WE ARE now on the 19th year of the 21st century but we are not sure anymore if we can reach the 22nd century which is only 81 years from now. The end of civilization is at hand, not through nuclear war but through Climate Change. “The world itself will not end, of course. Only ours will; our livelihoods, our homes, our cultures. And we’re squarely at the tipping point,” to quote the conclusion of scientists and environmentalists.
A little revisiting of the recent past on ecological disasters that have afflicted the Philippines is worth noting. In 2011, Cagayan de Oro was hit by Typhoon Sendong (Tropical Storm Washi) where in one night of flooding in that fateful dawn of December 17, 2011, some 3,000 people died and 11,000 families were rendered homeless. This was followed by yearly horrifying typhoons i.e. Typhoon Bopha (known in the Philippines as Typhoon Pablo) and the worst of all was Typhoon Haiyan (Typhoon Yolanda) where more than 10,000 people died in Tacloban. Yes, the Philippines is the third hardest hit by Climate Change and deadly storms are becoming the new normal.
Climate change is becoming a global phenomenon. Here are some of undeniable facts: “Longer droughts in the Middle East are causing extreme water shortages. Growing desertification in China and Africa is creating a severe food-security challenge. The monsoon season is shrinking in India, perhaps upending a century-old water cycle. Amped-up heat waves in Australia are making part of the continent unlivable. More intense hurricanes could devastate entire cities in America. Water wars in the Horn of Africa are now the root of armed conflict. Rebellions, refugees, and starving children across the globe are becoming common-place.” These are not disconnected events. These are pieces of larger puzzle that environmental expert Jeff Nesbit has put together.
As mentioned in the book, “The Age of Sustainable Development,” authored by Mr. Jeffrey D. Sachs, “the crisis is felt by rich and poor alike. In October 2012, police cars floated down the streets in Manhattan during super storm Sandy, one of the strongest storms to hit the Eastern Seaboard in modern times. Even if scientists can’t determine whether the storm’s remarkable ferocity was due in part to human induced climate change, they can’t determine that human-induced climate change greatly amplified the impact of the storm. As of 2012, the ocean level off the Eastern Seaboard of the United States was roughly one-third of a meter higher than a century earlier, the result of global warming causing a rise in ocean levels around the world. This higher sea level greatly exacerbated the flooding associated with the superstorm.
According to scientists, by the end of the century the ocean level will increase by at least one meter, worse, two meters if the business as usual paradigm will continue. By that time, the 7,100 Philippines islands will just be reduced to some 3,000. There will be pestilence, famine and war as the “four horsemen” of apocalypse as revealed by St. John are coming.
Unless we start addressing the cause of climate change and stop simply navigating its effects, we will be facing a series of unstoppable catastrophes by the time our preschoolers graduate from college. Yes, our world is in trouble – right now. Yes, now is the time to create a robust movement to address the climate crisis which Pope Francis has called “a crime against God, against humanity.” Increasing the awareness of 14 million cooperative members nation-wide in coordination with the Climate Change Commission under Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman has become imperative for climate change adaptation and mitigation. In effect, the cooperatives will be true to the DNA of cooperativism which is members-owned, value-based and sustainable.
Yes, the science of denial headed by no less than President Trump must be debunked as such is an unprecedented crime against humanity. The greed of global corporations to perpetuate the use of coal and fossil fuel with their annual rakings of two trillion dollars from the use of coal and some five trillion dollars from the use of fossil fuel and natural gas must now be stopped. Yes, the nineteen fossil fuel corporations are earning ten million dollars per minute at the expense of humanity and of Gaia (mother earth).
Indeed, homo sapiens, the flawed species, have sacrificed mother earth to the altar of greed and profit. Denigration of collective action and veneration of the profit motive have infiltrated virtually every government of the planet, major media organizations, every university, every religious organization, our very souls. Yes, we are nothing but self-gratification machines. That is indeed RES IPSA LOQUITOR as our country and people will now be entertained by self-gratification of politicians whose agenda and discourses will not include the horrible scenario we are now facing - the climate crisis.