Filipinos join international March for Science

Climate change activists join the global March for Science, April 22. (Photo by Mark Ambay III)
Climate change activists join the global March for Science, April 22. (Photo by Mark Ambay III)

“Trump, as president of the number one GHG emitter, is defending the corporate interests of dirty corporations.”

By RONALYN V. OLEA
Bulatlat

MANILA — Asserting that climate change is real, environmentalists, scientists and other sectors joined the global movement March for Science.

More than 200 members of different organizations including the Climate Change Network for Community Initiatives, Inc. (CCNCI), Agham, Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment, among others, participated in the March for Science, Environment and the People at the Quezon City Memorial Circle in Quezon City on Earth Day, April 22.

The activity was part of the 600 protest actions around the world in response to the Trump administration’s ‘anti-science’ policies. As then presidential candidate, U.S. President Donald Trump claimed climate change as a hoax.

Belna Cabasan, CCNCI executive director, said, “Trump, as president of the number one GHG emitter, is defending the corporate interests of dirty corporations.”

Cabasan said data from the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change http://www.ipcc.ch/ show that human influence on the climate system is clear. According to IPCC, the global average temperature is estimated to have risen by 0.85 Celsius from 1880 to 2012. The Arctic and the cryosphere are changing rapidly and the sea levels are changing globally, according to IPCC.

Rainfall in some regions is increasing. In Asia, there has been an observed increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events, despite a decline in average annual rainfall across the continent.

Tropical cyclones or typhoons are becoming more intense, with an increase in storm intensity observed since the 1970s, consistent with rising ocean temperatures

Ocean surface temperatures are increasing, rising 0.10oC between 1961 and 2003.

Climate change activists join the global March for Science, April 22. (Photo by Mark Ambay III)
Climate change activists join the global March for Science, April 22. (Photo by Mark Ambay III)

Climate change and the Philippines

“The most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change are those from poor countries like the Philippines,” Cabasan said. She said that 80 percent of natural disasters experienced in the Philippines over the past century have been climate or weather-related.

Cabasan added that 85 percent of Filipinos report directly experiencing the impacts of climate change.

Cabasan said experts have stated the following national climate projections for the Philippines by 2050:

– Increase in average annual temperature of between 0.9°C and 1.1°C in 2020, and between 1.8°C and 2.2°C by 2050
– Sea level rise of between 19cm and 104cm by 2080, based on 1990 levels
– Decline in rainfall in the dry season, between March and May
– Increase in rainfall in the wet seasons, particularly between June and ?August
– Intensification of the southwest and northwest monsoons in Luzon and ?the Visayas, with an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme ?rainfall events between June and February
– Intensification of typhoon activity as ocean temperatures increase

Cabasan said all of the said projections will have severe impacts on the nation’s food security if adaptation measures are not undertaken.

“We have seen how our farmers grapple with the devastating effects of the drought and La Nina phenomenon. We have also witnessed the tragedy brought by supertyphoon Yolanda. We have no choice but to be prepared for the things that have yet to come,” Cabasan said.

For CCNCI, addressing poverty and social inequities is the best way to mitigate the impacts of climate change. “Without addressing the people’s vulnerabilities, all mitigation and adaptation measures would be superficial,” Cabasan said.

The CCNCI and its member organizations are undertaking community-based initiatives to address climate change in the most vulnerable areas in the country. ()

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