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The great Brazilian wax |


The great Brazilian wax

WONDERBLOG - Ping Medina -

More than earthquakes and nuclear disaster, there is nothing that sends me into a panic more than climate change. Farmers around the world are saying the same thing — it’s harder to raise crops now because they can’t predict the weather anymore. When is it rainy season? When is it dry season? The weather is confused. If ever they successfully raise a batch of crops, a supertyphoon comes mosying along to destroy everything.

This is happening on a global scale, especially in our own backyards, as far back as the time “El Nino” came into public consciousness. Like in the 1997 El Nino, it was so hot in South Cotabato that the corn plants couldn’t even blossom their flowers. Indeed, the most immediate threat stemming from climate change is food shortage.

Two years ago in Sarangani, we found out that their main food product, the tuna fish, was harder to catch. Due to climate change, the ocean’s surface temperature is slowly rising, forcing the tuna to go farther from the shore and into deeper and cooler waters.

We also visited Surigao Del Sur last year, where we got to chat with the local fisherfolk. They’re saying the weather has gone buang (Visayan term for crazy), with the sudden rise and fall of the tides, and it is not consistent with the geodetic calendar their fishing methods have been relying on all these years. It might not seem so big, but not having any catch for two days during fishing season is like having no income for two months.

Homes drowing

Aside from that, there’s also the almost literal problem of homes drowning. Although this isn’t sensational enough to make the news, small islands in the south have been slowly sinking through the years. One island in Surigao Del Sur called Mahaba Island had 24 coconut trees once upon a time. But since coconut roots tend to drown in sea water, the number of trees in the island went down to five.

The country of Maldives, the lowest country on the planet, known as a “sinking island nation,” recently commissioned Dutch Docklands to make an artificial floating island. Their president is now making a global plea, but they all fall on the deaf ears of USA and China, specifically the two biggest carbon emitters in the world.

Don’t be part of the problem. Become a Planeteer!

Environmentalists used to say that politics and environmentalism are two separate entities, but they have come to realize that the truth is quite the opposite. Saving the environment means gathering tremendous political will, and they’ve also realized that behind this tremendous political will, there are also billions of dollars involved.

Billionaire oilman David Koch likes to joke that Koch Industries is “the biggest company you’ve never heard of.” Greenpeace has published an expose on these secret funders of the climate change denial machine, with propaganda money supposedly amounting to $50 million, labeling the company as the “kingpin of climate science denial.”

Koch even went as far as telling The New Yorker magazine that he has doubts that climate change is caused by human activity, and it might actually be good for overall food production. But I don’t expect an oil man, whose company’s annual revenues reach about a hundred billions dollars a year, to give priority to obtaining three meals a day.

Long ago, in 1989, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov gave an after-dinner speech predicting “global warming” as man’s greatest threat to survival in the coming years. He goes on criticizing Brazil, as having the most magnificent and biodiverse canopy in the world (Amazon rainforest, anyone?) yet they choose to do a brazilian wax on Mother Earth.

But he also acknowledges that his own country, USA, is the number one polluter of the earth’s atmosphere, and this is a problem that should transcend nations, where joint efforts are required for this big global project.

Twenty-two years later, the term “global warming” is already obsolete, and in terms of cause and effect, the damage has been dealt and the payback is in motion. Nations have gathered to address this problem—from the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 to the much-anticipated but highly disappointing “Hopenhagen” in Copenhagen last 2009—but really, nothing much has happened.

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