Facing An Incovenient Truth on Earth Day

I have always known about Earth Day, but I didn’t know that it’s celebrated every 22 of April and that it’s coordinated by a non-profit organization, founded by the same persons who organized the first Earth Day in 1970. (I was reminded of this event last night when I went for a long-deserved whole-body massage at Soniare, which, incidentally, is offering an Earth Day promo starting today; down to P250 from the usual P400).

I’ve known about An Inconvenient Truth, but I have not watched it. Not yet, at least. I just learned that this documentary, which ought to be distributed to the widest audience for free, is protected under copyright laws. (Well, here’s your chance to watch it for free at SM malls this Sunday, April 22; read the schedule here). You know, of course, the opinions for or against this documentary and its “star”, Al Gore, but know better than not watching the documentary.

Indeed, the environment is, or at least should be, everyone’s concern.

You’ve felt the unusually hot temperature in the past days. Even if you’re living in an aircon bubble, you’ll feel the sting as soon as you go out in the open, even for a moment. I won’t be surprised if one of these days, we’ll read news about deaths attributed to heat stroke, although I fervently hope we won’t. In the same way, I won’t be surprised if the increase in electricity consumption and the adverse effect of the heat on power trasmission facilities would result in brownouts or blackouts. I won’t be surprised if this happens during elections, and it’s really quite amusing to constantly remind participants in our watchers’ education seminars to be ready with their flashlights, under the assumption that brownouts during counting and canvassing is a fact in Philippine elections (this is another story, though).

The sudden spike in temperature is something which our Pag-asa gurus are saying could be attibuted to global warming. You know about global warming and the greenhouse effect. You’ve heard that global warming is becoming irreversible and it’s past the point of no return. Some say that this “alarmist” attitude is counter-productive, although there’s really nothing wrong with bracing for the worst.

You may not know of the laws passed, including the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999, to address the problems on environment, and that there’s a Clean Air Initiative for Asian cities. Yet, we don’t know to what extent these environmental laws are being implemented.

To be sure, there are many things we don’t know. Ignorance is bliss, but it’s not true that what we don’t know won’t hurt us, specially when it comes to our environment. The human race may be doomed. Maybe it’s not too late. Who knows.

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