Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A global warning

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth was aired on HBO last night, to coincide with Earth Day, I suppose. The documentary is a global warning about global warming. Very scary and very real. The awesome glaciers are melting, seas are getting warmer, storms have become more powerful, wildlife is immigrating to new habitats, species are driven to extinction, bush fires are everywhere, and diseases are evolving. The footage where a panicked polar bear was trying to hold on to a melting ice is heart-breaking. Imagine a drowned polar bear!
And I couldn’t shake off the image in my head of a fleet of boats beached on sand that used to be a river. The pictures of drying rivers and lakes, rising oceans are terrifying. Even a partial melting of Greenland's ice sheet would cause a one-meter rise in sea levels which would submerge low-lying islands, cities, countries even.

But Greenland, the North Pole, the Alps, or Siberia are so far away from here---it's almost inconceivable that what happens on the other side of the planet could affect us. So here's one that is closer to home: the shoreline at my mother’s hometown in Negros has been retreating for years. The beach that used to be our playground in the 70’s is now a stretch of cement with a 10-foot concrete sea-wall. In another coastal town near my grandfather’s house, the barangay road and houses near the beach are gone and it’s now a shoreline. The wet land where our neighbors used to grow kangkong (swamp cabbage), where my brothers and the other boys fished native catfish (hito), is now an arid piece of land. Even the small stream in my grandfather's property has dried up. I was surprised to learn during my vacation last month that the huge Chico tree in my mother's backyard was no longer there…the leaves turned brown and fell one by one, what was left of the tree are its brittle branches and dead trunk. It was due to the heat, an uncle told me. The tree shaded a bamboo bench where we hang out during hot summer afternoons, eating halo-halo.

The threat to every inhabitant of this planet is very real. We are causing global warming and the effects are devastating. And don’t say that we can only pray because there is something for every one to do---small things, big things. From managing our garbage to searching for alternative energy sources.

When you pray, move your feet.
~ An old African proverb

Simple things we can do to help stop global warming:

Change a light
Replacing one regular light bulb with a compact fluorescent light bulb will save 150 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

Drive less
Walk, bike, carpool or take mass transit more often. You’ll save one pound of carbon dioxide for every mile you don’t drive!

Recycle more
You can save 2,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per year by recycling just half of your household waste.

Check your tires
Keeping your tires inflated properly can improve gas mileage by more than 3%. Every gallon of gasoline saved keeps 20 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere!

Use less hot water
It takes a lot of energy to heat water. Use less hot water by installing a low flow showerhead (350 pounds of CO2 saved per year) and washing your clothes in cold or warm water (500 pounds saved per year).

Avoid products with a lot of packaging
You can save 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide if you cut down your garbage by 10%.

Plant a tree
A single tree will absorb one ton of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

Turn off electronic devices
Simply turning off your TV, DVD player, stereo, and computer when you’re not using them will save you thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide a year.


Let’s do our share in healing our planet, our only home. It’s a small way of giving thanks to the Creator who "granted us dominion over all things."

Do you not see that God has subjected to your use all things in the heavens and on earth, and has made His bounties flow to you in exceeding measure, both seen and unseen?
~ Qur'an 31.20

And God blessed them, and God said to them, "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."

~ Bible, Genesis 1.28


SeƱor Enrique said...

Your images of flowers and plants are awesome, Luna. I love 'em!

I, too, saw last Tuesday night's airing of "An Inconvenient Truth." I wonder what's going to happen during the future generations' time when we don't do more to prevent this global warming phenomenon.

Unknown said...

Thank you, Eric. I know, I still have a lot to learn about photography. Basta shoot lang ng shoot!:D

I imagine the map of the world wouldn't be the same. There would probably be snow in the Philippines, or what's left of it. A hotter world, dirtier air and water, more floods and droughts, more intense storms, more's too scary to even think about! I hope humans would be able to migrate to Mars by that time!:D

Sidney said...

There is still a lot of work to do... but it seems we humans always manage to adapt to new challenges.

Anonymous said...

too bad i didnt able to watch it...

Unknown said...

I agree, Sidney. Humans can certainly adapt to tougher conditions. We'd probably evolve into something else to survive. We adapt or die.

Unknown said...

I'm sure it will be shown again in HBO, Lino. Watch out for it.:D

Thanks for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

And to think that there are people who do not believe in global warming! Sitting in an empty desk and staring at the wall all day will do that to you - they should stand up and go for their coffee breaks more often to give rest to their brain LOL. Just teasing the global warming skeptics.

Unknown said...

Some even call global warming a religious movement, a marvelously-crafted illusion. I dont know about that, bertn...all I know is that we've experienced quite a number of natural disasters in the Philippines this past few years. And if we don't do something about our environment, more landslides, more flooding, and real food shortage are to be expected. Displacement and dislocation of people because of climate change are already happening here. Should we wait for 20 or 50 years to see if global warming is really true?

Thanks for visiting!

Anonymous said...

i was also able to watch Al Gore's documentary on Global Warming. i got more scared. i know that there's Global Warming but i haven't realized how grave the problem was until i saw the film. it was devastating.

i hope everyone will now do their part in saving the Earth or else, our planet will die out on us soon.

Unknown said...

It's also what I'm hoping for, dyosa. It should be a global effort, and individual awareness is necessary. Thanks to the efforts of local NGOs.

Thanks for dropping by.