“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.” – Robert Green Ingersoll
The Taal Volcano eruption and its dire impacts make us more aware of the meaning and significance of the timeless wisdom behind orator-lecturer Robert Green Ingersoll’s timeless words who lived in the 18th century.
The enormous suffering, displacement and uncertainty among humans and non-humans and the destruction of biodiversity, economic loss, among others, are seen before our eyes since January 12, thanks to the full-blown media coverage on the disaster.
Government is right that that lives should be prioritized and the total lockdown within the danger zone must be complied with.
What is happening compelled us to move beyond our comfort zones. The bayanihan spirit that, at times we feel lies dormant in the Filipinos, is alive and kicking.
While we cannot perpetually be there 24/7 for the survivors, it cannot be overemphasized that we all must learn the lessons that Nature teaches us.
Long-term planning, prioritization of the needs of the people and our planet, deep understanding of Nature and our interconnectivity and with each other – these come to our mind in these most challenging of times.
In Cebu, it seems that we are compelled to look at reality face-to-face. The hysteria on coronavirus will not die down unless stakeholders come together and be more informed about it and be prepared to deal with it.
An ongoing disaster is human-made and that is our destruction of our natural world.
The pictures taken after Sinulog of piles of plastics show the dire disregard of one’s responsibilities to protect our living world.
The Social Weather Stations Survey just released, commissioned by GAIA showed that 71 percent of the people want a ban on single use plastics. Aside from sando bags, they also want the following materials to be regulated or used less: plastic straws and stirrers (66 percent), plastic ‘labo’ bags (65 percent), styrofoam food containers (64 percent), sachets (60 percent), tetrapack or doypack for juices (59 percent), plastic drinking cups (56 percent), cutlery like plastic spoon and fork (54 percent), plastic bottles for juice (49 percent), plastic bottles for water (41 percent).
Will this move government into action?
The Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000, RA 9003 remains, an empty law unless we, the people, make sure it does.
We cannot just leave it to government whether or not to comply with the clear mandate to protect our rights to health and a healthful and balanced ecology.
Remember, a law of nature: there are no rewards or punishments, only consequences.
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