Today, October 15, 2009, is Blog Action Day 2009. Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that aims to unite all the bloggers of the world and encourage them to post about the same issue on the very same day. This, in the hope to ignite discussions about that particular issue and to inspire people to take action. This year, the topic for Blog Action Day 2009 is Climate Change.
I, Mindanaoan, am joining thousands of other Pinoy bloggers for the Blog Action Day 2009 – Philippines Edition. And we Filipinos of all people know very well just how devastating the effects of climate change are. After our harrowing experience with tropical storms Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) and Pepeng (international name: Parma), we should no longer put this issue of climate change aside.
It’s real. It’s there.
We’ve felt it. We’ve seen it.
However, I know that some Mindanawans out there might think, “well, we hardly have typhoons in Mindanao. We’re luckier here.”
This I say to all of you – climate change isn’t limited to selected parts of the world. It’s not limited to just Luzon or Visayas. It doesn’t just occur in the U.S. or in Botswana. Climate change affects the entire world and even if we’re in an area that’s rarely hit by typhoons, we should never take this for granted. The effects may not be felt now but they will be very soon. Mark my words.
For sure, there are so many Blog Action Day 2009 Pilipinas blog posts out there that try to enumerate the devastating effects of climate change and that try to urge you to ACT and not just react.
In my post today, however, I want to try and share with you all some of my “fears” — some of the worries that I have pertaining to climate change.
For one, I’m scared of famine. According to studies, developing countries, many with average temperatures that are already near or above crop tolerance levels, are predicted to suffer an average 10 to 25 percent decline in agricultural productivity by the 2080s. And yes, this is because of climate change.
I’m worried about large-scale migrations and massive starvation. Because of climate change, agricultural production may decrease further and this means that more and more people will go hungry. Who wants this?
I have thankfully not been attacked by dengue (knock on wood) but can you imagine this — spread of dengue fever because of climate change! Scientists predict warmer temperatures will allow mosquitoes carrying Dengue Fever to travel outside the tropics. Remember, there is NO vaccine yet for dengue.
Smoking may be banned in Davao City but experts say that because of climate change, people may die of smog! No matter how many city ordinances will be passed, smog will be there to stay and Canadian doctors say smog-related deaths may rise by 80 percent over the next 20 years. Scary!
There will also be more hurricanes, more floods, more fires (!) because of climate change. We may have to say goodbye to lakes (goodbye Lake Apo and Lake Sebu!), to precious mangrove trees (just like the ones found at Matina Aplaya) and to glaciers! (To see a real, huge glacier is part of my bucket list) We may need to say goodbye to tarsiers, koala bears, tamaraws, Philippine eagles and Philippine deers. Goodbye to White Island in Camiguin and to the rainforests in Mindanao. Goodbye to beautiful Samal beaches and amazing marine creatures.
Just the thought makes me cringe. Climate change is a scary thought.
So Pilipinas – what do we need to do? When will we do it?
I bet you know the answer.