Friday, September 25, 2015

Global Warming Pause?

By Anton Antonio
September 26, 2015

Fossil fuel-based industry is a “big money” sector.  While environmental scientists blame this industry as the primary contributor to carbon emissions that cause global warming, the same industry evangelize that climate change is a myth.  Having embarked on a losing battle on the “climate change myth” game, they are now playing a new game of a different nature… that there is a “pause” in global warming.  Here is an interesting researched material which you may want to read…


PARIS, France --- A study released Thursday, September 17, is the second this year seeking to debunk a 1998-2013 “pause” in global warming, but other climate scientists insist the slowdown was real, even if not a game-changer.  When evidence of the apparent hiatus first emerged, it was seized upon by sceptics as evidence that climate change was driven more by natural cycles that humans pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  “Our results clearly show that… there never was a hiatus, a pause or a slowdown,” Noah Diffenbaugh, the study’s main architect and a professor at Stanford University, said in a statement.  The thermal time-out, his team found, resulted from “faulty statistical methods”.  In June, experts from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) came to the same conclusion, chalking up the alleged slowdown to a discrepancy in measurements involving ocean buoys used to log temperatures.  Their results were published in the peer-reviewed journal Science.  Beyond a strident public debate fuelled as much by ideology and facts, the “pause” issue has serious real-world implications.  Scientifically, a discrepancy between climate projections and observations could suggest that science has overstated Earth’s sensitivity to the radiative force of the Sun.  Politically, it could weaken the sense of urgency underlying troubled UN negotiations, tasked with crafting a global pact in December to beat back climate change.  At first, scientists sounding an alarm about the threat of greenhouse gases were stumped by the date, unable to explain the drop-off in the pace of warming.  Even the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - whose most recent 1,000-plus page report is the scientific benchmark for the UN talks - made note of “the hiatus”.  Searching for explanations, the IPCC speculated on the possible causes: minor volcano eruptions throwing radiation-blocking dust in the atmosphere, a decrease in solar activity, aerosols, regional weather patterns in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.  To the general relief of the climate science community, the Stanford findings – a detailed review of statistical methodology – would appear to be the final word on the subject.  Previous calculations were flawed, they said, because they assumed there was a random distribution in tens of thousands of temperature data points.  But once they were adjusted to take into account the relationship between the data points, the hiatus disappeared.  “This study puts the last nail in the coffin of the “pause” idea circulated by the propagators or climate confusion,” IPCC Vice President Jean-Pascal van Ypersele told Agence France-Presse.  Perhaps – but if so, the corpse of the climate hiatus is still twitching in its grave.  In a 20-page report earlier this week called “Big changes underway in the climate system?”. Britain’s weather agency confirmed the existence of the notorious “pause” – if only to say that it was probably over.  The historical record, the Met Office said, shows periods when temperatures rise rapidly and “periods with little warming or even cooling… the most recent period starting around 2000.”  The likelihood that 2015 and 2016 will deliver record average temperatures suggests that this interlude is likely over, the report said.  But despite having referenced the June NOAA study debunking the “hiatus”. The MET Office report did not call it into question.  Doug Smith, the Met Officer’s predictability research manager, told Agence France-Presse that data for the world’s average surface temperature showed “a clear reduction recently”.  He added: “We prefer to call it a slowdown rather than a pause.”  Rowan Sutton, Director of Research at Britain’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science, went even further.  “We can’t say that the “pause” in the use of global average surface temperature has ended because many factors affect short-term trends,” he said.  At the same time, all these scientists agree that the slowdown debate is a footnote to the larger story of climate change, which threatens to make Earth inhospitable for humans well before the end of the century.  “Climate change never stopped and the Earth had continued to accumulate energy,” Sutton said by email. --- Marlowe Hood, Agence France-Presse /

Now that the “global warming pause” theory has been debunked, what’s next?  The fossil fuel-based industry will, most certainly, think for a different strategy since this did not work: The Global Warming Pause.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE:, (2015). “Global Warming ‘Pause’ Theory is Dead but Still Twitching”.  Retrieved on September 26, 2015 from

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Climate Change Aftermath

By Anton Antonio
September 25, 2015

Doomsday scenarios are emotional and psychological barriers.  Talking about the aftermath of climate change seems to be a negative thing to do.  But, as disciples of environmental science, we should take it upon ourselves to learn and understand even the direst of scenarios.  This, however, becomes necessary if the primary purpose is to forewarn people to avert the impacts of climate change.  But what are the possible post-climate change scenarios we should know?  Here is a researched material on this matter; please read…


