Pinoy Sounding Board » Environmental Issues http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com Commentaries l Socio-Political Issues l Blogging Issues Thu, 05 Nov 2009 06:38:19 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.8.1 en hourly 1 Global Warming Believers and Skeptics http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/10/global-warming-believers-and-skeptics/ http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/10/global-warming-believers-and-skeptics/#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2009 04:40:33 +0000 elmot http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/?p=827

Stronger and more erratic behaviors of typhoons; rising sea levels; drought; extinction of animal species; bleaching of coral reefs; and new breed of diseases.  These are only a few of the long lists of the outcomes of the steady climb on the global temperature or what we call Global Warming.

The most recent devastation that the Typhoons Ondoy and Peping brought the country is now being attributed by the government to global warming that causes the shifting of standard climates among parts of the globe saying that “Nature is getting back at us. Environment degradation is a big problem that we have to contend with.”

Evidenced by the erratic behaviors of the weather when the country should have been experiencing some dry season, strong typhoons have been coming in and out of our country leaving private properties and livelihoods damaged and useless.  Adding to that is the heavy rainfall that Typhoon Ondoy poured in the Metro submerging many towns and cities to floodwaters is now one clear alarm signal that our nation surrounded by waters and on the runway of strong typhoons from the Pacific will surely experience more of these as catastrophic fruits of global warming and the changing of our climate.

Despite the renewed consciousness in protecting the environment that the calamities has ushered in for our government leaders and the people, there are still many people especially from the first world nations who simply shrugs off their shoulders and claim this whole global warming thing as a fake or “a science that has gone awry”…that become an “anti-science.”


Americans Decline Belief on Global Warming

Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) which is particularly a big result of the rapid industrialization of nations is one of the main culprit being pointed out as causing the steep rise in global temperature over the last century.  The biggest sources of CO2 emissions could be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels, pollution from factories and big industries, power plants relying on fossil fuels and emissions from cars which are all basically considered as parts of the activities of man.

Presently, the United States ranks first (25.2%) as the biggest contributor of CO2 emissions in the planet followed by the booming economy of China (15.2%), Russia (6.7%), Japan (5.4%), and India (4.4%).

Despite of the numbers above, a recent survey about global warming among Americans reveals a steep decline from 77% to 57% among respondents who believes that global warming and the changing climate could not be attributed to human-caused activities and pollution.   This is also irregardless of the hype that United Nation, the U.S. Congress, President Obama and all other nations are all doing in addressing the very important global issue.

“It’s a combination of poor communication by scientists, a lousy summer in the Eastern United States, people mixing up weather and climate and a full-court press by public relations firms and lobby groups trying to instill a sense of uncertainty and confusion in the public,” said Andrew Weaver a Professor of climate analysis regarding the result of most recent survey on global warming and climate change.

The result of the survey also reveals that Americans may have focused so much lately on recovering from the economic downturn and personal financial issues.

While Senator Barbara Boxer of California says that “Today, to get 57 percent saying that the climate is warming is good, because today everybody is grumpy about everything,” Science will win the day in America. Science always wins the day.”

Big Deniers of Climate Change and Global Warming

HuffingtonPost has actually listed some of those big personalities who question the truth of this whole climate change and global warming.  Here are some of them:

Glen Beck (Conservative Talk Show and Radio Host):  “The earth and the environment are the progressive replacement for God … now because of our bad SUVs, according to Al Gore, the earth has a temperature. Uh oh. Unless you woke up yesterday, or today, where the temperature in the greater New York area was I believe right around 48 degrees, here in New York in late summer. There have been maybe, I don’t know, what a week of typical summer days in New York this year. Period.”

Steve Doocy (Fox News Anchor): “Despite it being bitterly cold outside in the northern plains, we hear a lot about global warming. Is there another side to this story? Many scientists would say yes, but most media outlets — the mainstream media — only cover Al Gore’s ‘Earth has a fever’ perspective. This is the worst winter in some parts of America and around the world and perhaps we should be worried now about global cooling.”

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri): “My goal is to deliver some of our people’s hard-earned money back into their pocketbooks instead of spending it on international junk science.”

David Bellamy (British TV Presenter, Environmentalist): “People such as former American Vice-President Al Gore say that millions of us will die because of global warming – which I think is a pretty stupid thing to say if you’ve got no proof. And my opinion is that there is absolutely no proof that carbon dioxide is anything to do with any impending catastrophe. The ­science has, quite simply, gone awry. In fact, it’s not even science any more, it’s anti-science.”

You can read more on Climate Change deniers at HuffingtonPost.

What Is Global Warming Got To Do With Us Filipinos?

The Philippines ranks more or less on the 37th among the list of nations that contributes carbon emissions into the atmosphere.  Being a nation with so many coastal towns and cities and considered a third world country in terms of wealth, development and capacity to provide for its people, our nation will be one of the most adversely affected by rising sea levels, stronger typhoons, drought, flooding, bleaching of corral reefs that leads to decline of marine life, and maybe later in the future a big casualty of war and tension among nations struggling for survival over food supply and security.

