by Jeremiah Serrano
Natural calamities. What used to be a rare occurrence is now becoming more and more common as time passes by as result of climate change. We fear that it is coming yet what we don’t realize is that we were the ones who created the very thing we fear. After many years of abusing the environment, we are finally seeing the grave consequences of our actions.
According to the Milankovitch theory, climate change is said to be a gradual process that may take as long as 100,000 years. However, recent events suggest that the process may be shorter than we thought. Many of the contributing factors that affect climate change are due to human manipulation. I have learned that even I am guilty of contributing to the progress of climate change. Everyday, humans burn fossil fuel, convert land areas into cities and cuts thousands and thousands of trees all of which contribute to the accumulation of carbon dioxide which is responsible for the greenhouse effect which is responsible for global warming. In turn, as the Earth warms up, the polar ice caps are beginning to melt away and thus increasing the sea levels. Hence, as a country surrounded by water, the Philippines is in danger of losing a large amount of land area when the sea levels rise. Various cities that are located in the coastline are at risk of being flooded with seawater and worse some may be completely submerged leaving many of our countrymen homeless. However, not only those in close proximity of the sea are in danger, those who are near freshwater sources are also in danger of being flooded.
Living in the area of Muntinlupa may sound safe because its location is far from the coastline. However, Muntinlupa is bordered by Laguna de Bay to the east and as a result, is prone to the effects that the rising water levels will bring to the country. According to the predictions, when the water levels go up to its maximum of 6 meters, the area near Laguna de Bay will be submerged in water and will be impassable. My village is not far from this area and as such, I am greatly concerned of what the future will bring especially since one of the major thoroughfares is included in the area that will be submerged in water. This would mean that when that time comes, people from the south would no longer be able to go north and vice versa through the major thoroughfare that is South Luzon Expressway. Scarcity of resources and the fall of the livelihood of everyone in the south will follow as soon as this happens. Knowing this, I have realized that climate change does not only affect one aspect of my life but affects my life as a whole. The moment that all of the predictions come true, the lives of everyone in the planet will change. Now more than ever we need to at least try to slow down the progress of climate change. Certain groups and projects aim to combat the threat of climate change. There are groups that initiate the planting of trees in areas that are victims of deforestation. In the future, these trees will help alleviate the floods and the spread of polluted air in the metro. In extension, these groups are also against the excessive cutting of trees, which would eventually lead to deforestation. With regards to change of lifestyle, I have realized that there are so many ways in which I can live a normal life without putting the environment in danger. Supporting the electric power with a natural source is one way to save the environment. Using solar panels to power the electric appliance will not only help the environment it is also financially advisable. Switching from normal fuel to unleaded will also reduce toxic emissions coming from the vehicles that we drive.
Along with the sinking reality that climate change is upon us, I have realized that as we were able have to power to speed up the process of climate change, we also have the power to stop it. If only all of us were to realize the gravity of the situation, we can all take little steps towards slowing down the process. It may seem impossible to defy the laws of nature but seeing as what we can do as race, I believe we can still do something about it. Changing the way we live is the only way for us to keep living and this is something we all have to do. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, for sometimes, all it takes is just one person to tip the scale and make all the difference in the world.