Back in college, I read Al Gore’s book, “Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit” and I was amazed and inspired by how passionate he was about promoting climate change awareness. Today, I had the opportunity to witness his presentation during the 31st Climate Reality Leadership Corps training held in Manila.
It was sad to once again be confronted by the realities of climate change. Why did we allow our planet to be in its current state? Global warming, melting ice caps, rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions, typhoons, droughts. The presentation which included video clips of raging floods, disintegrating glaciers, forest fires, and people crying as they talk about lost lives and properties due to natural disasters was heartbreaking. What’s worst, as Pope Francis, in his Encyclical letter, states, the gravest effect of all attacks on the environment are suffered by the poorest.
Global systems vulnerable to climate are food supply, water, health, and infrastructure. Al Gore further stressed that there is a risk of food security in the Philippines because of climate change.
I know Al Gore didn’t want me to feel depressed but this is the inconvenient truth we oh, so try to ignore. It is real. It is urgent. But it is also solvable. One of the solutions Gore focused on is shifting from coal to renewable source of energy. Incidentally, the solar power company I’m working for, SolarPacific, would be inaugurating its first solar farm in Misamis Oriental this week so I’m happy that somehow we are contributing to the solution.
And speaking of solutions, I remember how environmental advocates in Baguio, headed by one of my mentors, Michael Bengwayan, an environmental activist, are organizing a march for the trees on March 21 celebrating the International Day of Forest.
There are so many initiatives being done to stop climate change. The 650 strong participants of the Climate Reality Project, have been pitching in and have committed to continue contributing to the solution.
Al Gore said it best, “The will to act is in itself a renewable resource.” May we continue harnessing this resource.