MINDFULLY GREENIE: Rallying for the planet

By: Gloria Estenzo Ramos February 21,2019 - 07:11 AM

Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos

The youth are leading the fight against climate change and ensure that the right to a healthy planet is not in any way compromised.

In the United States, with age ranging from 11-22, led by petitioner Kelsey Juliana, they are in suing the government for continuously permitting the use of fossil fuels, despite knowledge of their harm.

In Victoria, British Columbia, the YouthRising for Climate Justice held a rally at the Victoria Legislature sharing their ideas and call for action.

In Europe, the same trend is manifest. Youths are demanding action from government to ensure a safe, sustainable, and healthy environment.

We, of course, should be concerned. Climate change is one of the biggest threats that humanity is facing.

Climate change as an issue is however complex and needs to be understood amid the policy of denial that it is real and the ‘business-as-usual’ mindset of doing things  as if climate change is an alien concept. There are fortunately movements to make it understood by our people.

The Climate Reality Project chaired by former US Vice President Al Gore was founded to “catalyze a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.” It trains people to spend “three days with former Vice President Al Gore and an all-star lineup of environmental justice leaders, faith voices, business visionaries, and climate science experts.” Through workshops, panel discussions, networking events and other activities, participants learn “how fossil fuel pollution and climate impacts like heatwaves threaten low-income families and communities of color, and how to build the broad, inclusive, and powerful coalitions necessary to fight back.”

In Cebu and other parts of the country, there are many environmental organizations focused on protecting life and biodiversity in the planet and  in making ecosystems resilient to the impacts of climate change. Some of them work with government and others with the vulnerable sectors such as the fisherfolk, farmers, women, indigenous peoples, the children and the elderly.

Our Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is doing a landmark inquiry on the impacts of climate change to human rights and they say it is a first in the world. CHR Chairperson Chito Gascon has said, “Among those who are suffering the most from the effects of climate change is the Philippines. Nowhere has it been more dramatically demonstrated than in November of 2013, when our country was visited by Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda” referring to the strongest typhoon that hit us five years ago.

On February 26, an Environmental Action session by youth leaders will  be held. It will comprise of a short talk on Climate Justice by our very own Tony Oposa, Jr. followed by a call for action from the youth. The theme is “The Time for Talk is Over, Climate Justice for Future Generations”.

Indeed the time for talk is over. Are you part of the solution to fight climate change?

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