Greenpeace Southeast Asia


Earth Day 2010: Love and life by Chuck Baclagon

Earth Day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.

22 April 2010: Earth Day

It is almost midnight.

Earth Day is only minutes away from being over. Another day, has passed and like in so many things that are subject to time, this day now becomes part of  my memories and are now recorded as a chapter in my life.

I am more than glad that this remembrance of Earth Day was done with the celebration of the life of a dear person with whom I count myself fortunate to have as a friend .

Perhaps it is safe to say that in as far as speaking about Earth Day and the need to uphold the urgent struggle of safeguarding the environment, the celebration of Earth Day and the work for those in the environmental movement must always be reflected in the context of love for life –and I am not talking here about token sentimentally about Mother Nature, nor am I simply being a bleeding heart for the cute and cuddly animals, nor am I romanticizing my love for the outdoors –far from it!

While it is true that the aforementioned things are part of the things that bear weight in my decision to commit myself to my work with Greenpeace, a larger part of me recognizes the resolute urgency of taking action for the environment lies in the love that can be found in life that is shared in relationships –relationships that can be found in that of parents, grandparents, children, siblings, relatives friends, comrades, kindred spirits and lovers.

Continue reading

Advertisements


Earth Hour and the value of symbols in catalyzing action against climate change by Chuck Baclagon

A group of parishioners in traditional dresses join the celebration of the Earth Hour program in Malate Church, together with the volunteers from the community and the environment group Greenpeace.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia when 2.2 million homes and businesses turned their lights off for one hour to make their stand against climate change. Only a year later and Earth Hour had become a global sustainability movement with more than 50 million people across 35 countries participating. Global landmarks such as the, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The CN Tower in Toronto, The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and Rome’s Colosseum, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour.

Continue reading



Deep Green: Real Sustainability by Chuck Baclagon
February 16, 2010, 3:40 am
Filed under: Deep Green, Greenpeace | Tags: , ,

Cultural habits – like people – go through stages when they face death. Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross described this process as the ‘five stages of grief’ – denial, anger, bargaining and depression, before the final acceptance of reality. In human society, growth economics will eventually collapse in the face of ecological reality. We have witnessed decades of denial and anger about this end of growth, and society now appears to be entering the bargaining stage.

Continue reading



The 1970 concert that launched Greenpeace by Chuck Baclagon

“L’imagination au pouvoir.”
(“Imagination is seizing power”)
Written on the walls of the Sorbonne, Paris, May, 1968

During the 1960s, art and politics merged into a full-spectrum cultural revolution – a liberation of music and poetry, political street theatre, socially-conscious films and novels. A fresh political awareness swept around the world; the women’s movement, civil rights, indigenous stands against colonial domination and the dawning of modern ecology action.
The status quo may attempt to crush that spirit of social liberation, but social movements turn in cycles, and it feels as if the world is about to erupt again with citizen empowerment, driven by the collapse of both our ecological and economic systems.
In this spirit of revival, Greenpeace has released a two-disc CD, Amchitka: The 1970 concert that launched Greenpeace. Featuring Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and Phil Ochs, the recording reflects a time when artists seized the power to merge imagination with politics and shift the social context.
Continue reading


Sustainability & justice: Do the math by Jenny Tuazon

Most people I talk to support “sustainability” and “social justice” goals. Ecology teaches us that we need to frame these human aspirations in relation to the biological capacity of the earth: the energy, and resources that support our burgeoning populations and economies.

As human society sets out to achieve ecological sustainability and social justice on earth, we face two serious challenges: One, humanity already over-consumes the biological capacity of the planet; and secondly, humanity suffers from a vast gap between rich and poor.

Continue reading



Are Cities Sustainable? by Chuck Baclagon
September 8, 2009, 7:38 am
Filed under: Deep Green, Greenpeace | Tags: , ,

A reporter from Dubai phoned last week and asked, “Can Dubai become a sustainable city?” and specifically, “Could the tourism industry be sustainable?” In the age of global warming and declining fossil fuels, the entire airline industry is probably not sustainable. Dubai, of course, is not even remotely sustainable.

Dubai is a city built with oil cash, but the global economic recession brought construction schemes to a sudden halt. Many entrepreneurs fled the city, abandoning some 3,000 cars, found with keys in the ignition and maxed-out credit cards in the glove compartments.

Between 2002-2008, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and its partners invested $600 billion US dollars in Dubai, creating the world’s tallest building and largest shopping mall, man-made islands, and an indoor ski hill. Dubai has a beach ‘designed’ by Versace with chilled sand. Meanwhile, sections of the city have no sewage system, so sewage is collected by truck convoys and driven into the desert, where it seeps back through the sand – and reappears on the Versace beaches.

Continue reading



A Good Solution by Chuck Baclagon
August 6, 2009, 4:25 am
Filed under: Deep Green, Greenpeace | Tags: , ,

Recently, we’ve been hearing about ‘the death of environmentalism’ because – allegedly – the world’s corporations now understand ecology and will solve our problems with investment, innovation, and gung-ho optimism.

Of course, what the investors want to create with all that optimism and ingenuity are profits, not real sustainability.

Critics regularly accuse environmentalists of being ‘doom and gloom’ prognosticators who complain of endless problems, but offer ‘no solutions’. However, if we check the record, we’ll discover that serious ecologists have been offering solutions for centuries.

Continue reading