Boiled alive


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SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — The heat wave here is rising. As I started putting my thoughts together Tuesday about climate change, the temperature was 42 degrees C.

With the hot air engulfing the body uncomfortably, a Filipina workmate Rowie A cried to his circle of friends on Facebook, “Send me to the Philippines.” She is back here in Sydney after taking a vacation in Pampanga for a couple of weeks. A friend invited her to try Jeddah for a change, where temperature 45 degrees C. Even hotter in Dubai, echoed another FB friend.

DJ, the daughter of a family friend who grew up here in Sydney is now on a vacation in Dumaguete. She posted a thread on FB for her parents. She is enjoying the cold weather just like it was in Sydney in her teen years.

What a picture in contrast to my family experience. Back in 1999, we took a Qantas flight from Manila to Sydney on light clothings but had to grab our jackets walking to the freezing cold of Sydney.

Now my son Rex wants to buy an aircon unit. He cried, “Mura man ta ug maluto.” Arnie chirped in, “Lupig pay Pilipinas”, while a niece living in Mt. Druitt who went outside her house to escape from an oven-like atmosphere inside agitated, “Haskang inita diri sa gawas mura ta ug mapaig.”

I was suck into the commotion of the moment as I turned green with envy when a Silliman buddy Oca E (via an FB chat) told me, “It’s freezing cold here in Toronto.”

A climate change in different time zones? Apparently, by dint of an empirical evidence. “Is it global warming and the continued degradation of our only environment that has nurtured and sustained us?” mused my DYSR mate “Charlie Brown”.

Obviously, it is part of the answer to an inconvenient truth. To go logical from empirical, we change channel. We take a peek on Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth.

According to Wikipedia, the documentary has been credited for raising the international public awareness on climate change, and re-energizing the environmental movement.

Gore warns our wayward carbon footprints and climate change pose dangers — the dilemma of being vise-gripped between a global warming or ice age.

With carbon dioxide blanketing the Earth’s atmosphere, a greenhouse effect is created whereby solar heat is reflected back to the Earth’s surface with greater intensity by the dome-like structure of greenhouse gases. Almost similar to an oven-like space.

The documentary argues that global warming can be reversed by releasing less CO2 and planting more vegetation to consume existing CO2. Gore concludes: “Each one of us is a cause of global warming, but each one of us can make choices to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive…to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero. The solutions are in our hands…the will to act is a renewable source.”

One clear and definite goal is to plant trees. Pursuing it may turn out to be a defining moment for the Oriental Negrenses.

This is an opportunity for the Gen X Governor to take the lead in a massive drive to grow trees on the Province’s bald-headed mountains.

According to one website I surfed on the Internet, Negor’s forest cover is now down to five percent from 95 percent in 1918. Although the accuracy may be debatable, nevertheless it presents a general picture of the worsening state of our forest cover which 10 years ago (when I was still in Dumaguete) was already down to the 10 percent level.

Gender Bender columnist Cecilia Hofmann has a vivid poetic imagery. She describes the remaining forests as mere dots of green in 1987 and 1998, compared to the sweep of green in 1875. From 17 million hectares of forest cover in the early 1930’s down to 4.7 million hectares in 2010, she laments; even as she embraces the rebirth of the Liptong Woodlands in Valencia through the dreams of Rene Vendiola and Pol Carino.

Viewed from here in Sydney via reading the Dumaguete MetroPost, the Negor constituents are already well aware of of the environmental concerns. For two years now, the Bio Mechanical Goat is ingesting organic waste materials to turn it into organic fertilizer.

This is a joint project of the Manjuyod municipality and Foundation University as initiated by former Gov. Petit Baldado and FU President Mira Sinco.

During its formal launching ceremony, which I happened to attend, the late Gov. Tuting Perdices planned to replicate the BMG in the barangays Province-wide, perchance as Petit envisioned to make Negor the Region 7 source of organic fertilizers.

Learning centers are going green as well. The Bright Lights Learning Center in Siaton is teaching school children early on issues that matter in life, such as climate change.

Gore had interlaced his Inconvenient Truth with a well- known anecdote about a boiling frog along with majestic photos of the planet Earth taken from the Apollo missions. The anecdote tells of a frog gradually being boiled alive. The scenario frames that if a frog is placed in a boiling water, it will jump out; but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not sense the danger and will just be cooked to death. He underscores, “It is important to rescue the frog.”

Bad moon rising! End of the World in 2012? If the physical threat and obliteration do not move us into action, then let me try the sublime persuasion with poets as environmentalists.

Let me present to you two poets, Joyce Kilmer and Smile Henry. Of Trees and Tree. Both poets beheld the tree with a sense of wonder. Kilmer mused, “I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree…Poems are made by fools like me/But only God can make a tree.” Henry contemplated, “Majestic, tall, strong Powerful, life giving, aged Food, seeds, hope…Am I a tree?…I want to be a tree. Food, seeds, hope/A tree, I am a tree.

Unaware, we are in danger of being slowly boiled alive by global warming which may as ill derail planet Earth (Gaia) away from her orbital majesty.

Save the frog, we must. Plant trees, we must. The frog is us. The tree is us, especially when planted by the river for our roots to soak well into the Living Water.

(Back to MetroPost HOME PAGE)

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