More calamities, ecological disasters if we don’t wake up, do more | Inquirer Opinion

More calamities, ecological disasters if we don’t wake up, do more

04:01 AM September 25, 2019

As I write this, the Bahamas is reeling from the aftereffects of Hurricane “Dorian”—similar to Tacloban when Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit and devastated the city. On the other side of the planet, the Amazon forest in South America, the lungs of the earth and the last and biggest rainforest on the planet, is burning. The debate on climate change goes on, and carbon is still being traded.

Carbon dioxide emissions have increased and everyone doesn’t seem to care about the devastation. They just take the suffering and the consequences and rebuild. But how do you rebuild lives that are lost? Sure, you can rebuild the Bahamas and Tacloban, but you cannot rebuild the dead and the Amazon forest. It will never be the same. In fact, the forests will burn and burn until there is nothing left.

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Perhaps it is time to cancel all climate conferences and save on the pollution of using airplanes altogether. Perhaps it is time to just change the entire system and start walking. Get out of fossil fuel and go for solar, wind and other alternatives. But, lo and behold, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco was planning the biggest IPO ever (before its refineries were attacked). Who says we are getting out of oil and coal? We never will, at least not this generation.

Did we try? Yes, a few of us did, but the big leaders just led us on and on. Build, build and go on building; they are even building in the South China Sea, attacking the last frontier of our global commons — the oceans.

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And who cares? No one. Not even China, the Philippines or America. All they want is power to navigate and move their oil and goods. Freedom of navigation, they say. Fine with me, but why don’t they just save our coral colonies and our seas? After all, they replenish the Pacific Ocean day in and out. Why kill the golden goose? And for what?

Build a marine peace park and secure the future. It will absorb more than 50 percent of all global carbon dioxide and supply us with more than half of the oxygen we need. But go on, build and live your lives in crisis after crisis, and expect more calamities to come.

At least the students in the little island of Hong Kong are fighting for liberty and freedom. Going against giant China, these young Davids may just show us the way. In a way, they have slowed down the economy and abated climate change. These kids have shown the world that they can voice their minds and, yes, that the tide is rising. How much more must be lost? How many more people must die?

Sadly, even the United Nations has lost the little teeth it has left. The G-7 and the wealthy don’t give a hoot. They don’t care. The most impacted will be the poor. But the rich cannot hide in their high castles. Face it; we are dying of shortage of food, water and clean air like most big cities. What is to happen to those who live in the forest? Or the species who rule the oceans? The polar bears? They will all perish, like the 10,000 who died in Tacloban.

Brace for more calamities and ecological disasters, for shortages, famine and calamities arising from the old development model.

Yes, I am mad — very mad and sad. And I will go on planting, advocating and doing what little I can do.

ANTONIO M. CLAPAROLS
President and CEO
JRS Business Corporation

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TAGS: Antonio M. Claparols, Calamities, climate change, ecological disasters, Inquirer letters
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