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By Noralyn Mustafa
The entire planet is in turmoil.
So this is the way extremely compromised United Nations conferences end: not with a bang but with a demoralizing whimper. The 19th edition of the UN-sponsored climate change negotiations, held in Warsaw the last two weeks, sputtered to a pitiful close over the weekend…
By Vicente Legarda
An American disaster expert, when interviewed here on Nov. 12, was asked if a developing country like the Philippines would be able to rebuild like New Orleans did in the wake of Hurricane “Katrina.” He replied: “Yes, it can rebuild.”
By Juan L. Mercado
Are killer typhoons like “Yolanda/Haiyan,” unburied corpses, and traumatized survivors screaming to get out the “new normal”?
Supertyphoon “Yolanda” was one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. There is some debate whether it was in fact the most powerful of all time to hit land, as measured by wind strength.
By Ma. Ceres P. Doyo
The first images of the fury of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” that were sent from the eye of the storm to the outside were from the media persons who were themselves trapped, battered and in near-death situations when the horrific onslaught from sea and sky began and continued for several hours. The sounds and images did not come out fast and easy from devastated Central Philippines. For many hours, communication was dead and those of us in Metro Manila and elsewhere had no idea how deadly Yolanda (international name: “Haiyan”) was, that nothing like this had pounded this country, or this world for that matter, in so many lifetimes.
By Juan L. Mercado
The lady wept. “It is not about us. We’ll be out of here in two or three decades.” But lack of an agreement on climate change was “condemning future generations before they’re even born. ‘If it were inevitable, then so be it,’ she added. But we have a choice, to change the future we are going to give our children.”
At least two developments have set back efforts to protect the endangered animals in our midst—the killing of the Philippine eagle “Minalwang” and the discovery of over 200 dead marine turtles in the hold of a Vietnamese fishing vessel. These are both alarming violations of the law and travesties committed in Philippine territory.
We congratulate Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and Director Mitch Cuna of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) for signing the Minamata Convention and for their work in drafting and negotiating, on behalf of the Philippines, this historic agreement. They were our national team at the mercury negotiations, and they did the country proud.
By Denis Murphy
Nila Mendez, 57, who, according to her neighbors, cares for the mangroves of Baseco as if they were her children, told us she was asking God that near the end of her life He give her a small nipa hut on stilts alongside the mangroves, but out of the reach of floodwaters. There, she said, she would rise at dawn and watch her mangroves blowing in the wind and growing strong. It was such a pretty scene she described that my wife and I prayed: “Why not two houses, Lord? One for Nila and one for us?”
By Muniruzzaman Khan
On Sep. 27, the 195 member countries of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), supported by the work of thousands of scientists from around the world, released its Fifth Assessment Report. Even for a military man like me, the latest scientific evidence on global warming makes for a chilling read.
By Michael L. Tan
About a year ago members of the UP Advertising Core (or Ad Core) thought they should organize a project around green lighting for the Diliman campus, meaning more energy-efficient light bulbs that would last longer, and with less adverse impact on the environment. Ad Core’s members, who number some 230, are students interested in [...]