Letters to the Editor

Blah blah blah

The Philippine Star

My cousin texted me, “Hindi kayo nag-iisa (you are not alone)” after the massive flooding and devastation of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng.

My cousin lives just outside of Sydney and they have been getting record rainfall since earlier this year that has caused widespread flooding, destroying homes, stranding residents on rooftops until rescuers came in helicopters to pluck them to safety and causing people to walk in waist-deep floodwaters.

In a skewed sense of nostalgia, she said such scenes reminded her of home, which was in Marikina before her family moved Down Under almost a decade ago. “Akala ko (I thought) I left all that behind na when we moved here, but I guess there’s no escaping the devastation resulting from climate change.”

It’s no comfort that hindi tayo nag-iisa in suffering horrendous floods, and that developed countries like Australia, some in Europe and parts of the United States are also being inundated.

As the COP27 in Egypt ends today, can we ask how much has really, actually, practically been achieved in that two-week conference/gabfest beyond alarms again being sounded, calls for action issued in oh-so-eloquent terms?

The big polluters, the giant greenhouse gas emitters have not and are still not owning up to their responsibility and certainly do not seem anywhere near willing to take concrete actions to stop the pollution and to help the poor developing nations made to suffer the climate effects of their actions.

This is the 27th edition of the UN Climate Conference; the first was held in Berlin in 1995, a year after the UN Framework on Climate Change entered into force. Oh yes, targets have been set, national commitments made – all quite lofty, for sure – but how much of these have been achieved? That much ballyhooed 1.5-degree Celsius target has all but evaporated, together with promises of moving away from fossil fuels to renewable energy and many other soundbite-worthy pledges.

Greta Thunberg is so right – it’s just blah blah blah, and unfortunately for all of us, blah blah blah won’t solve the climate crisis. – Coco Sta. Maria, Cavite

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