Greenpeace Southeast Asia

ELECTRIC SHOCK by Chuck Baclagon
November 23, 2006, 5:04 am
Filed under: Stop climate change

Here’s a post from my good friend, Giselle Segovia, who wants to help out. She used to be the editor-in-chief of the event/music magazine Lemon and she’s been writing ever since I remember. She now stays in Canada and would really like to help out in any way she can. Thanks G, you’re the best!

Living in a country that yearly plunge into below zero temperatures, it’s not difficult at all to disconnect to something as trivial as “climate change.” Summer in Toronto is literally borrowed time and is forever too short. I can totally see how people here or in North America in general can take global warming for granted – hot temperatures are hard to come by on this side of the globe.

A huge chunk of me is in Manila though, and it’s warming up by the minute.

If we want to know how punishing the sun can be, the Philippines is a primary spot to get a first-hand experience. But to say that Filipinos know all the ramifications attached to this clause is assuming too much. It’s equally just as easy for us to take things for granted. Think about it: For a typical educated and able Pinoy (someone that can sure access this posting), how many hours in a day do you actually stay out of air-conditioning? You sleep in an air-conditioned room, ride an air-conditioned vehicle and work in an air-conditioned office. Not to mention the malls, restaurants, bars and clubs that are AC’d to the max. So it can’t be as real to that Filipino (a lot of you are, there’s no shame in admitting it) as how it is to the real archetype “magsasaka,” – the one who’s really suffering in all of this. The truly sad part about it is that this farmer who’s scorching in the fields, probably contributes the least in climate heating – but ironically, he’s paying for it.

It’s no secret that saving up electricity is GOOD. Basically cutting back on a lot of stuff perhaps even reacquainting yourself with a fan (and please for the celebrities this means the device and not the follower). But why is conserving energy a positive thing? Why is it something that will benefit ALL of us, in the short and long run? You see, Meralco is not just a bill we pay. Behind the numbers and the consumption is a process that hurts the environment – essentially the world as we know, and love it. Okay, we know from Science 101, that power stations generate electricity by burning fossil fuels. However, apart from the pollution that these plants produce, more importantly what we could miss is that this procedure alone is the biggest factor in carbon dioxide emission. The influx of which allows extra heat to reflect back into earth – way more than we can handle. This imbalance is causing climates to shift – and because everything in the world is connected, no living thing will be spared.

It’s a terrifying thought especially when people find out that we’re so close to the point where we can’t reverse the effects. To put it simply, it’s like stage 2.5 of cancer. There’s a fair chance, but it’s going to be tedious and very tough work. Often times, we won’t feel rewarded. In this complicated age where everything is gray, it’s not enough that we help; doing the right things can look “self-righteous” and the picture of everything dying is preposterous and far-fetched. So chances are we won’t be taking steps for ourselves. There are too many priorities (aka work) and responsibilities (aka family, friends). So I’m thinking, maybe we should help our dear ol’ mother planet not for our own sakes but for someone we love; a friend, father, lover, wife, child – think of her and how she might have to endure an incredibly sick earth.

I mean, I know you won’t do it for the farmer (shame on you!). But would you pass up the chance to give the people you care for a better world?

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