Super typhoons, rising sea levels, more common and more severe droughts and heatwaves, wildfires and mass migration. Just some of the more obvious yet most severe effects of Climate Change. And it can get even worse if we remain ignorant and not do anything to combat this planetary crisis. So no, Climate Change isn’t just a mere prediction that may or may not happen in 10 or 20 years. Because climate change is in fact real. And it’s happening right now, constantly, at an alarming rate. But thanks to green initiatives like the Green Thumb Coalition, we can now all be educated on how we in our own little (or big) ways can contribute to help stop the pace at which climate change is happening. Read on to find out how.
What is Climate Change? How does it happen?
Before we go into discussing solutions, let’s first understand what Climate Change is all about. Simply put, climate change dictates a literal change in global or regional climate patterns. Changes that are mostly attributed to the increased levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases ‘trapped’ in the Earth’s atmosphere. As a result of this sudden destabilization of atmospheric temperature, unnatural disturbances like I’ve mentioned prior can occur.
Now, what people need to understand is the severity of this rise of atmospheric temperature. According to Attorney Aaron Pedrosa of SANLAKAS-Green Thumb Coalition, a global temperature change beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius can automatically result to 75% of the world’s corals being destroyed. And thus disrupting the ecological balance of our oceans. To add, mountain glaciers and rivers will start to melt and disappear with the increased temperature. Thereby resulting to frequent landslides and abrupt increase in sea levels. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2100, sea levels could rise by a metre. And that alone can displace or even lead to the death of upto 10% of the world’s population.
Climate Change and the Philippines
Sadly, The Philippines is on the list of top 10 countries most vulnerable to climate change all over the world. Mostly because we are surrounded by water, covering more than 220,000 square kilometers of coastline. It doesn’t help too that the country sits right next to the Pacific Ocean, the warmest of all seven. Thus producing more tropical cyclogenesis or typhoons, as you may call it.
Remember Tropical Storms Ondoy (Ketsana) and Yolanda (Haiyan)? Two of the strongest and most destructive supertyphoons that have hit The Philippines in the last decade. In fact, in Yolanda alone, damage in property is at an estimated Php 650 billion ($13 billion). Not to mention the more than 6,000 lives lost. While Php 11 Billion damage was struck by Typhoon Ondoy in Metro Manila. And of course, who can forget about our periodic water scarcity and metropolis flooding? If those are not real and scary effects of Climate Change in the Philippines, I don’t know what else is.
Climate Change as a Planetary Emergency Runaway
According to Green Thumb Coalition, humans have less than eleven (11) years to stay below the 1.5 deg. threshold. Because once we cross that cap on global temperature increase, then climate change will indeed become a planetary emergency runaway. Meaning its effect can no longer be reversed and can only get worse by the minute.
This will convert to more lives lost, houses destroyed, and more forests burning. Including the one (1) million animal species expected to go extinct once climate change goes on full swing.
Green Thumb Coalition Combating Global Climate Change
Sounds scarily morbid, right? Unfortunately, this is the reality we have all have to face. And yet fortunately, there’s still hope. Together with Green Thumb Coalition, Atty. Pedrosa calls for a collective effort from Filipinos. This means a pro-active commitment to transform rapid socio-economic and political systems to combat the root causes of global warming and climate change. Not just here in the Philippines but on a global scale as well. And we as the Filipino Youth now have chance to be at the forefront of this Green Thumb Coalition. Here’s how:
- Join in the Global Climate Strike 2019 on September 20, 2019. The Global Climate Strike 2019 is a week-long mobilization inspired by the School Strikes for Climate started in Europe. From September 20-27, 2019, millions of students are urged to walk out of their classrooms. To call the attention and demand actions from those responsible of Climate Change.
- Stop the construction and operation of ‘dirty’ and non-renewable energy like coal powerplants. Instead, urge private companies and governments to transition clean and renewable energy systems. Just like wind, water, and solar energy.
- Stop the destruction of the natural carbon sinks that absorb greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. forests, mountains). Stop illegal and excessive logging, deforestation, quarrying, etc. Instead, plant more trees and take care of the Earth’s natural lungs.
- Address poverty, inequalities and marginalization that increase vulnerability and risks of people and communities to climate change impacts;
- Empower and build resilience and capacity of communities and families to deal with the consequences of climate change. Change starts at home as they say;
- Mobilize the necessary financial resources to fight climate change. Governments of rich and industrialized countries have a moral obligation to help combat climate change on a global scale.
Support Life, Support Green Thumb Coalition Activities
Climate change is no joke. It’s real, it’s happening, it affects people’s lives. And it’s getting worse at such an unprecedented pace. But there is still hope to slow it down and and make the overall ecological situation better. The key is to join hands and work within green initiatives such as those of Green Thumb Coalition.
Personally, I think we can focus on avoiding everyday activities that contribute to climate change. I’m talking about lessening our personal carbon footprints. We can all practice sustainable dining, not using single use plastics, less use of private vehicles and more of shared/public transportation. Quite easy and manageable, right?
On a higher level, we must support green movements like that of Green Thumb Coalition. We can attend green symposiums that spread awareness of the real impacts of climate change. And more importantly, urge private companies and our lawmakers to make climate change a priority. Let’s compulse them to regulate industrial pollution, mining and logging. As well as to create nationwide campaigns to combat the effects of climate change. But we must act now, as a nation, as one world. Because if not now, then when?
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