A few years ago in a lab in Panama, Klaus Winter tries to conjure the future.  A plat physiologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, he planted seedlings of 10 tropical tree species in small, geodesic greenhouses.  Some he allowed to grow in the kind of environment they were used to out in the forest, around 79 degrees Fahrenheit.  Others, he subjected to uncomfortable high temperatures.  Still others, unbearably high temperatures – up to a daily average temperature of 95 Fahrenheit and a peak of 102 Fahrenheit.  That’s about as hot as Earth has even been.  It’s also the kind of environment tropical trees have a good chance of living in by the end of this century, thanks to climate change.  Winter wanted to see how they would do.  The answer came as a surprise to those accustomed to dire warnings that climate change will turn the Amazon into a desert.  The vast majority of Winter’s seedlings didn’t die.  In fact, most thrived as significantly warmer temperatures than they experience today, growing faster and larger.  Just two species succumbed to the heat, and only at the very highest temperatures.  The trees’ success echoes paleontological date, which hints that warmer temperatures can be a boon for tropical forests.  After all, the last time Earth experienced average temperatures of 95 Fahrenheit, there were rainforests in Michigan and palm trees in the Arctic.  That doesn’t mean climate change won’t affect tropical forests of today.  It already is.  And it definitely doesn’t mean humans needn’t worry about global warming.  Climate change will be the end of the world as we know it.  But it also will be the beginning of another.  Mass extinctions will open ecological niches, and environmental changes will create new ones.  New creatures will evolve to fill them, guided by unforeseen selection pressures.  What this new world will look like, exactly, is impossible to predict, and humans aren’t guaranteed to survive in it.  (And that’s if civilization somehow manages to survive the climate disasters coming its way in the meantime, from superstorms to sea level rise to agriculture-destroying droughts).  Still, experiments like Winter’s offer a glimpse.  Adapting to a warmer world will be long and painful process for the rainforest, and many species won’t make it through.  Even so, “there will still be tropical forests in 2100,” says Simon Lewis, a plant ecologist at University College London and the University of Leads.  They will probably even contain many of the same species ecologists know today, including some of the trees in Winter’s experiments.  It’s the relationships between those species, and the role each plays in the ecosystem, that will change – and, in turn, transform the entire forest.  “The forests that come out of this change are probably going to be much different than the kinds of forests we have today,” says Christopher Dick, an evolutionary geneticist who studies tropical trees at the University of Michigan.  Winter’s data hints at one such change in the forest structure.  The tree species that did the best under the highest temperature regime were the coralwood tree (Adenanthera pavonina) a species of the fig tree called Ficus insipid, and the balsa tree (Ochroma pyramidale).  Each is what Winter called “pioneer species,” fast-growing trees that can quickly move into cleared areas and take over.  (F. insipida ups the ante, beginning life as vine that climbs up dead trees – and also living ones, eventually strangling them.)  These kinds of species are vital to a healthy rainforest, helping it regenerate after destructive events like a flood or the death and collapse of a large tree (when those things fall, they take out everything around them).  But a mature rainforest needs the species that slow up later, too.  Those tend to be larger and longer0lived, stabilizing the forest and serving as ecological linchpins for insects, birds, monkeys, vines, and the rest of the ecosystem for decades or even centuries.  And it was those so-called “climax species” that suffered the most under higher temperatures in Winter’s experiments.  That suggests that as climax tree species die in a warmer forest, they won’t be replaced.  “One would expect that tropical futures of the future would be dominated by those nimble species that can disperse very well,” Lewis says.  Pioneer trees that will put down roots anywhere, vines that grow into every nook and cranny, small rodents that reproduce quickly and scurry far, birds that can fly over vast swaths of land and aren’t too picky about where they nest.  But that’s a small subset of the thousands of species found in tropical forests today.  Without the rest of them, the rainforest will be a much simpler place.  Disturbingly, scientists have observed something similar happening in the ocean.  Much of the carbon dioxide humans release into the atmosphere is eventually absorbed by the sea, gradually making the water more and more acidic.  This process of ocean acidification can wreak havoc on marine invertebrates, dissolving their shells and then their fragile bodies.  But just like in the tropical forest, “there are always the winners as well as the losers of climate change,” says Ivan Nagelkerken, a marine ecologist at the University of Adelaide in Australia.  To get an idea of which species might thrive under ocean acidification, he headed to two places where underwater vents already spew carbon dioxide into the sea: Vulcano Island in Italy and White Island in New Zealand.  “These CO2 vents are natural laboratories where you can get a peek into the future,” Nagelkerken explains.  As in Winter’s experiment, that future was far from lifeless.  But the kind of life it supports has Nagelkerken worries.  Carbon dioxide vents can occur in any marine ecosystem, from coral reefs to kelp forests to seagrass plains.  But no matter where you are, life in the most acidic pockets looks strikingly similar.  Immediately around a vent, all ecosystems “transform into systems that are dominated by turf algae – very short, fleshy algae with very little structural complexity,” Naglekerken explains.  What’s more, “we did not observe a single predator on those vents.”  As a result, the food web is dramatically simplified, the number of fish species drops, and the ecosystem becomes “much less valuable and productive.”  Small grazing fish that love turf algae will probably excel in the acidic oceans of the future.  But as they take over, “everything will start to look like everywhere else,” Nagelkerken says.  The new, homogenous ocean won’t be good for humans.  The fish that are likely to thrive in the oceans of the future – small, adaptable species such as gobies and blennies – are, simply, not fish people like to eat.  And even if human tastes evolved, those fish wouldn’t fill us up; most gobies clock in at fewer than 4 inches long.  Humans like to eat big predators, like tuna and marlin – exactly the kind of species that had disappeared from the CO2 vents Nagelkerken studied.  As ocean acidification restructures marine ecosystems, the first to go will be the fish that people rely on for money and food.  Of course, Homo sapiens may be the ultimate generalist, nimble enough to survive in almost every environment.  “We’re like cockroaches,” Dick says.  “I think we’ll stick around.  We’ll see the disaster we’ve created.”  But the recovery?  May not.  For the oceans to adapt to the new climate and regain a level of productivity they enjoy today, “it’s not going to be in a few generations,” Nagelkerken says.  “You could wait around for 10,000 years.”  Similarly, we might be long gone by the time the Amazon looks anything like the complex forest of today.  The flip side of mass extinction, however, is rapid evolution.  And if you’re willing to take the long view – like, the million-year view – there’s a ray of hope to be found in today’s rare species.  The Amazon, in particular, is packed with plant species that pop up few and far between and don’t even come close to playing a dominant role in the forest.  But they might have treasure buried in their genes.  Rare species – especially those that are only distantly related to today’s common ones – “have all kinds of traits that we don’t even know about,” says Dick.  Perhaps one will prove to thrive in drought, and another will effortlessly resist new pests that decimate other trees.  “These are the species that have all the possibilities for becoming the next sets of dominant, important species after the climate has changed,” Dick says.  That’s why humans can’t cut them all down first, he argues.  If rainforests are going to have a fighting chance of recovering their biodiversity and ecological complexity, those rare species and their priceless genes need to be ready and able to step into the spotlight.  It might to be too late to save the world humanity knows and loves.  But it still can still do its best to make sure the new one is just as good – someday.”

From this report, we could imagine a different environment after an extreme climate change regime.  Although it seems that Mother Nature and man could survive and adapt to drastic changes in the environment, our world will never be the same again.  The choice is ours and ours alone… do we really like this as a climate change aftermath?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE:, (2015). “Climate Change Means One World’s Death and Another’s Birth”.  Retrieved on September 25, 2015 from

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Biodegradable Plastic Bags

By Anton Antonio
September 24, 2015

Filipinos are known, all over the world, for their industry and ingenuity.  While this is largely considered a myth, time and again, Filipinos show the kind of great stuff they are made of.  One such case is the story of a young kid growing up in war-torn Island of Mindanao in southern Philippines.  Please read…


As reported by the Philippine Star, Amin Hataman, 15 year-old, a student at the Fountain International School in San Juan City, Metro Manila, is now a certified international award-winning inventor of biodegradable plastic bags.  Hataman won a bronze medal last May in the 2015 International Sustainable World Energy, engineering and Environment Project (I-SWWP) Olympiad held in Houston, Texas.  He won for inventing biodegradable plastic bags made from nata de coco, a by-product of coconut, last year for a Science project requirement in their school.  The biodegradable plastic bags also won another international award for Hataman last year: a gold medal in the 2014 International Young Inventors Olympiad in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Hataman is a son of Gov. Mujib Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.  He is among nine young Filipinos being showcased by Wyeth Nutrition as exemplars of young innovative Filipino spirit, which Wyeth hopes to promote and nurture further as the company launches this year the nationwide Search for Filipino Kid Innovators that will select its first crop of winners in 2016.  “Growing up there, I developed this love for the environment,” Hataman said.  He drew inspiration from environment growing up in Mindanao.  Hataman said that as a child, he noticed the common practice of people putting garbage inside plastic that is not biodegradable.  “I did some research on how plastic was actually doing a lot of damage to the environment,” Hataman said.  By pursuing research on biodegradable alternatives to plastic, he learned about the cellulose properties of nata de coco.  “Right now, I’m actually already trying to patent this.  In the future, if I go into business, I might be able to implement this,” Hataman said.  Hataman’s science teacher had been impressed with the science project so he submitted the invention to international invention contests.  Hakan Ozkan, assistant director of Foundation International School said that the school started submitting excellent Science projects of their students to the I-SWEEP in 2008.”

