PAMPANGA

Pangan: Facing up to climate change challenges

At Close Range

WE HAVE been witness to climate abnormalities these past years and hoped that these be properly and adequately addressed.

The excessive heat, sudden downpours, massive flooding (with accompanying landslides in some parts) point to a change in the atmosphere and climatic arrangements.

And it was therefore a welcome news to hear of a summit forum culminating in a draft resolution or treaty in Paris where the big, powerful and moneyed nations agreed in the discussions to mitigate if not totally lessen, the impact of the destructive forces of nature.

Parts of the earth are now besieged by sustained drought while icebergs are steadily melting in parts of Russia, Greenland and Siberia and in the northernmost part of the planet. Where else do we have cooler temperatures then?

It took a Swedish teenager to deliver a scathing speech at the UN Climate Action summit to voice out angry sentiments in behalf of the younger generation: You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

Columnist Flfren S. Cruz of the Philippine Star wrote: One consequence of climate change that will have a terrible effect on islands and archipelagic nations like the Philippines is the phenomenon of rising seas. Coastal cities are all in danger of permanently disappearing under the increasing sea levels. Indonesia has already decided to move its capital to Borneo because Jakarta faces the crisis in the form of sea levels.

What about Manila and its neighboring low-lying areas? I've read a report that says these are sinking by several centimeters every year due to rising sea levels. What are the authorities planning to do to avert this catastrophe?

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In Panay Island in the Visayas, I've read that the Climate Change Commission has led the establishment of the climate consortium that will enable knowledge sharing among National Government agencies, local government units and higher education institutions in the area.

Climate Secretary Emmanual de Guzman remarked: Risk assessment is fundamental in coming up with a science and risk-based local climate change action plan and other local plans.

But are these enough to combat widespread unfavorable climate changes in the entire country? And while at it, would we be ready for any occurrence of unstable climate change challenges in the very near future?

Are we really ready?


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