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Kamayan para sa Kalikasan

219th

monthly

session

 J O U R N A L

 J O U R N A L

    THE WEBSITE VERSION  

    POST YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS AT THE BOTTOM

75th Issue.

May 2008

 
     

A little over a century ago in Human History, a cluster of smokestacks with thick smoke billowing into the sky was seen to portray progress. Now, we know better: all that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, along with pollutive particles, would bring our atmosphere perilously close to the brink of its finite carrying capacity, bringing life on this planet, including ours, to the real danger of imminent extinction. Can humanity survive?

April Forum Echoes 

Pateros cries ‘Foul!’
over dev’t plans

PATEROS, the smallest component and only re- maining municipality in Met- ro Manila, has been a clear victim of callous develop- ment projects, sacrificing its people’s welfare for the sake of bigger revenue generating localities in the national capi- tal region.
    With the spreading tides of urbanization and industriali- zation since the start of the 1970s, the country’s ‘Balut Capital’ has lost much of its territory and its lakeshore.

    

Full Story 

Urgent Need: Drastic Cut in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

‘Low-Carbon Economy’: Do we

have the Will Power to Survive?

‘LOW-CARB’ economy may bring to mind a prescribed diet that is low in carbohydrate in order to prevent or remove pot bellies. Going on such a diet would require a very strong character and will power. Many are called to start but few have firmly chosen to succeed. It is fortunate that failure in such an endeavor does not carry the capital punishment.

     But the current call for the world-wide installation of low-carbon economies is so urgent and consequential that failure to heed it, and comply with it immediately, means meting the death penalty on Humankind and all other known life forms.

Full Story  

OTHER SECTIONS:

EDITORIAL: 

BOXED FEATURE:

Low-Carbon Economy by Green Communities

Green Lifestyle, Greenhouse Gases, WED


FOOTER QUOTE:

         “Addiction is a terrible thing. It consumes and controls us, makes us deny important truths and blinds us to the consequences of our actions. Our world is in the grip of a dangerous carbon habit..”

          ----BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General, United Nations. Message for the World Environment Day, June 5, 2008.

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    "Vote for Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, Tubbataha Reef, & Chocolate Hills to be part of the New 7 Wonders of Nature" --SALIKA  (click here)


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A little over a century ago in Human History, a cluster of smokestacks with thick smoke billowing into the sky was seen to portray progress. Now, we know better: all that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, along with pollutive particles, would bring our atmosphere perilously close to the brink of its finite carrying capacity, bringing life on this planet, including ours, to the real danger of imminent extinction. Can humanity survive? Do we deserve to? Of course, we do! Can we?

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  EDITORIALS     

Low-Carbon Economy by Green Communities

THE ECONOMIC activities of mankind have produced carbon dioxide in quantities that pose peril to life on planet earth. This peril comes from an excess of greenhouse gases that are essential in keeping the proper temperature of the earth. Without the protective shield provided by greenhouse gases, the temperature would be extremely cold, making earth uninhabitable. But an excess in greenhouse gases traps more heat than necessary or even “allowable” for life to thrive, which is apparently leading to the other extreme, to a point that is lethal.

    The unprecedented increase in the emission of carbon dioxide that started in the industrial age has become more rapid in recent decades. As carbon dioxide is the second largest component of greenhouse gases, after water vapor, the rapid increase of carbon has caused the volume of greenhouse gases to exceed what is normal. We have not yet reached the lethal point. But we are undoubtedly already reaping the consequences of global warming, both the predicted and the unknown. Global warming has triggered climate change and disturbed the balance of the ecosystem.

    Whether balance can be restored – if the volume of carbon emission is reduced – is but a hope. Not least because nations may not be able to achieve the needed reduction within the time frame set by scientists. But it is a hope we cannot afford to squander once again.

    In the Philippines, can we come up with a collective resolve to henceforth pursue a low-carbon economy? Can Filipinos be united on this matter?

    We can be sure there will be two camps: the greedy will stubbornly continue to justify coal-powered plants and incinerators, fossil fuel dependence, chemical fertilizers and logging, because of the huge profits and kickbacks. That being the case, we, who are on the other camp, having chosen to be on the side of the common good, must pursue, double-time, the shift to renewable energy, biofuels, and organic farming, and seriously undertake reforestation. And we need to get the masses and communities to be on the side of wisdom and the common good, acting in solidarity until we can run the merchants of death to near bankruptcy.

    While we are working on generating the alternatives, we must effectively and rapidly reduce our carbon emissions. We already have the technologies for the necessary alternatives and for reducing such emissions. Let us use, promote and invest in these technologies.