While I agree that the research, discoveries and invention of a biodegradable plastic bag of Amin Hataman are cutting edge and laudable, some degree of care and consideration must be taken that this new technology should not impinge on food security.  It should be noted that nata de coco is food and a dollar-earning commodity.  Perhaps, before embarking on a large-scale production of these biodegradable plastic bags (from nata de coco), the supply for raw materials (therefore, coconut) must first be established.  Or else, we will later discover that we cannot eat biodegradable plastic bags.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE:, (2015).  “Filipino 15-year Old Student Bags Multiple Awards for Inventing Biodegradable Plastic Bags”.  Retrieved on September 24, 2015 from

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Canadian Garbage Mess (Update No. 5)

By Anton Antonio
September 23, 2015

On April 25, 2014, I published (on my blogsite and Facebook page) an article on the Canadian garbage mess starting with the article titled: “Dear Canada, We Don’t Need Your Garbage”.  Since then, I have written several blogs on researched materials on the same issue to keep track of this environmental problem.  This is being done on the belief that if the flow of information on public interest issues stops, the issue slowly dies and is forgotten… And this is exactly how bad people get away with crimes.  Besides, this is what true environmentalism is all about.  Here are more of these researched materials.  Please read…


Just stop the further dumping of Canadian waste in Capas, Tarlac, Governor Victor Yap offered to pay the garbage contractor P1 million.  The amount is reportedly to make up for the loss incurred by Metro Clark Waste Management Corp. (MCWMC), which was contracted to dispose the imported waste from Canada.  Yap made the offer in a July 22 letter to Clark Development Corp. (CDC), the owner of the land in Sitio Kalangitan, Barangay Cutcut II in Capas, according to an Inquirer story.  The governor has since prohibited the disposal of the remaining trash to the landfill.  In a July 16 hearing initiated by the provincial board, MCWMC president and chief executive officer Rufo Colayco said his company was not completing the disposal contract by sending back the eight container vans delivered there on July 15 and refusing to accept 21 more vans.  He said the contract cost his company about P1 million.  “Since Mr. Colayco has told the (provincial board) that the contract to accept 55 containers of trash is P1 million, I propose to pay the same to MCWMC, the (environmental Management Bureau) and the (Bureau of Customs), and help ship out this garbage from the province of Tarlac,” Yap said in a July 22 letter to CDC president Arthur Tugade.  Yap said the amount is going to be taken from funds intended for emergency expenditures in the provincial budget with the provincial board’s approval.  The same letter was transmitted to MCWMC but Colayco declines to comment on the governor’s proposal, saying he had not received the letter yet.  The amount Yap offered is equivalent to the P1 million disposal contract that was charged to the shipping company, Le Soleil, local representative of international firm Zim, which owns the 55 containers.  To stop new attempts to dispose of the garbage in Tarlac, Yap also signed two provincial board resolutions that barred the Capas landfill and other parts of Tarlac from receiving foreign wastes.  Resolution No. 056-2015 sought the “immediate rescission or cancellation of the contract between the BOC (Bureau of Customs) and MCWMC relative to the dumping of the garbage from Canada in Kalangitan sanitary landfill in Capas, Tarlac.”  Resolution No. 057-2015 banned the dumping of any garbage from foreign origin in the Kalangitan sanitary landfill and elsewhere in Tarlac.  Vice Gov. Enrique Cojuangco, Jr. defended the provincial government’s actions.  “Any Filipino should and would do what we did.  Let’s keep it simple – it’s just wrong to allow waste or garbage of foreign origin, be it toxic or nontoxic, to be dumped anywhere in the Philippines,” Cojuangco said.  Colayco said MCWMC accepted the trash because the Environmental Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources certified these to be “Municipal solid wastes.” --- Luzon Politics


After being used as a dumping ground of imported waste from Canada, the provincial board of Tarlac is now demanding the cancellation of contract entered into by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Metro Clark Waste Management Corporation (MCWMC).  Vice Governor Enrique Cojuangco, Jr. said the board unanimously passed Resolution 056-2015 “demanding for the immediate rescission/cancellation of the contract between the BOC and the MCWMC relative to the dumping of the garbage from Canada in the Kalangitan Sanitary Landfill in Capas, Tarlac.”  With the contract cancelled, MCWMC can no longer dump any imported garbage at the Capas facility, Cojuangco said.  The Board, according to Cojuangco, stressed that there is an urgent need to formally demand from the concerned parties the stoppage of the dumping of the Canadian garbage in the sanitary landfill.  The resolution also stated that “the dumping of the garbage from Canada in Kalangitan Sanitary Landfill is in violation of the authority granted by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan in its Resolution 023-2002 and Resolution 108-2003, to which the Clark Development Corporation, as owner of the sanitary landfill agreed and confirmed.”  MCWMC President Rufo Colayco admitted to the provincial board that they have entered a contract with the BOC to use the Capas landfill as disposal area for the Canadian waste that have been sitting at the Manila Port Area since 2013.  Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder, in a press conference in Iloilo City assured that the garbage, which were stuffed inside container vans, are not toxic wastes.  He said the Canadian Embassy, in cooperation with the Philippine government, is looking for solutions on how to dispose these waste materials.  He added that the Canadian government does not have a legislation to enforce the shipment back to Canada.” --- Luzon Politics

In my previous articles on this Canadian garbage mess, I already came up with a rejoinder on the statements of the Canadian Ambassador… which are not too nice.  I would no longer wish to add more.

I would not want to pass any kind of judgment on the propriety of the P1 million offer from the provincial Governor of Tarlac for the CDC or MCWMC to take back the Canadian garbage… back to “where” is also not clear.  Although I am sincerely having a hard time squaring up to the rhyme and reason for this, I am certain the Governor has good reasons for choosing this management prerogative. We should be glad, however, that Vice Governor Kit Cojuangco took a more definitive stance in not allowing the further dumping of the Canadian garbage anywhere in the province of Tarlac… or the Philippines for that matter. 

