Time to act
BIZLINKS - Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) - August 23, 2017 - 4:00pm

In 2006, more than a decade ago, the highly moving documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” swept the world with its message of global warming and the threat of climate change on Earth.

As the 11th highest grossing documentary in the US, “An Inconvenient Truth” won two Academy Awards. Former US vice president Al Gore, who stars in the documentary, was also awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Fast-forward to today, we can safely claim that much of our awareness of the environmental issues that Mother Earth is facing today is largely due to Gore’s documentary. And since 2006, there have been landmark developments in the fight against global warming.

Still, it seems there has not been enough done to stop the continuous emission of harmful gases into the environment, and to radically reduce the amount of fossil fuels that the world uses to stop the ice glaciers from its meltdown and extreme weather changes from happening.

Perhaps this is the reason why the producers of “An Inconvenient Truth” decided to come up with a follow-up, “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” that opened in US theaters last month, and will open in selected Philippine cinemas (Glorietta 4 and Trinoma) on Aug. 30.

Perhaps too, it is the fear of any setback caused by the recent open disclaimers of US President Donald Trump that global warming is a myth, and that America does not have any business supporting global environmental accords such as the Paris Agreement.

More clean energy

“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” gives a sort of report on what has happened since the first documentary was shown to the world. It talks about the many feats that have been accomplished, but also stresses that the work is far from done, and the threat to our planet is even greater and more urgent than ever.

Truly, the world now is more attuned to terms like renewable fuels and clean energy, which were fledgling concepts a decade ago. Solar and wind farms are no longer beyond commercialization, and the era of electric vehicles is at hand, much sooner that most of us dared imagine in the last century.

Even in our own homes, we’re seeing the effect of global warming with the quality of lighting fixtures we use. Incandescent is out, and LED is in, the latter being many times over more energy efficient. Even electric appliances are being made to conform to the call for more efficiency in power use.

But, as Gore has often said, we have to stop changing light bulbs and focus on changing legislation. And Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord has been one big setback for the movement whose aim is to build a more sustainable world and future.

Gore continues to send some powerful messages in the new documentary: “It is right to save humanity. It is wrong to pollute this Earth. It is right to give hope to the future generation.”

Gore and his movement have been galvanized to counter any potential damage from Trump and the White House, not just by coming out with the documentary sequel, but by highlighting the power of people to continue working for change.

Environmental activism

After releasing “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006, Gore created The Climate Reality Project with the end view of training a new generation of organizers and activists to spread the word about the climate crisis and catalyze solutions around the world.

In the current follow-up documentary, the Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings are prominently featured. Those who participate in the training are empowered to introduce and drive change in powerful ways, like stopping the construction of a coal export terminal or addressing the impact of the crisis on poor rural communities.

The new documentary is also a celebration of the continued support given by people, leaders and companies that believe that climate change has to be dealt with by no less than those who live on Earth.

The video talks about the continuing march of majority of Americans to confront the crisis, notwithstanding the withdrawn support by the US government. It also gives an update of how the leaders of the world’s biggest economies reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement at July’s G20 meeting.

What can be done?

There’s a Climate Crisis 101 e-book available for download that has the latest on climate science and solutions in an easy-to-follow format. Those who want to act are asked to share the information and talk to your friends and family members about the crisis and how this can be solved by shifting to clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar.

More importantly, interested activists are encouraged to speak and demand from elected officials at every level to take action to cut emissions and embrace clean energy solutions.

There’s also a Climate Reality email activist list that one can sign up with to get involved with on-the-ground efforts to accelerate the shift to a clean energy economy. The next step for those who make a determined decision to join would be to apply to become a Climate Reality leader.

The Climate Reality’s Climate Crisis 101 e-book plus Gore’s 10-minute version of his presentation called Truth in 10 is available at inconvenientsequel.com.

‘Difficult to kill 32 cockroaches in one sitting…’

Out of several text messages I got these past few days, the following caught my attention. It was sent by someone who was disparate in requesting not to be named for fear of reprisal from unknown vigilantes.

His full text message, “I found it difficult to kill 32 cockroaches in one sitting, and to hear about 32 human beings killed in one go is simply amazing.”

My response to the text sender: You may be doing your cockroach-killing in a place with not too many cockroaches. Or you were not properly motivated to go out and search and kill as many cockroaches you can find. Or, at some point of time, you became hesitant seeing so many dead cockroaches around you. Or you simply got tired.

Next time you go on this kind of mission, keep in mind that in killing cockroaches there is no such thing as “one death too many.”

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.

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