    In our effort to reduce carbon emission from our factories, farms and transport, and work at the transition to a low-carbon economy, should we not engage as allies and partners nature’s oxygen factories, the trees and forests? Excess carbon in the air are drawn into photosynthesis are converted into oxygen.

    But this assumes we have enough trees, we protect what remains of our forests and go into intensive planting of rapidly growing trees. We cannot be as effective in reducing greenhouse gases if we have a deficit in trees, a shortfall in carbon–conversion-into-oxygen.

    Accumulation of carbon will always continue to be a threat. Better to have an excess in oxygen. So perhaps there should not only be carbon credits (a reward or a swap for reducing carbon emission) but similarly there should be credit for contributing to oxygen surplus.

    All these imply that we mobilize our communities for concerted action... on green energy, green fuel, green industries, green agri-business, massive reforestation and urban greening. And ultimately, it will take green families and green communities to pursue and ensure a low-carbon economy.

 

      (A.C.) TOP

  FORUM FOCUS         

Urgent Need: Drastic Cut in Carbon Dioxide Emissions

‘Low-Carbon Economy’: Do we

have the Will Power to Survive?

‘LOW-CARB’ economy may bring to mind a prescribed diet that is low in carbohydrate in order to prevent or remove pot bellies. Going on such a diet would require a very strong character and will power. Many are called to start but few have firmly chosen to succeed. It is fortunate that failure in such an endeavor does not carry the capital punishment.

     But the current call for the world-wide installation of low-carbon economies is so urgent and consequential that failure to heed it, and comply with it immediately, means meting the death penalty on Humankind and all other known life forms.

    The question we now have to resolve with firm resolve, collectively and individually, is “can the human race can muster enough will power to trade convenient lifesyles and profit for the sake of survival of life on Earth.” The U.S. government went on record admitting that it refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol for mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases emissions because signing that would affect the lifestyles in super-polluting America. U.S. citizens have expressed an amount of embarrassment over this and strong opposition to the policy.

    Can the nations of the world, especially those who emit the largest volumes of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, muster enough will power and wisdom to forgo the super-profits and amenities afforded by earth-heating systems of the over-glamorized modernity?

    The worldwide theme of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for the commemoration of the World Environment Day this year is “Kick the CO2 Habit! Towards a Low-Carbon Economy.” Aware of the gravity already reached by the Global Warming problem and the role played in this by excessive carbon dioxide emissions in the last full century, especially in the last few decades, and upon the request of the World Environment Day-Philippines (WED-Phils.) Network, the organizers of the monthly Kamayan para sa Kalikasan environmental forum chose this theme as our topic for the forum’s session on May 16, the last Kamayan Forum session before June 5, the exact date of WED every year.

    Invited to join the panel of resource persons are Director Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy, Joy Goco of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Yeb Sano of the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and representatives from the Phil. Network for Climate Change (PNCC), the National Economic Protectionism Association (NEPA), and the WED-Phils. network.

    Questions relating this worldwide theme to Philippine realities have been posted at the kamayanforum e-mail list group as well as in the website http://kamayanforum.8m.net before the scheduled face-to-face forum session this Friday. As we prepared this issue of Kamayan Forum Journal, the e-group members were only beginning to post some responses.

    Kamayan para sa Kalikasan is an 18-year-old monthly forum held at the Kamayan Restaurant along EDSA (near Ortigas Ave.), Mandaluyong City, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Friday of every month, thru free lunch served by Kamayan-EDSA, its full sponsor since March 1990.

TOP 

 

  FORUM ECHOES           

Echoes From April Forum  

 

Pateros cries 'Foul!' over development plans

PATEROS, the smallest component and only remaining municipality in Metro Manila, has been a clear victim of callous development projects, sacrificing its people’s welfare for the sake of bigger revenue generating localities in the national capital region.

    With the spreading tides of urbanization and industrialization since the start of the 1970s, the country’s ‘Balut Capital’ has lost much of its territory and its healthy lakeshore to encroachments from its more prosperous neighbors and to the national policy-makers’ modernization programs. Pateros is now even forced to ‘import’ its balut from other localities.

    The town’s youthful new mayor, Jaime C. Medina, told participants in last month’s Kamayan para sa Kalikasan session on April 18 that big discrepancies in the respective budgets of his LGU and those of the surrounding cities are now causing big disadvantages for Pateros. Dr. Ernesto R. Gonzales, executive vice president of the newly-organized Pateros River Basin Organization (PatRiBOrg), presented the economic, environmental and even social decay of his hometown, including the facts presented in last month’s issue of the Kamayan Forum Journal (available in ).

