I totally agree with Mr. Neric Acosta’s article below, that the climate is truly crazy and damaging. Fatalities are increasing in millions around the world. 😦 And, it’s a direct consequence of a long time neglect. Mr. Acosta couldn’t have said it better that “our work is patently cut out for us citizens of the earth. We delay and dilly-dally at our own peril.” Nobody can solve it alone, it should be a concerted effort of EVERYONE. From citizens to business owners to government leaders.  We should all be good stewards.  May it be as simple as conserving energy, or recycling, or implementing policies, or creating greener innovations.  It should be acted upon NOW, else, fatalities will increase.  I just hope and pray we are not next.

Brazil 2010-2011
Australia 2010-2011
USA 2005 (Katrina)

 

Pakistan 2010

Philippines 2009

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CLIMATE CRAZY by Dr. Neric Acosta

by Neric Acosta on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 8:05am

ASTUDENT IN a recent climate change forum remarked, “The earth has gone berserk!” Another asked rather perplexedly, “Are we being punished by God?” Such are common and plaintive musings of those who wonder with a strange sense of foreboding and helplessness what all the catastrophic events of the last several weeks mean.

Floods of unprecedented magnitude leave swathes of Australian territory, including its third largest city Brisbane, vastly inundated for weeks. Months earlier, floods in Pakistan destroy villages and regions larger than Western Europe. The same scenes come out of calamities in China, Sri Lanka-and strangely, even in the flooding of the desert city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia!

2010 was declared the hottest year on record and forest fires raged from Moscow to Athens to California. Meteorology explains that the warming of the poles causes cold air to rise, setting off more precipitation and greater rainfall, severe winter storms and freak blizzards earlier or later than usual.

The earth has perhaps gone berserk, indeed, even considering that nature has had perpetual cycles of hot and cold, wet and dry weather changes throughout human history. And while some circles insist climate change is a hoax and that the science surrounding it is inconclusive, there is no denying that more and more places on this planet are increasingly vulnerable to calamitous climactic occurrences.

The country itself, of archipelagic make-up, is battered by over 20 typhoons a year, several of which, like Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, are characterized by growing ferocity and destructive power. The eroded hillsides and barren mountains, long stripped of vital forest cover, become frightening geo-hazard zones, prone to deadly landslides and fatal flashfloods. The tableaus of displaced communities and inundated cities in the Caraga region, known as the country’s “timber capital,” and in Eastern Visayas and the Bicol region speak of woe and despair-and deepening poverty. The stark irony is that the regions most endowed with natural and mineral resources are those with the highest poverty indicators in the country. And these regions, because of having relied almost exclusively, if perilously, on extractive industries like logging and mining for their local economies, exacerbate their vulnerability to the impacts of natural disasters.

Something ostensibly does not make sense when a patch of God’ good earth, a land so rich in biodiversity, finds itself facing an unsustainable future because the very ecosystems that should abundantly give us life and livelihood are gravely threatened or depleted. Why, pray tell, should there be poisoned rivers in Mindanao, or why should hunger stalk its towns and hinterland? This is, after all, the long-heralded food basket of the Philippines, that could well feed its millions and far more.

Instead, we have intermittent corn and rice shortages-and an ever-expanding pool of undernourished children in Mindanao and the rest of the country. And when their parents’ marginal or traditional farming ways are imperiled by periods of El NiÒo drought or small-scale fishing affected by dwindling fisheries brought about by coral bleaching and warming ocean temperatures, we know what is said of a new phenomenon of “climate refugees.” Not simply refugees displaced by war or conflict, but hordes of poor farmers and fisherfolk dislocated by the ravages of climate.

Beyond the arguments for adaptation, which was a breakthrough in itself in the recently-concluded climate change conference of parties in Cancun, Mexico, a new, serious global rethink is imperative. What is at stake is survival and life itself, but solutions towards sustainable development can only be hinged on a consciousness that sees the emergent trends in the ecology and economy of the planet and acts from those reference points.

As to the bewildered student’s question itself, “Are we being punished?,” we can possibly say that images of divine wrath and cosmic retribution ought not be the way to cause this ecological rethink, as it were. If anything, the climatic imbalances should engender a reawakening of our intrinsic connectedness to the elements and rhythms of nature.

In physics we learn that for every action there is a reaction, a dynamic of clear cause and corresponding effect. We do something to upset a delicate balance, a universe of energies seeks to reorder and restore it. We tear down ecosystems and foul up the atmosphere, we pay a high environmental price with nature striking back. We put a higher premium on economic value at the expense of vital life-support systems like clean water and clean air, we reap the non-linear and exponential repercussions of ecological damage.

Our work is patently cut out for us citizens of the earth. We delay and dilly-dally at our own peril. Across sectors-infrastructure, investments, insurance (risk management) and institutions-there must be a defined, common thread of climate resilient policy thinking and action. This is needed not only for more effective adaptation to a “planet going berserk”-but also for the imperative of seeking a way to a greener, truly sustainable future.

http://www.manilatimes.net/index.php/opinion/39250-climate-crazy

 

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