The position of Vice Governor Kit Cojuangco reminds me of the “NIMBY” Syndrome… “Not In My Back Yard”.  (For more information on the “NIMBY Syndrome”, please refer to the links below.)  It also reminds me that, on July 24, 2015, I wrote:  “The ideal mindset should be NO DUMPING OF GARBAGE IN PHILIPPINES with the remedy of DUMPING THE GARBAGE BACK TO CANADA… it’s their garbage anyway.  If we, Filipinos, cannot embrace this mindset, we will condemn ourselves to the pitfall of the NIMBY Syndrome.”  Vice Governor Kit thinks like a nationalist and an environmentalist… and the many Filipino environmental advocates definitely agree with him.  There really is no other way to resolve the Canadian garbage mess.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and


Antonio, A.C., (2014). “Dear Canada, We Don’t Need Your Garbage”.  Retrieved on September 23, 2015 from

Antonio, A.C., (2014). “The NIMBY Syndrome”.  Retrieved on September 23, 2015 from

Antonio, A.C., (2015). “The Pitfall of the NIMBY Syndrome”.  Retrieved on September 23, 2015 from

www.luzon,, (2015). “Tarlac Guv Offers Contractor P1-M to Stop Dumping Canadian Trash”.  Retrieved on September 23, 2015 from

www.luzon,, (2015). “Tarlac Demands Cancellation of BOCs Garbage Deal on Canadian Waste”.  Retrieved on September 23, 2015 from

Monday, September 21, 2015

Addressing the Pollution Problem

By Anton Antonio
September 22, 2015

The biggest challenge for pro-environment advocates is simplifying and narrowing down complex environmental concepts to terms and forms easily understood by people.  Let’s take “pollution” as an example.  It would be easy to simply define pollution as “the presence in or introduction into the environment of any substance or matter that has harmful or poisonous effect.”  This might be simple… but if asked about “the levels of approach to pollution control”, things suddenly becomes complex especially to the untrained mind in environmental science.  This is the pitfall where most environmental advocates get trapped.  More often, their failure to make things simple becomes the impenetrable wall that separates them from their target audience… and, therefore, also failure in delivering desired messages. 

So the challenge is to narrow down “the different levels of approach to addressing pollution” in terms that are simple, easy to understand and less intellectually stressful… so here goes…

There are three levels by which pollution could be addressed:

One:  The INDIVIDUAL level.  The individual level involves individuals as well as the family.  This level has a lot to do with individual lifestyle and household practices.  Avoiding luxury without sacrificing quality of life is a key element on this level.  Pollution can be managed at this level by: Individual --- (a) taking the bus instead of driving a car will help in minimizing carbon emission, (b) taking shorter shower baths to conserve water, (c) using the electric fan than the airconditioner will save on energy capacity requirement, etc. --- and Household --- (a) household waste segregation and disposal, (b) using graywater in cleaning cars or other household cleaning needs, (c) turning off unnecessary lights, etc.  There really is a long list of pollution control initiatives from the individual and household level.

Two:  The COMMUNITY level.  Magnifying the individual and household pollution initiatives will bring us to the next level which is the community.  This time, however, we could use “carpooling” (meaning:  an arrangement among a group of automobile owners by which each owner takes turn to drive others in the group to and from a designated place) as a larger example than choosing to ride the bus than drive a car.  It is pleasing to note that organized groups such as civic groups, associations, foundations and many other non-government organizations (NGOs) have joined community pollution control initiatives which have boosted efforts on the community level.  Most have adapted the NIMBY Syndrome as a basic strategy.  “Sometimes we come across words that we don’t understand, don’t make sense or even strange to us.  One such word is “nimby”.  Well… the term “nimby” is actually not a word but an acronym which stands for “Not In My Back Yard”.  As it progressed in usage, NIMBY became a descriptive term to express acceptance of the need for something but this something is something one doesn’t want near one’s home… therefore, not in my back yard!  Nimbies are persons who would normally say: “You could have or do anything you like so long as it’s nowhere near me.” (Antonio, 2014)

Three:  The INDUSTRY level.  The industry sector has been the most effective level in pollution control so far.  Perhaps it is because employees are easier to manage and “coerce” (for lack of a better word) to follow pollution control initiatives by companies that have embraced and integrated pro-environmental programs to their corporate and business plans.

Four:  The NATIONAL level.  At the national level, pollution control is done through legislated environmental protection laws.  The government agency primarily tasked to implement environmental laws is the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB).  Through requirements such as the Environment Compliance Certificate (ECC) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) the DENR-EMB manages and monitors ecologically sensitive projects and programs.

Five:  The INTERNATIONAL level.  At the international level, pollution control policies are formulated through protocols, conventions, treaties, etc.  Examples of such meetings are the World Conference on Environment and Development (WCED) or the Earth Summit, The United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development or the Montreal Protocol, etc.  The most significant document that has been crafted on pro-environment initiatives is Agenda 21.  In the Philippines, we also have a counterpart document known as Philippine Agenda 21.

I hope these discussions served to simplify “the different levels of approach to addressing pollution” and increased awareness on addressing the pollution problem.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and


Antonio, A. C., (2014). “The NIMBY Syndrome”.  Retrieved on September 22, 2015 from

Antonio, A. C., (2015). “The Pitfall of the NIMBY Syndrome”.  Retrieved on September 22, 2015 from

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Martial Law (Proclamation No. 1081)

By Anton Antonio
September 21, 2015

As teenaged-kids during the Martial Law era, most of us lost our basic freedoms and, a lot of us also say that, we also lost our youthful exuberance (meaning: the quality of being full of energy, excitement and cheerfulness) and creativity.  Everything was being stage-managed and all we ever did was follow blindly… if only to live with the semblance of normalcy.  There was no freedom in terms of speech and assembly… relegating us to robotic existence.  It was a period when we lived in constant fear from a repressive military establishment bestowed with limitless power by the civil government.  I really could go on and on with a litany of whine about Martial Law but this will only be interpreted as bias.  Having said this, please allow me to post Wikipedia accounts of Martial Law and Proclamation No. 1081…

