining. Discernment of what is really good for the environment and not just going on tree-planting activities that introduce species not appropriate for the area chosen or worse, species that are a threat to the very environment we are trying to save.
Discernment about carbon footprints and really understanding what this footprint really means and who we are sending deeper into the margins because of the way we live.
While we ponder over that, let us prepare for Butchoy and hope that the low pressure area does not develop into a typhoon. As of 4 a.m. Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the low pressure area was seen 870 kilometers east of Southern Mindanao and will be named Butchoy if it intensifies.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 05, 2012.