Sanchez: Petition signing

Nature speaks

THE last time I signed a petition was in 2015. At that time, the Bacólod Diocesan Social Action Center drafted a letter supporting a Vatican worldwide call to minimize greenhouse gas (GHG). I even brought a copy to Manila to solicit signatures.

I signed the petition, but I also felt I was thrown back to the Jurassic era. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. More like when José Rizal was executed at the Luneta.

Anyway, the hard copy resulted with the Paris Agreement which the Philippines signed committing the country within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016.

I still signed petitions. Although the modern version is to sign global petitions drafted by Avaaz, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization launched in January 2007 that promotes global activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty, and conflict. The UK based newspaper The Guardian considers it “the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network.”

Over time, I became pickier. There are only so much petitions I care to sign. Life has to move on.

When forest mass burning hit the online news, it was just a matter a time before a global petition reached my Inbox.

True enough. Two reached me; the first was to be sent to Brazil’s far-right government of President Jair Bolsonaro. Wrote a Diego Casaes, “It’s horrifying—in the past year, an area the size of 500,000 soccer fields has been destroyed in the Amazon! Nearly half a BILLION trees torn down and gone... forever.”

It added, “Let us build a massive call of citizens from around the world to protect the forest when it is huge, allies will deliver our voices to Congress in each key moment to silence the chainsaws and stop this Amazon apocalypse!”

And there is a frantic email from a Bert Wander. He writes, “The Arctic is BURNING, creating a smoke cloud bigger than the European Union!!”

The planet has not seen anything like it in 10,000 years—July was the hottest month ever recorded. This isn’t global warming. It’s global scorching. And it’s going to get much, much worse.

That is why Avaaz is going all out on a 16-month plan to turn things around - beginning at a decisive UN climate summit next month, and culminating at the end of next year at the most important climate talks since the Paris deal was inked.

Here’s how we can win:

Push governments to declare a climate emergency and commit to 100% clean energy

Help get millions to join brave children for the biggest climate strike in history next month

I won’t be marching in the streets on these issues soon. But expect me to be a keyboard warrior from the comfort of my room.


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