“Martial law in the Philippines refers to several intermittent periods in Philippine history wherein the Philippine head of state (such as the President) proclaims that an area is placed under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Martial law is declared either when there is near-violent civil unrest or in cases of major natural disasters, however most countries use a different legal construct like “state of emergency”.  Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians.  Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunals (court-martial).  In a privilege speech before the Senate, Benigno Aquino, Jr. warned the public of the possible establishment of a “garrison state” by President Ferdinand Marcos.  President Marcos imposed martial law on the nation from 1972 to 1981 to suppress increasing civil strife and the threat of a communist takeover following a series of bombings in Manila.  On 21 August 1971, while the opposition (Liberal Party) was having their miting de avance in Plaza Miranda, two fragmentation grenades exploded.  It took 9 lives and left more than 100 people seriously wounded.  Some Liberal Party candidates were seriously injured including Jovito Salonga, who nearly died and was visually impaired.  Suspicion of responsibility for the blast initially fell upon Marcos, whom the Liberals blamed for the bombing; however, in later years, prominent personalities associated with the event have laid the blame on the Communist Party of the Philippines under Jose Maria Sison.  In his autobiography, Salonga states his belief that Sison and the CPP were responsible.  A month of “terrorist bombing” of public facilities in Manila and Quezon City culminated on 22 September with a staged assassination attempt on Defense Secretary Juan Ponce Enrile.  Claiming chaos and lawlessness was near, Marcos declared martial law, thereby suspending the 1935 Constitution, dissolving Congress, and assuming absolute power.  Six hours after the Enrile assassination attempt, Marcos responded with the imposition of martial law.  Proclamation No, 1081 which imposed martial law was dated 21 September 1972, but it was actually signed on 17 September.  The formal announcement of the proclamation was made only at seven-thirty in the evening of 23 September, about twenty-two hours after he had commanded his military collaborators to start arresting his political opponents and close down all media and retail (fashion, food, religious, sports) establishments.  The Proclamation read in part: “My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation No. 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law…”The declaration of martial law was initially well received by some segments of the people but became unpopular as excesses and human rights abuses by the military emerged.  Torture was used in extracting information from their enemies.  Martial law was lifted by President Marcos on January 17, 1981.  In the following years there was the assassination of Ninoy Aquino in 1983, the Snap Elections of 1986 and the People Power Revolution or EDSA Revolution in 1986 which led to Marcos, with the advice from the U.S. government, left the country and Cory Aquino became president.” (Wikipedia)

“Proclamation No. 1081 was the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos.  It became effective throughout the entire country on 23 September 1972, and was announced to the public two days later.  It was formally lifted on 17 January 1981 – six months before the first presidential election in the Philippines in twelve years.  Under the pretext of an assassination of then-Defence Secretary (now Senator) Juan Ponce Enrile and an ensuing Communist insurgency.  President Marcos enacted the Proclamation that he might be able to rule by military power.  He initially signed Proclamation on 17 September 1972, but it was postdated to 21 September because Marcos’ superstitions and numerological beliefs.  Marcos formally announced the Proclamation in a live television and radio broadcast from Malacanang Palace a further two days later on the evening of 23 September 1972.  The following year, President Marcos replaced the 1935 Constitution with a new one that changed the system of government from a presidential to a parliamentary one, with himself remaining in power as both head of state (with the title “President”) and head of government (titled “Prime Minister”).  President Marcos also manipulated elections and had his political coalition – the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan – control the unicameral legislature he created, known as the Batasang Pambansa.  President Marcos formally lifted Martial Law on 17 January 1981, several weeks before the first pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz.”  (Wikipedia)

The unbiased Wikipedia narratives somewhat describes the atmosphere and environment during the Martial Law period without overly being emotional about it.  Perhaps, the question to ask is: “What have we learned or should have learned from this period in our history?”  This question is for the sole purpose of warning all of us that having learned nothing from this experience will only cause us to make the same mistakes in the future.  Then we have not seen the last of Martial Law and Proclamation No. 1081.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Wikipedia, (2015). “Martial Law in the Philippines”.  Retrieved on September 21, 2015 from

Wikipedia, (2015). “Proclamation No. 1081”. Retrieved on September 21, 2015 from

Saturday, September 19, 2015

How Will Climate Change Affect Your Livelihood?

By Anton Antonio
September 20, 2015

Filipinos, being generally poor, are more concerned about putting decent food on the table three times a day.  Every morning, Filipino breadwinners leave their homes with only one thing in mind… work and/or tend to livelihood activities for better lives for their loved ones.  Oftentimes, because of our livelihood concerns, we have the tendency to think less of issues such as the environment.

The single biggest environmental concern right now is climate change.  Perhaps, the logical question to ask is “How will climate change affect our livelihood?”  Please allow me to address this question through a researched material.  Please read…

August 29, 2015

As the reality of global warming starts to hit home, people may ask:  “How will it affect my livelihood?”  Well, that depends.  On your profession, your age, and exactly where you live, among other things.  Here, then, are a few scenarios for a climate-altered future, when rising temperatures are closing in on the threshold of two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels which scientists warn we should not cross. 

The year is 2030. 

The coffee farmer… You are a 60-year old coffee farmer in Nicaragua, selling to an organic wholesaler.  Global demand has soared and commodity prices tripled since 2015, but business is not so good.  Scorching temperatures have decimated your output, even after you sold your land to purchase a higher-altitude parcel in search of cooler climes.  Not only yields are down, but also the quality of your beans.  Small consolation that many of your 20-million fellow coffee growers around the world are in similarly dire straits.

The high-flying lawyer… You are a 39-year old real estate lawyer in West Palm Beach, Florida.  You are flush and life is sweet, despite your million-dollar house having been swept away three years earlier by Hurricane Hillary.  Sea levels have only risen 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) in the last 15 years, but Hillary’s tide-enhanced storm surge caused $500 billion dollars/euros in damages.  Since Washington cancelled federal flood insurance for properties under a meter (three feet) above sea level, you have more clients than you can handle.  They are suing private insurance companies claiming bankruptcy to avoid having to pay out, and though your clients may only get 20 cents for every policy-insured dollar, you still get your fees.

The Indonesian fisherman… You used to work fishing boats out of Surabaya, a port city in Java, but are now unemployed.  The bottom fell out of the local industry in the mid-2020s.  Intensive harvesting had already caused several species to collapse, including bigeye and yellowfin.  But then, as oceans warmed, other species --- Pacific bluefin, crevalle jack, scad --- moved to cooler waters beyond the reach of local vessels.  No other species have come to replace them.

The Alpine hotelier… You own a ski-resort hotel in the French Alps at an altitude of 1,280 meters (4,199 feet).  Since 2020, for two years out of three you have to manufacture snow to ensure the season.  In 2022 and 2028 it was so warm that even artificial flakes couldn’t keep the lifts going.  The silver lining: summer tourism has picked up as people seek alternatives to the scorching heat waves that regularly hit the Mediterranean basin.

The Sahel subsistence famer…  Ten years ago, you replaced your millet crop with genetically-modified, drought-resistant sorghum as desertification creeps up on you in the northeastern corner of the Mopti region of Mali.  That was a good move.  But as the local climate gets drier by the year, you wonder how long you and your family can hold out.  You have resolved: When the goats die, you will join the other villagers who have already fled to the capital Bamako.

The Tasmanian winegrower…  Parts of the island --- Australia’s southernmost inhabited outpost --- now rival France’s fabled Burgundy region as the leas grower of the fabled pinot noir and chardonnay grapes.  Tassie’s Champaign-style wine wins big awards too.  Oh what a difference an extra two degrees can make!  Wine exports from Tasmania’s Tamar Valley are soaring with grape-growing temperatures now in the ideal range --- what they were in northern France, now too hot, a mere 15 years ago.