    He also revealed that the municipal government will soon demand an investigation about the missing funds that the LGU recently found about that were earmarked for Pateros but never got to them. Gonzales said the diking effect of the C-6 circumferential road construction was designed to protect Manila from flooding from the lake but the designers neglected to put waterways for water from Pateros River Basin to empty into the lake.

    Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) General Manager Edgar Manda was invited to be part of the panel but chose other priorities. (We just got word days ago from his office expressing his interest to come to the May 16 forum session. We clarified that he would be much welcome to be a participant and to talk on low-carbon economy, the scheduled topic for May.)

 

 

TOP 

   BOXED FEATURE          

Green Lifestyle, Greenhouse Gases & WED


 

What We ALL Can Do to Have a Low-Carbon Lifestyle

A Few Steps To Going ‘Carbon-Neutral’

          COAL POWER?                             
                    Think about renewables.

         
ARE YOU GOING TO BED?
                    Don’t leave your electronics on ‘stand by.’ Switch them off!

         
WHAT TEMPERATURE DO YOU WASH YOUR CLOTHES AT?
                    Set your washing machine at 30oC

         
REGULAR LIGHT BULB?
                    Choose an energy-saving bulb.

         
HOW DO YOU TRAVEL? BY CAR?
                    Use Public Transport or Bicycle.

Source: United Nations Environment Programme


What are Greenhouse Gases?

Greenhouse gases are the gases present in the atmosphere which reduce the loss of heat into space and therefore contribute to global temperatures through the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases are essential to maintaining the temperature of The Earth; without them the planet would be so cold as to be uninhabitable. However, an excess of greenhouse gases can raise the temperature of a planet to lethal levels, as on Venus where the 96.5% carbon dioxide (CO2) atmosphere results in surface temperatures of about 467 °C (872 °F). On earth, the term greenhouse gas is applied to, in order of relative abundance: water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and CFCs. Greenhouse gases are produced by many natural and industrial processes, which currently result in CO2 levels of 380 ppmv in the atmosphere. Based on ice-core samples and records (see graphs) current levels of CO2 are approximately 100 ppmv higher than during immediately pre-industrial times, when direct human influence was negligible.
 



    World Environment Day (WED) was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972. WED is hosted every year by a different city and commemorated with an international exposition through the week of June 5. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also created in 1972, uses WED to stimulate awareness of the environment and enhance political attention and public action. "Stockholm was without doubt the landmark event in the growth of international environmentalism," writes John McCormick in the book Reclaiming Paradise. "It was the first occasion on which the political, social and economic problems of the global environment were discussed at an intergovernmental forum with a view to actually taking corrective action." The host for World Environment Day 2008 will be New Zealand, with the main international celebrations scheduled for Wellington. The slogan for 2008 is "CO2, Kick the Habit! Towards a Low Carbon Economy." New Zealand was one of the first countries to pledge to achieve carbon neutrality, and will also focus on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases. For more information on WED 2008 worldwide, click here.

    WED in the Philippines. The network for annual commemoration was founded in 2000. It has had the following cities as national sites: Quezon City (2001 & 2002), Puerto Princesa (2003), Cagayan de Oro (2004), Baguio (2005), Tagbilaran (2006) and Davao (2007). It returns to Puerto Princesa this year. Batangas City is next in line, for WED-Philippines 2009. For more information on WED commemorations in the Philippines, click here.

 

TOP 

  BACKPAGE.AD         

 

To visit  the site to vote, click here.

Please also vote for:

Chocolate Hills - Philippines, Asia,

Tubbataha Reef - Philippines, Asia

and the lowest placers (as of May 5, 2008):

Ali Sadr Cave - Iran, Asia,

Baedku Mountain - China/Korea, Asia,

Jiuzhaigou National Park Mountain Reserve - China, Asia,

Lake Saiful Maluk - Pakistan, Asia,

Mariana Trench, Submarine Trench - United States, Asia.

Thanks! 

--- SALIKA

(SANIB-LAKAS NG INANG KALIKASAN)

 

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All are invited. to the  Kamayan para sa Kalikasan Environmental Forum held regularly, since March 1990, on the 3rd Friday every month, 10:30am-2pm at the Kamayan Restaurant along EDSA, Mandaluyong City. It is convened jointly by the Communicators’ League for Environmental Action and Restoration (CLEAR) and Sanib-Lakas ng Inang Kalikasan (SALIKA), fully sponsored by Kamayan.  

 
   

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