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Climate change should be on our mind

Climate change is affecting every aspect of our lives. As the slogan goes: “If we don’t take care of Mother Earth, how can Mother Earth protect us?” Truer words were never spoken and I honestly believe that we’ve been bad to the environment for far too long. If we don’t take a step back and make a change it’s going to be too late. After all, we can already see the effects of climate change on the world – rising temperatures, freak weather phenomenon, and so much more. What’s it going to take to convince those in power that this is real and that concrete steps need to be taken?

It’s sad that one of the largest economies and most powerful countries in the world today has chosen to be ignorant of the large scale effects of climate change and has withdrawn from the Paris Agreement. President Trump has chosen instead to be short sighted and has taken America’s participation off the table when in fact, the USA, is one of the biggest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. If they had stayed on their participation would have made a big impact alongside the contribution of over 100 participants.

Thank goodness despite the President’s bull headed decision, the individual states in the US are still trying to do their share to help. California has strengthened its commitment to reducing emissions alongside the nine Northeastern states that form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. This just proves that even if the government is not doing its part in the commitment to change, that can’t stop individual states and even individuals from doing their part to make a difference.

I’m glad that despite many other questionable decisions our country has made we are not being blind to climate change. It’s nice to see the Philippines on the right side of history on this one. Our government has pledged its support to the Paris Agreement and is already looking for ways to make a difference. The Department of Agriculture is integrating agricultural development and responsiveness to climate change to achieve food security in line with our country’s obligations to the Paris Agreement.

Ensuring food supply is an important aspect of any climate change program. After all, we’ve already seen how climate change is adversely affecting agriculture – particularly in our part of the world. Crops are affected and yield is going significantly down on key products like rice, wheat, corn, and soybeans. If things are not addressed now it will only be a matter of time that this food shortage becomes a big problem that will affect many more people.

To help address and mitigate that problem, our Department of Agriculture has already identified climate resilient agricultural (CRA) practices that are in line with our commitment to reducing emissions and introducing these practices among the agriculture and fisheries sectors. Currently the CRA practices have been implemented in 10 provinces and will be implemented in another 7 soon. The goal is food security and finding innovative ways to reduce emissions while still achieving harvesting goals.

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I hope these practices are successful and I hope the government continues to come up with even more ways to be environmentally friendly and find climate change battling ways to reduce our emissions. We all need to help out and do our part as well. It’s the least we can do for future generations.

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Crumbs! That is what the Marcos family has offered to return to the government recently. The announcement was made out like it was such a big deal, which only served to make it even more ludicrous. One because what they are offering to return is nothing compared to the total amount for which they are accused of stealing from the country. And two because the return hinges on the condition that the government will no longer pursue criminal cases against the family.

It’s absurd and the people are not responding as well as I think the government hoped they would. It’s no secret that President Duterte and Bongbong Marcos are good friends. More than once the president has gone out of this way for his friend and this is just another circumstance of the Marcos family being given a proverbial pass. Why so many “Get Out of Jail Free” cards? Your guess is as good as mine, but the evidence speaks for itself – and loudly too.

When talking about the Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth “a few gold bars” could literally translate to “mere pennies” of the total amount stolen from the Philippines. Over 700 gold bars in total were lost when they fled not to mention money. A conservative estimate of wealth lost during the martial law era is already over $17 billion. Not including art, jewelry, and more. Evidence of hidden bank accounts around the world has already been uncovered and yet to this day we can’t seem to find a way to get the country’s money back. At this point we’re supposed to cheer for the return of a measly few gold bars?

Well the nation is not cheering. In fact it’s outraged and rightfully so. Considering how much money was lost and all the good that money could have done for the country we should be angry. Not to mention the family continues to flaunt their wealth to this day. Bongbong came up with the payment for his election protest in a snap and its not a secret where people think that wealth came from.

I hope this gold bars fiasco isn’t a tactic to try to win more people over to Bongbong’s side while the election protest is ongoing. If so, it’s a cheap attempt and I know that the majority of Filipinos are far too smart to fall for that. At least I have to believe so. We need to stop settling for scraps and demand what we really want. And what we really deserve.


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