The future…  You are a seven-year-old only child with your professional-class parents in a 23rd-story Shanghai apartment.  You were not even born when 195 nations struck a deal in Paris in December 2015, vowing to slash carbon pollution by a large enough margins to keep global warming in check.  They failed, and Earth is on track for warming of 4 Celsius by 2100.  You’ll be 77 when you greet the 22nd century.  Good luck getting there.” --- Agence France-Presse

The prospects are not too good if world leaders fail to agree on reducing carbon emissions when they meet in Paris, France this December.  From the news report, it will not be hard to understand that climate change is not the problem of the poor alone; but it’s actually everyone’s problem, rich or poor.  Your particular livelihood may not have been mentioned in this researched material but we could certainly actualize our own situation and imagine the ill effects climate change could impact on our own lives.  But it is equally important for us to relate these cases to our present and future situation so we could make the necessary adjustment and adaptation to global warming and climate change.  Let’s ask ourselves: “How will climate change affect your livelihood?”

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015).  “How Climate Change Affect Your Livelihood”.  Retrieved on September 19, 2015 from

Friday, September 18, 2015

Large-Scale Solar Power Plant

By Anton Antonio
September 19, 2015

Let us give credit where credit is due.  Although China, like the United States, is being blamed for being the primary contributor to global warming for its massive use of fossil fuel as its source of energy.  Realizing the environmental impact of coal-powered energy, China has shifted direction towards other sustainable energy sources such as solar power.

“Worried that the impacts of climate change will be felt primarily by China, their energy and climate experts and planners have decided to adopt a 2-point strategy --- First, they are working to aggressively take market share from coal and accelerate the transition to low-carbon and zero-carbon sources such as natural gas, nuclear, wind power, solar power, and hydropower.  Second, on the industrial side, they are transitioning away from coal-intensive and energy-intensive industries that have been driving growth and speeding up the transition to a more balanced economy, with much more service sector growth.” (Antonio, 2015, “The Dirtiest Airspace in the World”,

China is presently building its first large-scale solar power plant in the Gobi Desert.  This project is projected to generate electricity to supply 1 million household.  This is by far the most ambitious solar plant project in the world.  Called “Delingha”, the colossal facility will spread across a 25 square kilometer area in Qinghai province and have a capacity of 200 megawatts.

Rather than build military installations from land reclamation projects in the West Philippine Sea which only resulted to undermining marine biodiversity, China will be better off spending on other pro-environment initiatives such as the biggest large-scale solar power plant.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE:, (2015). “China is Building Its First Large-Scale Solar Plant in the Gobi Desert”.  Retrieved on September 19, 2015 from

Climateprogress (2015). “Global Coal Boom Ends as China and World Wakes Up to Reality of Carbon Pollution”.  Retrieved on September 19, 2015 from

Thursday, September 17, 2015

State of Calamity

By Anton Antonio
September 16, 2015

In an article titled “El Niño”, which I published last September 3, 2015, I wrote: “The El Niño phenomenon happening in the last quarter of this year and extends up to the first quarter of next year is a real worrisome problem (if it comes to pass).  The most likely impact will be on (a) potable water availability. (b) health issues because of the extreme hot weather conditions, and (c) agricultural productivity and consequently on food security… although there will be other peripheral potential problems.  We, as a people, together with government should (this early) start preparing for this year’s El Niño.”  On the same day also published this news item:


BASCO, Batanes --- This northernmost island-province in the country, known to be perennially hit by typhoons, is experiencing a prolonged dry spell, prompting its officials to declare the province under a state of calamity on Tuesday.  Gov. Vicente Gato, in a letter, asked the provincial board to declare Batanes under a state of calamity, citing a report from the provincial agriculture office that showed the province losing P10 million worth of crops and livestock due to the absence of strong rain.  “The prolonged dry spell throughout the province (in) the last month has significantly affected productivity at the farm level since vegetables require a considerable amount of rainfall for optimum yield,” said Cesar Hostallero, officer-in-charge of the provincial agriculture office, in a report.  Local agriculture officials said Typhoon “Ineng” (international name: Goni), which hit the province last month, also damaged crops and utilities in the province.  The typhoon was accompanied by strong wind that generated sea spray which damaged farmlands, they said.  Declaring the province under a state of calamity, officials said, would also help the provincial government use its calamity fund to repair the local water and electricity distribution systems damaged by the recent typhoon.  A certification from Constantino Gavilan, chief meteorological officer of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) here, showed that the highest recorded amount of rainfall in the province was 138.5 millimeters on May 10.  It said rainfall volume in the following months fell to 27 mm and below.  In a telephone interview on Thursday, Celso Batallones, manager of the Department of Agriculture’s Batanes experiment station, said initial assessment by the province’s agriculture field personnel showed a bleak scenario for agriculture.  “In the past months, our farmers’ crops were barely trying to survive the effects of El Niño, but when Typhoon “Ineng” hit, all that remained was wiped out,” he said.  Now that farmers have just started to replant their crops, which include garlic, sweet potato, corn, rice and vegetables, drought has crept back and is threatening to wipe these out, Batallones said.  “If little or no rainfall will be felt in the province within this planting season, which lasts until this month, then that could be it for our farmers – no harvest for this season,” he said.  Arthur Tabig, 38, a farmer in Mahatao town, said all his crops were damaged due to drought and the recent typhoon.  Tabig said farmers like him were hoping that the provincial government will help them recover by providing them seedlings.  Evelyn Maduro, a local caterer, said vegetables sold in the province are expensive because these are shipped from Tuguegarao City in Cagayan.  She said she recently bought two pieces of eggplant for P60.  Lorenzo Caranguian, DA regional director for Cagayan Valley, said the provincial boards of Isabela and Quirino had earlier declared a state of calamity in these provinces due to the dry spell’s impact on corn farms.  “The report we got is that in Isabela, most of those affected were the coastal towns,” Caranguian said.  In an Aug. 11 report, Lucrecio Alviar, DA regional director in Cagayan Valley, said Isabela reported about P706,000 worth of damage to corn crops in 129,000 hectares (ha) of farmland there.  Quirino, on the other hand, lost about P119,000 of corn crops in 61,000 ha.  The DA regional office has requested P221,000 from the DA national office as rehabilitation assistance to farmers affected by drought in Isabela and Quirino. --- Juliet Cataluña and Melvin Gascon, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Global warming is already upon us.  Throw-in El Niño and we have the perfect combination of elements to a disaster.  Declaring a state of calamity in the Batanes island group is a good wake-up call for all of us.  The Batanes situation could very well be a microcosm (meaning: a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristic qualities or features of something much larger) of the larger dire situation in our country.  Unless concrete steps are taken to conserve our water resources now and in the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year, the entire Philippines will be in a state of calamity.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and


