These “ber” months have been busy months for Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental. We had the Buglasan, Unigames, CVRAA, and now, Dumaguetenos are preparing for the Nov. 24 Charter Day and Fiesta celebration. And all these are happening just one month before December!
But before we get carried away by the so many activities that are expected to unfold, or that are currently unfolding, there’s a week that we have to mark with great importance and concern. Nov. 19-24 is Climate Change Week.
Now you may ask, what’s so important about Climate Change? One popular media personality from Manila was chastised by environmentalists while in Dumaguete after she commented after a Climate Change presentation (she was the next speaker) that the Climate Change talk was like a sleeping pill for her audience.
Well, Climate Change may be a sleeping pill for those who are not interested in this topic. But the tragedy is that there’s no escaping it. We are all feeling the effects of Climate Change one way or the other.
Stronger rain, extreme weather, higher temperature, sea level rise. These are among the effects of Climate Change that directly impact all of us as residents of Negros Oriental. Higher temperature will mean lesser rainfall, longer rains due to La Nina could bring in the dreaded dengue-carrying mosquito. Sea level rise may take much longer than our lifetimes, but it does make us ponder what kind of life our grandchildren could have if they someday would have to squeeze themselves into the few mountains that we have.
There are two ways of fighting Climate Change. One is through mitigation. This means cutting down on harmful practices that speed up Climate Change. These are activities like burning garbage, using freon, unnecessary use of fossil fuels, and deforestation.
The other way of fighting Climate Change is through adaptation. If we live in hazardous areas, we must take steps to ensure that our homes are going to withstand the force of a typhoon or flood. We have to plant more trees to produce more oxygen and act as a carbon sink for the CO2 that we collectively contribute to our environment.
Other adaptation measures are saving on water by collecting precious rainwater and using it to water our plants or to flush our toilets. You might also want to cool your house by repainting your roof white, instead of the dark colors which only attract heat.
The important lesson here is that all of us have a solution to Climate Change in our hands. Little things could go a long way towards making that shift for the environment, and taking action now could spell survival.