With the recent twin horrors of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng devastating Luzon with their unprecedented amounts of rain in recent history, one can no longer ignore or dismiss climate change as fiction.
It no longer matters whether you live on the hills or on the foot of mountains in the provinces or in the suburbs of the nation’s capital, massive deforestation and irresponsible mining is no different from careless urban planning and “development”. As long as we disregard the environment and continue with our unsustainable lifestyle and national policies, our people would continue to suffer the wrath of a raging planet.
Politicians, especially those who have declared and shown their intentions to run for the Presidency in the coming 2010 national elections, who have joined the efforts of providing any form of relief, rescue and assistance to the victims of Ondoy and Pepeng deserve some credit. However, they must not stop at this simple, band-aid solution – of which they easily turn into early campaigning gimmicks and worse, propagating patronage politics and abusing the people’s tragedy.
Come the official campaign period, talk must not solely focus on one’s track record, popularity and so-called plans/visions of so-called development for the country. Climate change, addressing the environmental problems of the nation and achieving sustainable development must be among their top agendas.
No human force may stop the typhoons from coming, but we can prepare and adapt to the natural world we live in instead of just waiting and praying for the best. Prayers could only do so much, and blaming some omnipotent entity has been of little help either. Government policies must not only strive to achieve equitable distribution of wealth, justice and peace but must also include sustainable development, use and management of our environmental resources.
We’ve been chanting the mantra of ‘new politics’ come 2010, I strongly believe that ‘new politics’ is a ‘greener shade’ of politics.