Climate change-A A +A
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
DESPITE the enormous mileage it gets, Climate Change and its ill effects don’t get much positive social response. In communities where economic conditions reduce people to finding any means to survive, impunity and lack of awareness become the culprit as abuse and misuse of natural resources become synonymous with subsistence. And even in highly developed nations, communities don’t see climate change as a threat, both to the planet and to humans.
Credit that to leaders who choose to find it rather too expensive to take care of the planet than to keep it vulnerable. Others, on one hand, would rather that the planet cures itself; as if humans have nothing to do with its unceasing perilous state. Thus from cutting trees to burning them for coal, people remain oblivious, intentionally or otherwise, to what it can do to the planet.
But Climate Change is by no means insignificant. Some remarkable testaments to that make one cringe in disbelief. Like how does one imagine the Arctic ice disappearing for good? The probabilities are compelling; ice melts faster due to global warming. And as more and more forests are put ablaze and fossil fuels released, it may well be sooner that North Pole loses its purpose.
It is likewise alarming how flash floods hit towns and cities that have not experienced any flooding in the past. Add to that the tremors and quakes that have become standard global activities rather than seasonal earth mood swings. Our climate has become so fickle-minded you can never tell if snow’s gonna fall on us at any given time. The evidence is there and continues in rapid succession, which should make things far more alarming.
But the Earth has been in existence way long before us and has had its share of battering. Volcanic eruptions, meteor showers, global flood, the Ice Age and earthquakes pounded the planet and changed its looks, behavior and cycles. And in all of earth’s struggles with natural and extra-terrestrial activities, it has shown tremendous endurance, and yes, it did cure itself quite a lot of times and even paved the way for humans to settle in.
But with humans now as the enemy, the earth suddenly finds itself unable to recover from the beating, since social, economic and livelihood activities altogether create irreparable damage to the atmosphere, causing the planet’s main shield, the Ozone Layer, to downsize. As the shield becomes thin, the sun’s heat penetrates it freely, causing the earth to become warmer, hence the phrase Global Warming. Blame that to carbon emissions from cars, factories and burnt coal and forest as industrialization continues to conquer the world.
Ironically, and rather unfortunately, though laws governing environmental protection and climate change adaptation have already been passed, sincere adherence remains to be seen as evidenced by continued economic activities that harm the atmosphere. It’s high time, therefore, that stiffer penalties are imposed against those committing crimes against the planet.
In our setting, the Government needs to make sure that beyond the repetitive feel-good, look-good publicities, policies and sanctions are met and a dedicated initiative is implemented. And then the most important part of the solution must also come in: Social Responsibility. While it is communities that contribute greatly to the problem, the people must lead in solving it. Without social action and participation, initiatives will remain only on paper.
Thus, I for one agree with the proposal that climate change initiatives be infused as part of disaster preparedness; there is no greater disaster than us being wiped out off the surface of the Earth. Indeed it would take some guts and tons of political will to further the objective, but resiliency will get us there. Laws are there, implementing them should be next. From the smoke-belchers to the charcoal makers, let everyone know that we are sincere in this crusade, for the place we live in isn’t ours to claim, let alone to take. Others, after us, will need it to survive.
The planet has been held hostage by man’s impunity and ignorance against the environment, and gradually, albeit alarmingly, inaction only tightens those chains of oppression. And unless we get the environment out of that bondage, our very existence will be under threat of total annihilation. Indeed the planet dictates our survival; it’s about time we start taking care of it.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 20, 2012.