Buy Rubber Boats! The Earth is Melting!

Typhoon Ondoy was an eye-opener for the Philippines a few years ago. People still talk about it. Secretary Teodoro lost the rubber boats and Manila washed out to sea on a river of plastic bags. Preparations are better these days, the rubber boats have been found and some communities are banning plastic bags, but too many people are still being killed during typhoons. Poor people, mostly. Steps are being taken to relocate some of the most vulnerable squatters. Oddly, it seems that some don’t really want to go.

Yesterday I was reading about how la Nina conditions are posing problems for the Visayas where I live. Reducing rainfall and drying up the rice fields. I can certify that we have had about a week of nice weather. Nice from the standpoint of no rain so it is possible to go out and play badminton or go for a walk or other outdoorsy things. Our mountain range is small. Get three or more weeks of “nice” weather and our water goes dry.
It is a tad unsettling.
Two more unsettling scientific articles popped up on my news roll the other day. Same day. The headlines were a little different but they said, effectively:
  • “Antarctic Ice Melts at Record Levels”
  • “Arctic Ice at Record Lows”
So the earth is losing her polar ice both north and south. The culprits are the normal characters, warm winds and higher water temperatures and holes in the ozone layer.
You know, of course, there is a tipping point. Once the sensitive equilibrium of the earth’s heating and cooling gets tipped too far toward warming, there is no way to get it back. Chaos is sure to follow, massive destruction and shocks to the eco-system, violent changes in weather patterns, starvation and anger, riots and war.
Revelations, perhaps in our time.
I’ve never quite understood the way the skeptics of global warming play their cards. They seem not to understand risk, and how to protect against it.  Or it is in their SHORT TERM advantage to profit and to hell with the kids. They have no conscience.
  • What do you lose if you are right about global warming, it is not an aberration but a natural earth warming cycle, but take steps to prevent it?
  • What do you lose if you are wrong about global warming, and it is an aberration? But you do nothing to stop it?
More and more studies are pointing to the reality of global warming. The Philippines is in a precarious position. It is at the divide of earth’s northern and southern weather systems. The inter-tropical conversion zone bounces across the Philippines like a floppy elastic band that has lost its discipline. This typhoon season it is pushing all the storms north to blast Luzon, or move past and blast Okinawa. The Visayas are dry. If it bounces back south, then Luzon is a desert and we soak.
This is another reason why the nation’s population growth, 50% higher than it ought to be, is dangerous. This is why there should be a sense of urgency to balancing out the nation’s population growth and its ability to employ, feed, shelter, educate and care for that population.
It takes time to slow a huge boat, and we may not have much time left.
With climate volatility comes a greater risk to food and water supplies. I’m sorry. This is not an opinion. It is a statistical certainty. Volatility means unpredictable. And potentially extreme weather. And potentially destructive consequences. It does not mean stable and certain and predictable and benign.
The Philippines needs to get control of its resources. It needs to stop drifting down the risky slope of fate like an oarless, rudderless rubber raft ripping out-of-control down the Cagayan de Oro River, at the mercy of the rocks and currents and illegally cut logs.
Like, get a rudder, baby! Grab a paddle and work it.
Fire up the engines of competency to manage the affairs of the Philippines as if LIVES DEPENDED ON IT.
Enough of this talking and posturing as if God actually listens to prayers. I was upset that the first words out of Chief Justice Sereno’s mouth was that the Constitution asks us to plead to God.
Give me a break, your honor. This humanization of God is a little much for me, as if the Constitution will soon DEMAND we plead to the Big Your Honor in the Sky or get thrown in jail.
God doesn’t answer prayers like Santa Clause in a sled. He set the scene a bazillion years ago, gave us free will, and said “take your best shot.” That’s all.
You can’t pray and make the ice stop melting.
You CAN stop birthing the nation into oblivion and eating the fields bare like locusts with brains filled with some kind of gray green glop.
How about applying some intelligence for a change, in stead of faith? How about exercising some WILL for a change, instead of just lollygagging along as if someone else will do it? As if God will do it.
Like, enough of that faith-bound mentality, that needy “God please help us” beggar mentality. I don’t care if you are Chief Justice or a fisherman or a legislator. Get up and go to work.
God takes care of those who take care of themselves responsibly.
13 Responses to “Buy Rubber Boats! The Earth is Melting!”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it is good time(pun intended)to revive that foolish quotation attributed to the crooked deposed president Joseph Estrada who now wants to challenge the ramrod straight Mayor of Manila: "Weather-weather lang yan."

  2. Anonymous says:

    I've stumbled on a Youtube video a couple of days ago about HAARP and all that suspicion there really have been some ongoing experiments on weather manipulation since decades back and these may have well be causing these disturbances. Most people discredit this as some stupid conspiracy theory but the technology involved is vintage Nikolai Tesla. What do you think?ricelander

  3. Edgar Lores says:

    1. The Australian parliament, now with a Labour Party majority, just recently passed a Carbon Tax Bill in spite disapproval from the leader of the opposition (Liberal Party) who is a global warming sceptic. Just today, that Liberal leader was forced to retract his prophecy of the immediate catastrophe the tax would cause on Day One. He actually made a forecast that Whyalla (a town) would be wiped out from the map. So you see, the Philippines does not have exclusive lock on lollygaggers.2. It is heartening that Filipinos are global warming believers.• Arroyo established an “Office of the Presidential Adviser on Global Warming and Climate Change”.• This was replaced by PNoy with the National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) in November 2011. The plan calls the government to respond to the challenge in the next 18 years.• In August 2010, Senator Legarda filed a Low Carbon Economy Act in August 2010. However, the bill is unapproved, still pending in a committee.3. As a post-postmodernist, I think I would give Sereno some slack. Her decisions on record were mostly dissents against the majority opinion. The lady has courage and she listened to her conscience. It’s interesting, another paradox: the strength of her Reason – that is her will – comes from the Heart, from her faith. Her faith is not contra Reason like the bishops.

