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The 2 degrees debate

BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2015 - 9:00am

November was a busy month for global world leaders, starting with the Group of 20 meeting early in the month in Turkey, followed by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting in Manila a few weeks back, then the ASEAN Summit held in Malaysia during the month end.

A fitting cap to this busy schedule is the COP 21 (21st Conference of the Parties), or simply the Climate Summit, that started on the last day of November and pushes on until Dec. 11.

The discussions during the 12-day meeting are considered to be among the most critical in its history to date, with even Pope Francis issuing a statement where he likened mankind to be on the brink of a suicide attempt.

Ironically, as the world’s biggest economy – the United States – declares once again its intentions to bring down emission levels, big developing economies like India, China, the European Union and Indonesia are negotiating for a moratorium of their own environment targets to accommodate economic growth goals.

These economies, it turns out, are moving forward on an ambitious plan to build more coal-fired thermal plants, which scientists have inputted in a study to show how the planned carbon-fueled power plants could critically raise global warming.

Officially one degree higher

In the months leading to the COP21 meeting, there has been an avalanche of materials that have been prepared to make the Earth’s inhabitants aware and vigilant of the need to bring down emissions, and therefore contain rising global warming to below two degrees Celsius over pre-industrialization levels.

A rise of two degrees had been a simplistic estimation that was assumed in the late 1970s by a scientist in his paper, and accepted eventually by most climatologists and environmentalists as the tipping point leading to irreversible destruction of the Earth’s environment.]

Last month, the world’s temperature level was officially declared one degree Celsius higher over pre-industrialization levels, thus inducing a more urgent call for firmer action by the 150 nations and 40,000 delegates form 195 countries participating in the COP21 meetings.

While it took decades for the one-degree rise, scientists are warning it could take a much shorter time for the next one-degree ascent to happen. Already, smaller island nations other than the Philippines are raising urgent pleas for a binding and radical agreement to curb global emission levels.

Even scientists and climate experts are now rethinking the two-degrees figure, saying the interaction of Earth changes brought about by the one-degree rise could bring the planet’s catastrophic end in a smaller incremental temperature rise, for example, by just 0.5 or 0.25 degrees or 0.75 degrees.

The deciding factors are overwhelmingly too numerous already to consider, so much so the numbers game is turning out to be, well, anybody’s guess.

One thing for sure, though, the world is indeed getting warmer, and this is bringing about catastrophic changes in many parts of the Earth. You and I are no strangers to super typhoons in this part of the globe. In other parts, their shorelines are shrinking as their ocean and sea levels continue to rise.

The politics of global warming continues to be staged in such summits as the COP21, and the rhetoric of emission reduction still gets dragged into poverty reduction goals or economic growth targets. World leaders who hold the fate of billions of people in their speeches dare not choose one over the other: they always say a balance has to be struck.

In the meantime, the temperature thermometer on the wall is inching higher.

NCC update

The 2015 National Collegiate Championship is in full swing with the UST Growling Tigers and FEU Tamaraws in the elite eight stage of the 2015 National Collegiate Championship joining NCAA champion Letran Knights, NCAA runner-up San Beda Red Lions, and CESAFI-Cebu champion U San Carlos Warriors.

The National Collegiate Championship (NCC) is an annual multi level nationwide competition to determine the one and only national collegiate champion for the year.

The tournament is organized and managed by Philippine Collegiate Champions League (PCCL) to bring together collegiate champions all over the country to compete for the possession of the M. V. Pangilinan Perpetual Trophy Sculpture, “Abutin Ang Tagumpay,” a symbol of collegiate basketball supremacy.

San Beda College Red Lions is the current holder of the sculpture after winning last year’s championship.

Three remaining seats in the elite eight are reserved for one qualifier from Visayas-Mindanao, and two winners from Luzon-Metro Manila Qualifying Games.

The Vis-Min qualifying games are schedule for Dec. 8 to 10 at Ormoc City, while the Luzon-Metro Manila games are set from Dec. 9 to 13 at TIP Gym, Manila and at FAITH Tanauan, Batangas.

Coach Joe Lipa, PCCL executive director, announced the Luzon-Metro Manila games would be covered live by ABS-CBN Sports and Action channel and televised nationwide.

Competing for one elite eight seat are teams from Visayas and Mindanao that include University of Visayas and U San Jose-Recoletos, runner-up and third placer respectively of CESAFI-Cebu; and Holy Trinity College of General Santos City, currently the Mindanao regional champion and winner of the ongoing Visayas islands regional games.

The participants in the Luzon-Metro Manila qualifying games competing for two elite eight seats are: UAAP’s National U Bulldogs; NCAA’s Mapua Cardinals and JRU Heavy Bombers; NAASCUs St. Claire College; ISAA’S PATTS; NBL’S TIP; and Olivarez College, South Luzon-Bicol champion and champion of the ongoing North-Central Luzon regional games.

Visit the PCCL website (CollegiateChampionsLeague.net) for more details/information on the National Collegiate Championship, and like our official Facebook fan page (Philippine College Champions League).

Facebook and Twitter

We are actively using two social networking websites to reach out more often and even interact with and engage our readers, friends and colleagues in the various areas of interest that I tackle in my column. Please like us at www.facebook.com and follow us at www.twitter.com/ReyGamboa.

Should you wish to share any insights, write me at Link Edge, 25th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero Street, Salcedo Village, 1227 Makati City. Or e-mail me at reydgamboa@yahoo.com. For a compilation of previous articles, visit www.BizlinksPhilippines.net.

ABUTIN ANG TAGUMPAY ACIRC CEBU CLIMATE SUMMIT COACH JOE LIPA COLLEGIATE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES CORPORATE CENTER LUZON-METRO MANILA NATIONAL COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP ONE
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