Every year, our country encounters several typhoons, and in recent years, we have observed and experienced extreme tropical storms and floods. Aside from this, we have seen in the news the loss of human lives and properties brought about by these weather disturbances. I wonder why we don’t learn from this, and develop solutions to prevent such losses.
How does climate change affect our country? The Philippines is highly at risk of the impacts of climate change, such as sea level rise, intensification and frequency of extreme weather events, rising temperatures and extreme rainfall. Knowing these things, are we still in denial of climate change, or do we need to take action to prevent its effects on the environment? What should be our attitude towards it?
We have reached a tipping point where what we do now will affect our planet and reverse the tremendous consequences of global warming. What measures can we take to protect Mother Earth so the next generation can enjoy it? As inhabitants of our planet, we cannot allow the forces of climate change in our lives and catastrophe to persist. We have suffered enough; if we don’t do something about it and take radical action, the next generations will be harmed.
Rather than be overwhelmed, let’s do something and start today. All of us can make a big difference. As an educator and an advocate of sustainability, I cannot simply sit and not do anything. And if you are a parent, I am sure you feel the same way. A change in our behaviors can make a difference in helping protect our environment. Some simple ways are—minimizing the use of plastics and bringing our own water bottles when going out. If possible, upcycle so as not to add to the landfills. Segregate our trash into biodegradable and recyclable. I believe that WE NEED TO TAKE ACTION—that action will make us become ecologically adept and shape our environmental future.
In the onslaught of typhoon Karding (international name Noru), five rescuers from Bulacan died while saving others. We honor their heroism and offer our sincerest sympathies to their family. We should not allow more human lives to be at risk in the future. So, what can we do as citizens? As Filipinos, we should also do everything in our power to put pressure on the government to prevent the construction of the Kaliwa Dam Project, which will damage the biodiversity of the Sierra Madre Mountain and leave enduring destruction to our environment. I also appeal to our government to be serious about going after illegal loggers and encourage every citizen to participate in a tree-planting program.
We must act, and we must care. And we can do something. Acting gives us the power to find the solution because there is no planet B.
About the Author
Dr. Alma Maria Jennifer Gutierrez was given the Southeast Asian Network of Ergonomics Societies Educator Award in 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. She is a full professor of the Industrial Engineering Department at De La Salle University and an ASEAN engineer. She is the editor-in-chief of the Environment, Social and Governance Ascent Website and Online Repository. She he has held leadership positions in the University as the Department Chairperson. She is engaged in ergonomics consultancy on Safety Productivity Enhancement through the Ergonomics Development program for the government and the private sector. She can be reached at [email protected].
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the position of De La Salle University, its faculty, and its administrators.