Sunday, August 10, 2014

Losing Our Lives

by Antonio C. Antonio
August 8, 2014

“Mitigation might no longer be the prime strategy since Global Warming and Climate Change are already upon us.” (Antonio, 2013, “Typhoon Yolanda”,  Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the most powerful tropical storm ever to make landfall is a prime indicator of climate change and global warming.  The rise in water level and increase in temperature in the Pacific Ocean provided a deadly combination of causes that made Typhoon Yolanda a killer that took the lives of over 8,000 Filipinos in 3 hours of fury.  “Yolanda is a 1st World problem which unfortunately happened to a 3rd World country.  Our government (both national and local), obviously ill-prepared and ill-equipped to cope with such a disaster, was initially overwhelmed, shocked and paralyzed.  The United States, with all its wealth and power, also failed to stop Hurricane Katrina which registered 230 KPH winds… Yolanda was over 250 KPH.  If governments (our own and other countries) cannot stop typhoons, what can ordinary people like us do to stop natural calamities?  Nothing.” (Antonio, 2013. “Typhoon Yolanda”,

The Philippines is located in the typhoon alley of the Pacific West and is frequently visited by tropical typhoons… some 28 of them yearly.  Typhoon Yolanda, however, is a class of its own but new studies show that its strength was a result of global warming.  Typhoon Yolanda could have dealt the country a crippling blow that we cannot cope with without help from other countries.  We, Filipinos, will forever be grateful to the American people for being one of the first to come to our aid and rescue in those trying days in November 2013.

Natural disasters are the business of the Gods which the Gods never meant to cause upon man… but man has contributed largely in making natural disasters happen.  Unrestricted carbon emissions from coal plants have contributed considerably to green house gases (GHG) and air pollution.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed regulations that represent the most significant measure the United States has ever done to combat climate change and global warming.  The proposed regulations were designed by the EPA to gradually reduce carbon emissions and air pollution which may not be significantly felt in the United States but are wrecking havoc of disastrous proportions to 3rd World countries like the Philippines with Typhoon Yolanda.  However, last July 31, 2014, members of the United Mine Workers of America from 12 states (Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming) joined forces to nullify the EPA’s rules through the court system.  They rallied before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to express their collective grievances mostly revolving around losing jobs and livelihood opportunities.  (Please see photo.)

The Philippines and other 3rd World nations pale in comparison to the United States in terms of economic wealth and power.  It will not be difficult to assume that the US government, because of its vast resources and the presence of economic development wizards, can whip up alternative industries and livelihood opportunities for coal mining and power plant industry workers.  We, Filipinos, have a simple appeal to the United Mine Workers of America… Please give us a chance to live.  While you are concerned about losing your jobs in a society and country of vast resources and opportunities, we are a poor people simply concerned about losing our lives.

Just my little thoughts…

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