Is God to blame for natural calamities?

(The Philippine Star) - November 17, 2020 - 12:00am

Typhoon is not synonymous to calamity.

Battered and ravaged yet again by another monstrous storm, let us distinguish between an act of God and a disaster due to man’s folly.

Typhoons are natural occurrences in the country even prior to Magellan’s discovery of the Philippines. However, disasters such as the one wrought recently by Ulysses is not. The deadliest and most destructive (though not the strongest) typhoon to ever hit the country was Haiphong in 1881. Its death toll of more than 200,000 was caused largely by the absence of “progress” and advanced medical equipments/treatments.

Science and technology are credited for the developments they have brought to the world, but oh, it is much to the lament of heaven that natural catastrophes have evolved to become regular occurrences (alongside typhoons, cyclones and hurricanes) for the world’s inhabitants.

Typhoon is part of God’s creation, but cataclysms and misfortunes are not.

Who are to blame for the alarming climate change and continuing deterioration of our environment? Has God anything to do with them? Does He even use plastic that badly affects marine life?

By burning fossil fuels, cutting down rainforests and farming livestock, humans cause damage to earth that leads to global warming and the increase of what experts call the greenhouse gas effect. Hence the ever-worsening air pollution we have, poisoned body of waters, landslides, severe drought, frequent heat waves, extreme weather, massive flooding and the emergence of incurable “modernized” viruses/diseases which number has ballooned to 87 according to Disabled World website, and that includes HIV/AIDS, Ebola, SARS and Covid-19 as among the latest.

We need not look elsewhere to find the culprits. Simply consider how mismanaged dams damn our country and countrymen during typhoons. And look how illegal loggers log/steal our trees and mountains in the name of “progress.” A Facebook satire aptly said, “Kung panahon lang ng eleksyon ngayon, dinagsa na ng mga pulitiko ang nagmistulang dagat na Cagayan at Isabela.”

Prompt government response and active, offensive approach by our officials to confront the many problems that beset us as a nation is what is needed, not ready government defense “mechanism” to counter criticisms and justify lapses.  A political show will not serve to alleviate the sufferings of our people either. Ignore critics, but not the sincere/pure voices of concern.

The problems of climate change, environment slaughter, pandemic rise, economic slump, wanton killings and great deluges are result of our inaction, apathy and stupidity as a people, and government. And the solution lies in the wise, righteous resolve of our national and local leaders to address the problems, not to mention the imperative of going up seriously against corruption, depravity and rottenness of heart among them – and all of us.

So why blame God? – Reni M. Valenzuela, renivalenzuelaletters@yahoo.com

CALAMITY TYPHOON
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