Greenpeace Southeast Asia

The challenge to be vigilant by Chuck Baclagon

Photo by Albert LozadaYesterday was a busy one for me as I came in extra early for work for a talk that me and Albert Lozada, our Philippine Solar Generation coordinator was scheduled to give at the University of the Philippines’ organized Conference on Global Climate Change which was attended by folks that mainly come from the academe, government agencies, the Philippine Network on Climate Change and even those from the petroleum industry! Of which Shell was one of the major sponsors of the event to our surprise as we only learned about it as we entered the conference venue.

Photo by Albert LozadaWe were given only 15 minutes of talk time so we best decided to give 5 minutes of talk and then show as many climate change videos that we had on climate change which stretched our air time with the conference attendees to until after lunch as we are among those who had prepared audio-visuals for the conference, our videos were even played alongside the ‘corporate social responsibility videos of Shell which in my personal opinion are quite well produced as it is evident with the production quality of the footages and such. Seeing those videos also makes me wonder as to how much does the petroleum industry really invest in renewable energy as opposed to the funds they are spending on PR and marketing of their commitment to renewables which can be seen in the videos.

What’s interesting about the event is that as I have often said in the various times that I’ve been given the opportunity to talk about climate change in front of an audience is that there is always good news in such events because that means that the issue of climate change or global warming is no longer in the language of a handful of eco-warriors like Greenpeace, but at the same time it is also alarming because events such as that reminds me that the problem posed by global warming has now evolved into a far greater problem that is no longer confined to environmentalists but also to that of regular folks and the sectors that they all belong to.

Lastly, the event also in posed a challenge to those in the environmental movement who are working on the issue as even those who are fuelling climate change are now engaging on the issue. This is a challenge because our work on climate change gives us the Photo by Chuck Baclagonmandate to be ever more vigilant in pushing for massive reduction of carbon emissions and being vigilant on the matter means that must go even as far as challenging government and corporations when they fail to live up to their mandate to safeguard our environment and our future.

It is my hope that those in the fossil fuel industry are likewise challenged in the struggle for genuine climate protection that transcends beyond PRs and sponsorships of forums.

Chuck Baclagon

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