The worst is yet to come

A study concluded that ‘when plastic is exposed to direct sunlight, it can react to produce the harmful greenhouse gasses methane and ethylene.

The death toll and ravage in Maguindanao and other parts of the Muslim Autonomous Region inflicted by severe tropical storm “Paeng” (it is not even categorized as a super typhoon) were on the scale of severity as the one wreaked by super cyclones “Yolanda” and “Odette” in recent past.

This was an observation by meteorological pundits. But do you think we have seen the worst? Not, if we are to believe the results of studies conducted based on data analysis and scientific investigation. In fact, environmentalists warned that if man continues to ignore the red flags and the government pays lip service to its commitment to take aggressive action to reverse the trend, more severe disaster will ensue.

As correctly pointed out by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., the despoilation of the forest in a nearby mountain caused mudslides and floods that killed several residents in the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat. Meaning, regulatory agencies like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources have been remiss in protecting the forest from illegal logging and deforestation.

But more profoundly, it indicates that man has nobody to blame but himself. His callousness and greed for income without regard to its dire consequences drove him to ignore the warning about the catastrophic effects of illegal logging. That man has evaded the penalty for the forest rape and deserves investigation and meting out the appropriate penalty. This factor plus the topography of the area is a swathe of lowland and swampy added to the death of more than 50 residents of Maguindanao which the President observed as too much for mere flooding.

Against this backdrop, starting next week, the 27th United Nations annual meeting on climate COP27 (Conference of Parties) will take place at the tourist coastal city of Sharm al Shiek in Egypt. The heads of state and governments of more than 200 countries, prominent civic leaders and environmentalists are expected to attend. They will meet on 6-18 November to assess their fight against carbon emissions to protect planet earth. In an advisory, COP27 “will focus on three main areas, reducing emissions, helping countries to prepare and deal with climate change and securing technical support and funding for developing countries for climate activities.”

Countries have been alarmed by reports of studies conducted by the United Nations Framework for Climate Change and the World Meteorological Organization “pointing to an accelerating climate disaster, as their conclusion shows the world was falling drastically short of its goal to limit global warming.”

The UNFCC report likewise urges governments to comply with their commitment under the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce dramatically the greenhouse gas and carbon emissions. It is an irony that the great polluters of the world like countries in the West and Europe are not showing an avid interest in this global fight to save Mother Earth. They should be on the frontline in this struggle after enriching themselves out of the operation of their industries which are the main source of waste and carbon emissions. Countries with limited resources and the most vulnerable to environmental disasters are left to fend for themselves.

The efforts of governments and the United Nation to save mother earth is bound to fail if people will not observe discipline by following modes that can reduce global warming. We all should complement the works of governments.

How can one contribute to the campaign for mitigation and prevention of the destructive effect of global warming? As simple as avoiding the use of plastic bags for one’s grocery items will do the work.

Plastic is a nonbiodegradable substance that aggravates the crisis. A study on the substance concluded that “when plastic is exposed to direct sunlight, it can react to produce the harmful greenhouse gasses methane and ethylene.”

If we ignore our moral obligation, the next generation will point an accusing finger at us, saying we have not done our task of saving them.

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