Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Sowing the seeds of a revolution by Chuck Baclagon
October 22, 2009, 6:49 am
Filed under: Philippines, Stop climate change | Tags: , , ,

“Kung di tayo sino? Kung hindi ngayon kalian?”
(“If not us, who? If not now, when?”)

This familiar line that has been sort of a cliché among Filipino activists was what kept my mind preoccupied as I stood amidst a sea of people flocking towards the cinema.

Last October 13 more than 400 people came to watch our ‘green carpet’ screening of The Age of Stupid at the Cinema 3 of Glorietta 4 in Makati. Among those who watch the screening were Greenpeace supporters, our campaign partners from various groups, as well as our volunteers, partners in the Global Campaign for Climate Action Pilipinas.

A lot have been said about the movie in earlier posts in this blog, but I would like to take this moment for all of us to pause and think about the immediacy of the threat of our species’ extinction in the next generation or so if no serious action is taken in reducing carbon emissions from human activity, especially now that carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are now the highest in 150,000 years,  as present scientific consensus on climate change is that human activity factors in heavily in the rapid increase in global average temperatures over the past several decades.

In the movie The Archivist (played by Pete Postlethwaite), while browsing at archived footages from this decade asks: “What state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it off?”

Consequently, the climate-change debate has now largely shifted onto ways to reduce further human impact and to find ways to adapt to change that has already occurred however most of it still remains as ‘cheap talk’ as there is still no fair and legally binding commitment especially from the industrialized countries like the United States to reduce their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level.

As I watched the film for the second time I am harkened back with the thought of how revolutions are sparked by ideas. To quote, Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“Every revolution was first a thought in one man’s mind.”

It is my hope that this film showing and the subsequent ones would sow the seeds for Greenpeace’s vision of an Energy [R]evolution that seeks to change the way we produce, use and distribute energy in order to drastically cut down all our carbon emissions to safe levels that would in turn halt catastrophic climate change.

Chuck Baclagon

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