  4. If Mr. Estrada is elected as mayor then Manila deserves to laugh its way into the Bay. The joke would be on the voters.

  5. I'm sure there have been lots of experiments on weather manipulation, but I personally doubt they are causing the arctic ice to disappear or the Philippines to turn to desert at one end and flood on the other. I don't think Armstrong's landing on the moon (RIP brave dude) was filmed in Hollywood, and I don't think Hoover shot JFK; MLK's murder, on the other hand, is still out for JoeAm's judgment.

  6. Well, the U.S. is the procrastinator in chief, so, yes, you are right, the Philippines is reasonably responsible in comparison. I studied Ms. Arroyo's initiative and found it was more focused on carbon emissions, or what the Philippines CONTRIBUTES to global warming than on defending the Philippines against the rising tides and extreme climate conditions caused by the big dogs of consumption, which shall be unnamed for reasons of patriotic verve. Building protections is of more serious concern, I think. I've not studied the Aquino initiatives, but hopefully they are more on the defensive/protective side.Re number four, I herein grant CJ Sereno slack on humanistic and logical appeal from yourself. Except for the one remark I did not like, I also came up with a favorable reading that she is a bright, independent, experienced, well-meaning individual. We'll see about executive skills . . .

  7. Edgar Lores says:

    On executive skills narrowly interpreted as "the ability to work with other justices", if I may lift a quote made in June from a reputable source:"Sereno is through and through the ultimate loner, a maverick. With her dissenting opinions, she is almost anti-Judiciary establishment. This is possibly her weakness as a harmonizer. But most certainly it is also her strength, and the nation needs that strength to cut through the outgrowth of vegetation in the way of the Daan Matuwid."

  8. Working with other justices is important, and also figuring out new methods to free the courts of their unending burdens and delays. I'd suggest one small way would be to start granting any annulment that is filed and agreed to by both parties, without hearings. In other words, "stipulated" ending of contracts when both parties want out of it, by mutual consent. Rather than the ridiculous process of having the State insist people remain locked in dysfunctional marriages, and holding relentless hearings to prove the State's autocratic authority. If Kris Aquino can get out of her marriages easily, Jose Cruz should get out, too.

  9. Anonymous says:

    From: Island jim-e (aka: The Cricket)Observation: God is giving us another chance toredeem ourselves, will we?1. Surfs up! Time to sink or swim! Not a matter of if,but when we find Manila Metro buildings 3-5 stories underwater (depending on which authority you find to quote)–now we must roast some corn-popcorn and sit back to seewhat our "Maxamus" and "Agust" leaders will do: Run forthe mainland while they can and leave the mess to "GOD"to sort out, or stand up to the responsibilities and obligations. 2. Our creator (GOD/CHRIST concepts-spirit-force) gave us3-4 points advantage over the great apes (by DNA content)and I suppose it is well past time that we stop MONKEYINGAROUND….and get with the program! GOD gave us a brain-it is up to us to use it or loose it! If indeed we werecreated in our creators image (skin-outerlayer) perhapswe need to consider stuffing it with some good stuff.If we are to be stewards of "HIS" earthly creations-dominion over the animals, fish, birds, environment–then it is past time to tend to business!3. Time is now, the clock is ticking!Otherwise I suppose we will see the powerfuldoing another blame-game and leave everything to GODto sort out the mess.! Kind of reminds me of post-war Germany when the citizens kept saying"if only Hitler knew" as a rationalization andexcuse for the extermination.Sidebar: Hope the natives can learn how to swim,walk on water, grow wings-gills if our governmentdefaults (or screws up in any way)on its sworn dutyto protect, serve and provide for the public safetyand health! Question: Does anyone know where to look to find outhow much land mass would be lost to the islands whena meter to ten meter ocean level becomes the norm(not to include a storm surge factor to be added in)?Chirp!

  10. I read a couple of years ago that there is a business group that looked at Manila to determine vulnerability and concluded about 2 million people would have to be relocated if the water rose x amount. I don't remember the particulars and have no idea if the group is still working or not. Also, I know a survey of flood prone zones has been done, but I don't know how precise or thorough that is. My guess is if you googled "flood zones in the Philippines" you might come up with something.But your point is good. I don't think there is comprehensive planning going on in the Philippines regarding relocations or diking, or even re-zoning vulnerable areas now so people stop building there.I think maybe Manila will become the Venice of the orient and the third floor of all the new high rises going up will become the entry floor.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Your Cassandra scenario is not far-fetched seeing as how most Pinoys are fatalistic about these disasters. Till the next disaster then…DocB

  12. Yep, may your rubber boat spring no leaks. Later . . .

  13. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, I hope our leaders take on this environmental challenge. It seems most of them are masters of denial. At least, the late Secretary Jesse Robredo, I heard, was working on relocating squatters near waterways to an in-city high-rise.DocB

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