Antonio, A. C. (2015). “El Niño”.  Retrieved on September 16, 2015 from, (2015). “Batanes Under State of Calamity Due to Dry Spell”.  Retrieved on September 16, 2015 from, (2015). “Batanes Under State of Calamity Due to Dry Spell”.  Retrieved on September 16, 2015 from

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Lumads of Mindanao

By Anton Antonio
September 17, 2015

There are persistent reports from mainstream media that Lumads in some parts of Mindanao are being killed.  Wanting to understand what is going on I did a limited research on this issue and came up with the following new report…


DAVAO CITY – Indigenous peoples in the provinces of Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Bukidnon share the same experiences of being harassed, killed and displaces by paramilitary groups and government soldiers, according to Kalumaran, a federation of different tribes in Mindanao.  Aside from deaths and arrests, several lumad schools ran by nongovernment institutions were also targeted by government and paramilitary forces, Kalumaran added.  “It is a form of ethnocide, but it is worse because there are specific characteristics of impunity and killings targeting the lumad.  And what is alarming is that it is happening all over Mindanao,” said Kalumaran secretary general Dulphing Ogan.  Since May, more than 700 lumad have been displaced from their homes in Talaingod in Davao del Norte after government forces and the anticommunist paramilitary group Alamara targeted several villages in the town, Ogan said.  Hundreds of students were also deprived the right to attend their classes after at least 24 primary and secondary schools were shut down and the teachers receives death threats.  The schools were operated by Salugpungan Ta Tanu Igkanugon Community Learning Center and Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. Academy.  Several villagers from San Fernando, Bukidnon, which shares borders with Davao del Norte, have been displaces since May this year after the Alama paramilitary group and government forces allegedly occupied their villages.  Some 700 lumad from Bukidnon and Davao del Norte have been staying at the United Church of Christ in the Philippines’ Haran Center in Davao City because of the alleged militarization in their communities.  Last July 23, more than 500 policemen and government agents conducted a “rescue operation” at the Haran Center to force the lumad to return to their homes.  The incident resulted in violence after the police forcibly opened the gates of the center.  At least 17 lumad and two policemen were injured in the confrontation between the lumad evacuees and the “rescuing” policemen.  On Aug. 18, five Manobo lumad, including a 13-year-old and a 17-year-old, were killed by the military’s Special Forces in Pangantucan town in Bukidnon.  The military said those killed were rebels, but the New People’s Army said the victims were civilians.  On Aug. 27, at least 11 Manobo tribal and farmer leaders were arrested by government soldiers in the town of Kitaotao in Bukidnon.  The military said the arrest was made after they served 57 search warrants in a community of suspected communist rebels where they reportedly yielded an improvised M16 rifle, an M79 grenade launcher, three rifle grenades, two explosives and antigovernment documents.  Capt. Alberto Caber, public information officer of the Eastern Mindanao Command, said the operation “liberated” the village from the New People’s Army.  But Isidro Indao, spokesperson of the Kahugpongan sa mga Mag-uuma sa Kitaotao, said the leaders and their organizations were targeted because they were vocal in the campaign against human rights abuses in the mountain communities and were calling for the armed groups, especially the military, not to occupy civilian villages.  On Aug. 28, several families also fled their homes after the Bagani paramilitary group led by a certain Hasmin killed Manobo lumad brothers Crisanto and Loloy Tagugol in San Miguel town in Surigao del Sur.  On Sept. 1, at least 2,000 residents from Barangay Diatagon in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, evacuated after a paramilitary group, allegedly accompanied by soldiers, killed Emerico Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agriculture and Livelihood Development (Alcadev).  Alcadev is a privately operated but government-regulated learning institution that provides basic and technical education to lumad children in communities rarely reached by government services.  The armed men, locally known as the Magahat, also killed Dionel Campos and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo.  Campos was a community leader and the chair of the indigenous people group Malihutayong Pakigbisog Alansa sa Sumusunod, which is known for its position on the protection of ancestral lands and its campaign against human rights violations targeting indigenous people.  These are just the major cases but it can provide a bigger picture that there is an ongoing systematic, planned and deliberate attempt to destroy the lumad.  The attacks focus on lumad areas with established indigenous schools and peoples organizations,” Ogan said.  There can be no other reason behind the attack but the frustration of the military and companies on the persistence of the tribes not to allow the operations of extractive economic activities in the area like mining and logging, Ogan added.  “These areas are the best spots to extract gold, nickel and copper.  And these areas are also the remaining forests in Mindanao,” Ogan said.  Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel earlier blames the paramilitary Magahat behind the fillings in Lianga, but he disclosed that this group was created, trained, funded and armed by the military for its counterinsurgency campaign.  The military denounced the killings and vowed that it would fully support the ongoing investigations.” --- Karlos Manlupig, Inquirer Mindanao


DAVAO CITY – Surigao del Sur Gov. Johnny Pimentel on Friday said the Magahat-Bagani paramilitary force that recently killed a school director and two Manobo lumad residents in Lianga town was a “monster created by the military.”  A least 2,000 residents from the village of Diatagon fled their homes after members of the Magahat-Bagani --- allegedly accompanied by soldiers --- killed Emerico Samarca, executive director of the Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (Alcadev) in the morning of Sept. 1.  Samarca was found dead inside a classroom.  He had a stab wound and his throat was slit open.  Alcadev is a privately operated but government-regulated learning institution that provides basic and technical education to lumad children in communities rarely reached by government services.  After killing Samarca, the lumad men gathered the residents and killed Dionel Campos and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo.  Campos was a community leader and chair of the indigenous people’s group Maluhutayong Pakigbisog Alansa sa Sumusunod (Mapasu), which is known to fight for ancestral land and campaign against human rights violations targeting indigenous people.  The Magahat-Bagani also razed the building of a community cooperative not far from the school compound.  Pimentel said the Magahat-Bagani force, which is composed of at least 30 heavily armed men, had been a persistent security problem in the province.  “They killed people including barangay leaders.  They are the same people creating chaos in at least four towns,” Pimentel told the Inquirer by phone.  The four towns, Pimentel said, include Lianga, San Agustin and Marihatag.  Pimentel disclosed that the people and the government knew very well that the paramilitary group was created by the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  “This is the creation of the military.  But they created a monster that they could no longer control,” Pimentel said.  The governor explained that the creation of the Magahat-Bagani Force was part of the military’s counterinsurgency campaign.  “The Bagani is being used by the Army for counterinsurgency,” Pimentel said.  “I know how it works,” said the governor.  “Before the group was created and before training started, I already learned about that.  The same thing happened in Patukan (in Compostela Valley) and other areas.  Where will they (Bagani) get the money?  An Armalite rifle cost at least P150,000.  The firearms came from the Army,” he said.  The governor said he has been pleading to the military to disband the Bagani.  “For the past two years I have been asking the military to disband and disarm them but nothing happened,” Pimentel said.  On Aug. 31, Pimentel said he had a meeting with the 4th Infantry Division commander Maj. Gen. Oscar Lactao, 401st Brigade commander Col. Alexander Macario and 402nd Brigade commander Col. Isidro Purisima about the Bagani because militiamen killed two lumad brothers in the town of San Miguel on Aug. 28.  “When will you act on it?  The Bagani should be disbanded,” Pimentel recalled telling the military officers during the meeting, warning of the Bagani going on a rampage.  Just as Pimentel had predicted, the killings happened in Lianga.  Pimentel identified the leaders of the Magahat as Marcos Bocales, Bob Tejero and Loloy Tejero, while the leader of the Bagani force as Calpet Egua, who is based in Agusan del Sur.  The governor said he ordered the arrest of Bocales in 2009, but local authorities could not catch up with him and his followers, despite them usually being “seen inside the camp” of the military.  “If only I can, I would declare war on them,” said Pimentel.  “I want Bocales and Tejero dead because the people are pitiful.  It’s too much already,” he added.  The military had denied allegation it was behind the militia and even vowed to support an investigation.  Purisima, in an earlier press statement said more soldiers had been sent to help investigate the killings in Lianga and “go after the perpetrators.”  “We shall not let these criminals roam and threaten the peace-loving people of Surigao del Sur.  We will let then face the crimes they’ve committed,” he added.  For his part, Lactao said the killings had affected the peace programs of the provincial government.  “We condemn the crime committed by this armed group.  It is very unfortunate that this situation happened,” Lactao said.  “We will support and participate in the conduct of this fact finding mission and the ongoing investigation by PNP to give justice to the victims of this crime,” Lactao added.  But Pimentel said the support that he needed from the military was the immediate disbandment of the militia and the prosecution of those behind the fillings.  The provincial government is also asking AFP chief of staff Gen, Hernando Irriberi, who is from Surigao del Sur, to intervene and exact accountability over the alleged abuses of the militia and the role of the military in its operations.  “The people are also appealing to presidential adviser on the peace process Ging Deles to also intervene and help resolve the issue,” Pimentel said.” ---- Karlos Manlupig, Inquirer Mindanao

