THE good thing is that the global citizens, especially the youth, are n longer confronted with arcane theories of climate change. Or grapple with abstractions.
Many Filipinos know it, even experienced it. The best way to enhance our learning curve is to live it. Because our lives depended on learning survival skills on confronting storm surges.
Think Yolanda, the game changer. We may not fully understand the ramifications of climate change but we should understand why it has an impact on our lives. Who can forget the 6,340 casualties in Tacloban alone because of the storm surge?
During the December 2013 conference on Addressing Poverty and Vulnerability in the Hindu Kush Himalayas: Forging Regional Partnerships to Enable Transformative Change, Southeast Asia took center stage. Participants peppered me, the lone Southeast Asia delegate in Kathmandu, Nepal, with questions on my personal stories. Well, I was at home in lowland Bacolod listening to a shrieking banshee, the howling winds of Yolanda.
The same was in 2015 my friend Elbegzaya Batjargal of the University of Central Asia invited me to make a presentation for the MS2 Governance of Natural Resources in Watersheds: Reducing Conflicts among Multiple Stakeholders in Tajikistan. We ended up in the urban lowlands.
In 2015, after I recovered from my stroke, I joined a session of the Prayer and Life Workshop. My co-participants signed a petition the old way: sign and pass to the Social Action Center who then passed it on to the Vatican in time to relay it for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 was held in Paris, France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015.
At the same time, the Vatican release Pope Francis' encyclical LAUDATO SI', mi' Signore" -- "Praise be to you, my Lord" that in the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi says our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. "Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with colored flowers and herbs."
The encyclical is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellowmen. While addressing the environment directly, the document's scope is broader in many ways as it looks at not only man's effect on the environment, but also the many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature and man to each other in various circumstances.
In 2019, with the encouragement of Bacolod Senior Feast Builder Alan Brillantes and The Feast Bacolod Bulletin featured a series of educational materials on the climate emergency. The protection of creation has always been a core belief of The Feast.
Bro Alan is alarmed that his kids will suffer the brunt of the worsening climate change. We experienced Megatyphoon Yolanda. July 2019 was Earth's hottest month on record. Five of the hottest years ever recorded occurred between 2014 and 2018, and the world has already warmed about 10 Celsius since the Industrial Revolution.
We are nearing the threshold of no return to avoid widespread damage and suffering.