Up to this point, our government has not yet really taken a comprehensive study on how big the effect of global warming will change our nation and our lives.

But that will happen only if all efforts towards a united undertaking on reducing CO2 emissions among nations especially among the biggest contributors of CO2 in the atmosphere will just end in futile exercise because of misunderstanding on the adverse economic affects such move will bring.

And if doubt and skepticism will triumph over the glaring fact that the world has been changing so rapidly outside the four corners of our comfortable households.

On to you now guys.  Do you believe that climate change and global warming is connected to human activities and human-caused pollution?  Do you believe that the crazy and erratic weather and calamities that we are all experiencing are caused by global warming and the changing climate?  For you, is climate change and global warming a truth or a hoax?

Image by Relentlessly Optimistic

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Do They Have the Balls To Do It? http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/10/do-they-have-the-balls-to-do-it/ http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/10/do-they-have-the-balls-to-do-it/#comments Tue, 06 Oct 2009 03:00:36 +0000 elmot http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/?p=761

Urban Planner Felino Palafox Jr. has been saying the same thing during the 70’s on a World Bank funded study about urban planning for the Metro Manila area.

The same things that our present government officials are presenting as the surefire solutions on preventing another devastating calamity from happening right at the heart of the Metro:  not allowing houses and industries on river banks, relocating and sending some people back to their respective provinces, dredging of the rivers, clearing of waterways and floodways, and more ( and more sometimes may also mean they don’t exactly what to do.)

Yes, the man who has spearheaded many development projects in Dubai already saw these things almost 30 years ago, but many especially those in government and private sectors with interests on real estate development turned a blind eye on an issue that indeed eventually led to a devastating catastrophe claiming more than 300 lives and almost P10 billion in damages!

The Blame Game is On!

As what Palafox said, this is not the act of God but rather our sin of omission.  Indeed, God must have been very pissed off on his throne in the heavens for always being blamed by man on disastrous events out of their own making.

On the Senate inquiry regarding the recent calamity under Climate Change Committee Chair Loren Legarda, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Lito Atienza blamed the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) for allowing fish pens, factories and pollution on Laguna Lake as the main culprits why many parts of the Metro Manila, Laguna and Rizal were flooded up to this day.  And he also assailed all the Mayors for not strictly following the law regarding waste management on their respective cities and municipalities.  And his solution?  Sue them in court for gross negligence and for not following the law and put up a shame list.

This was also seconded by the tigress Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago who never failed to always redirect an issue in order for the Puno Brothers to be always grilled as the culprits for all our misery as a nation.

But do they really have the balls to do it in a nation where the dynamics of governance is patronage politics and the mechanics of law and order is reward and punishment?  And the spirit and the letters of the law are all dependent on Einstein’s theory of relativity:  the interpretation and administration of the law is dependent on who signs the check?

Local Version of Le Cirque Dinner?

JP Lopez of Malaya posted on Ellen Tordesillas’ blog the lavish, senseless and extravagant celebration of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) on September 30, 2009 on its main office in Balara, Quezon City for its celebration of its 36th anniversary while the whole nation is under the state of calamity and thousands of families were all hungry, cold and sick on their flooded homes and communities.

A source said LWUA ordered 500 reservations for cocktails and 250 reservations for a seven-course dinner buffet from Henry’s Catering Service.  A check with menu showed the catering cost about P200,000 (at P510++, P530++ to P610++ per head).  The celebration, complete with a live band, was held at the LWUA main office on Katipunan avenue, Balara, Quezon City, which was one of the worst hit by Ondoy floods.  The menu consisted of baked mussels with olive oil and garlic as appetizer, “sinigang” soup, and roast pig.  The main course included “kare-kare,” chicken barbeque, squid “salpicado,” spinach with chicken and garlic, “pancit” sotanghon (or canton guisado) and steamed jasmine rice.  Desserts included fresh seasonal fruit platter and “buko pandan” salad.  Assorted sodas, “guinumis” and home-brewed iced tea were also served.  It was not yet known if Prospero Pichay, LWUA chairman and administration ally, shouldered the expenses.

And guess what, the President joined the Roman gluttony at 9:00 to 11:00 PM.

Anyone who got the balls to get back at these Romans?

Gloria’s False Accomplishments Proven by Ondoy

Assail me if you want.  But as I saw it, the government was obviously unprepared and incompetent as to its handling of the calamity and even on its preparation.  For heaven’s sake 10 rubber boats for the whole of Metro Manila?!  Kris Aquino may have been a better head of the NDCC and DSWD, and this time I am not kidding when I say it.

Maybe they are still savoring on their palates the expensive dishes they had on their dinner at Le Cirque that they have forgotten they are already here in the country to serve their people.

No need to explain or narrate everything here for you have surely seen it for yourselves as you watch the television, read the newspapers and browse over online news coverage.

Turning back the hands of time, this is what our dear President arrogantly declared on her most recent State of the Nation Address regarding disaster preparedness and all:

International authorities have taken notice that we are safer from environmental degradation and man-made disasters.

