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The most dangerous threat

/ 05:42 AM May 09, 2011

WITH EVERY human being producing a carbon footprint, climate change is the most dangerous threat to civilization as we know it.

The effects of climate change have no boundaries and will destroy our planet should we fail to address the issue. There is now an epic battle pitting man against man, the polluter against the conservationist. The outcome will decide the future of the earth.

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I am more than frustrated with world leaders who continue to pollute our planet with their narrow focus on economics and expert arrogance and their “business as usual” demeanor.

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should realize that more than 40 percent of all greenhouse gases come from food, a necessity for survival, and address the scrapping of REDD+ and all other carbon development mechanisms.

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The sooner they get down to reducing greenhouse gases and understand that forests are of value and not to be traded, the better it will be for us all.
Have they not heard of peak oil?

Already the price of oil has reached record highs and yet we have consumed more than half of the known oil reserves. Don’t they see the end of the tunnel? Why don’t they fast-track the road to renewable energy and save the planet from extinction?

We cannot eat gold and drink mercury; our social and ecological systems are more valuable than all the precious metals in the world. One cannot extract gold ore without cutting down a forest and ultimately destroying an ecosystem, and yet mining and logging go on unabated despite increased opposition and awareness.

We must reclaim the global commons from the control of transnational corporations.

I worry about the shortage of food more than fuel supplies. Without food, we die; without oil, we can still survive.

How I wish our world leaders would immediately adopt the Copacabana Agreement and throw away the Copenhagen Accord, moving to more concrete ways to mitigate and battle climate change. I would be the first to say “Congratulations and keep up the good work.”

But time waits for no one, and the era of peak oil and peak food is at hand. I fear that sickness and famine may engulf the world and the battle for resources may begin.

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We marked another Earth Day only recently, but I can only wonder: How many more Earth Days will we be able to celebrate?

Let us act now with vigilance to protect the planet we live in.

—ANTONIO M. CLAPAROLS,
president,
Ecological Society of the Philippines,
53 Tamarind Road,
Forbes Park, Makati City

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TAGS: alternative energy, climate change, conservation, pollution
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