As a country in the path of typhoons and in the Pacific Rim of Fire, we must be prepared as the latest technology permits to anticipate natural calamities when that is possible; to extend immediate and effective relief when it is not. The mapping of flood- and landslide-prone areas is almost complete. Early warning, forecasting and monitoring systems have been improved, with weather tracking facilities in Subic, Tagaytay, Mactan, Mindanao, Pampanga.

We have worked on flood control infrastructure like those for Pinatubo, Agno, Laoag, and Abucay, which will pump the run off waters from Quezon City and Tondo flooding Sampaloc. This will help relieve hundreds of hectares in this old city of its age old woe.

Patuloy naman iyong sa Camanava, dagdag sa Pinatubo, Iloilo, Pasig-Marikina, Bicol River Basin, at mga river basin ng Mindanao.

The victims of typhoon Frank in Panay should receive their long-overdue assistance package.

And when Ondoy came and so was Peping, they have just proven the false claims of the President on her long array of accomplishments…and only once proven that GMA is one of the worst disaster this nation has ever had for many years now.

Indeed, the international community has noticed…noticed the opposite.

I once again ask:  Do they have the balls (Sec. Atienza, Sec. Teodoro, or even Darna and Big Brother, etc) to actually make all those responsible either because of negligence, gross disregard of the laws and incompetence be sent to languish behind bars or suspended from their posts?

My answer for now is:  weather weather lang yan.  But I still pray that they will do what they say…this time around.

Image by Manila Boy

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Bagyong Ondoy: Nature’s Way of Doing the Accounting http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/09/bagyong-ondoy-natures-way-of-doing-the-accounting/ http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/2009/09/bagyong-ondoy-natures-way-of-doing-the-accounting/#comments Wed, 30 Sep 2009 03:31:40 +0000 elmot http://www.pinoysoundingboard.com/?p=749

They say that nature has its own laws that no one could ever usurp though many has drastically ignored and even twisted as a fraud for so many years now.

In the last few days, we have seen very sad and depressing images and stories of victims of calamities brought by Bagyong Ondoy; and many more stories untold from those people whose lips were silenced by their untimely passing in a tragic display of nature’s fury.

The tragedy has led me to a sense of reflection and silence and listening and murmuring, and praying, with tears running on the valley of my face, with how in the world a harrowing event so unimaginable could happen right the heart of the nation.

Why did it happen?  Who is to blame?

People were all wet, hungry and cold on rooftops as they saw their livelihood and family members were swept away by the deluge of raging waters and mud.  Hours last and darkness fell swiftly yet many were still asking for help to be rescued, as the government was obviously seen as totally incapable, incompetent and not ready to respond to such dire situations.  The private sector took the effort and immediately sounded the clarion call for unity, generosity and service; and unity, generosity, and service came…overflowing.

I beg to disagree that no one should be blamed.  Pardon me but there is a need to point our fingers especially when we saw that lives were ended as fast as a snap of a finger.  Forgive me but accountability and responsibility for such a big calamity that has torn down the foundations of families, homes, cities, provinces, a nation and individual dreams are needed to prevent for such a disaster from happening once again in the future.

No it is not the heavy rainfall.  No it was not all because of Ondoy.

It is all because of us.

This is what we paid for the dinner at Le Cirque.  This is what we as a nation paid for the corruption of government officials on so many government projects.  This is what families and victims paid for the bribery right at the doors of the Malacañang Palace.  This is what we paid for all the capricious spending of the government to non-sense programs that only benefited their own pockets.  This is what we paid for being silent in the midst of evil, cheating and wrongdoings.  This is what we paid for not having clear national policies, programs and political will against illegal logging, pollution, alternative sources of energy, reclamation of coastal areas, waste segregation, rehabilitation of rivers and estuaries, quarrying and mining, irresponsible industrialization and many more crimes against nature.

This is what we all paid for not taking care of our environment, for throwing all our garbage on wrong places for expediency, for polluting the air, rivers and soil, for not teaching our children how to be responsible stewards, for being lukewarm.

This is what I paid for not doing my best of practicing responsible stewardship; for being too lazy of thinking only of today and not of the future generations; for being laid back and not maximizing my talents and influence in order for nature to be cared for more; for not doing more, for being complacent and negligent.

This is what we all paid for:  loss of lives, livelihood, homes and dreams and maybe a better future that we will all be held accountable by the future generations; and God forbid, curse us for stealing away from them a beautiful, peaceful and healthy world to live in.

The elements of nature, air, water, soil and all living things have their own lives; they all breathe and they all live not actually all for themselves but for all of us.  And whenever we kill and destroy and disrespect nature, it has its own way of doing the accounting.

Acquiring more rubber boats, more relief goods, amphibious vehicles, having a savvy disaster coordination and disaster management programs, more budget for the upgrading of the equipment of the weather bureau and more volunteers, even if Darna and all our superheroes come to life; they will not solve the calamities to come.  They will not stop nature’s natural way of doing the accounting.  When lives are lost, lives will be claimed in return.

God for sure will forgive us for our irresponsibility, savagery and unmoderated greed; but nature has its own law:  what we reap is what we sow.

At the end of the day, I could only pound my breast, renew myself and pray, Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Image by English CCTV

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