Peace and order in the countryside is a critical component to rural development.  This is one of the problems that made upland communities the poorest of the poor.  Poor and relatively uneducated, upland dwellers as well as isolated rural communities are suckers to exploitation and intimidation from armed elements (within and outside legal and constitutional structure).  The lumads are part of these communities.  Unless something is done to keep the lumads and indigenous communities safe and secure, they will remain economically undeveloped.  Peace and order is the initial and starting condition to improving the lives of the lumads of Mindanao.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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REFERENCE:, (2015). “Lumad in Gold-Rich Mindanao Targeted”.  Retrieved on September 17, 2015 from, (2015). “Militia in Lumad Killings a Monster Created by Military”.  Retrieved on September 17, 2015 from

Fossil Fuel Burning Causes Sea Level Rise

By Anton Antonio
September 17, 2015

Sea level is the horizontal plane or level corresponding to the surface of the sea at mean level between high and low tide.  On the other hand, sea level rise is the result and effect of the greenhouse effect or global warming.  Rise in sea level will have a great impact on the long-term coastal morphology which will gradually cause a general shoreline retreat and an increased flooding risk. (Antonio, 2015) 

But perhaps what is more important to know is what causes sea level rise.  Please read…

By Fiona MacDonald
September 14, 2015

Scientists have calculated what would happen if we turned our backs on renewable energy and went ahead and burnt all the remaining fossil fuel resources on Earth.  The verdict is pretty bleak: the resulting warming would pretty much entirely melt Antarctica, and cause sea levels to rise by a disastrous 50 to 60 meters. That would be enough to put most coastal cities underwater, including New York City and Washington DC.  “Our findings show that if we do not want to melt Antarctica, we can’t keep taking fossil fuel carbon out of the ground and just dumping it into the atmosphere as CO2 like we’ve been doing,” one of the lead researchers, Ken Caldeira from the Carnegie Institute for Science in the US, said in a press release.  Although plenty of studies in the past have tried to predict what could happen if our climate increases 2, 5, or even 7 degrees Celsius, this is the first to model the effect on the Antarctic ice sheet given the worst case scenario – where us foolish humans burn through every last fossil fuel resource on the planet without restraint and with no regard for the consequences (sound familiar, baby boomers?).  “Most previous studies of Antarctic have focused on loss of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet,” said Caldeira.  “Our study demonstrates that burning coal, oil, and gas also risks loss of the much larger East Antarctic Ice Sheet.”  The team’s model took into account the many factors that will impact Antarctica’s evolution over the next 10,000 years, and used these to try and predict not only how quickly the ice would melt, but also which area would be affected first, taking into account interrelated variables like ocean currents, atmosphere composition, and snowfall.  The model showed that if carbon emissions continue at their current levels for the next 60 to 80 years, then the West Antarctic Ice Sheet will definitely become unstable (something that’s already begun to happen).  The good news is that if global warming doesn’t exceed 2 degrees Celsius, then Antarctic melting will only cause a few meters of manageable sea level rise.  But every tenth of a degree over that increases the risk of total Antarctic ice loss.  And the reality is that current levels of carbon emissions only represent around 6 to 8 percent of the 10,000 billion tonnes of carbon that could be released if we burnt all remaining fossil fuels.  So things could get a lot worse.  :The West Antarctic Ice Sheet may already have tipped into a state of unstoppable ice loss, whether as a result of human activity or not,” said one of the team members Anders Levermann from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.  “But if we want to pass on cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Calcutta, Hamburg and New York as our future heritage, we need to avoid a tipping in East Antarctica.”  This destruction wouldn’t happen overnight, with the predictions for the rest of this century remaining pretty much the same as previous models.  But over several thousand years the model showed that sea levels could rise by around 60 meters.  This destruction wouldn't happen overnight, with the predictions for the rest of this century remaining pretty much the same as previous models. But over several thousand years the model showed that sea levels could rise by around 60 metres.  “If we don’t stop dumping our waste CO2 into the sky, land that is now home to more than a billion people will one day be underwater,” said Caldeira.”

Knowing the problem is only a part of the problem-solving equation; identifying the cause/s is critical in crafting ideal solutions such as coming up with the solutions to the uncomfortable problem why fossil fuel burning causes sea level rise.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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Antonio, A. C., (2015).  “Sea Level Rise”. Retrieved on September 17, 2015 from “Burning All Remaining Fossil Fuels Will Cause Sea Levels to Rise 60 Meters, Study Says”. Retrieved on September 17, 2015 from

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The "NO TO COAL" Bandwagon

By Anton Antonio
September 16, 2015

My dear friend, Jose Lorenzo Castillo, a great thinker, an excellent author and creative writer, has always referred to New Zealand (where he frequently visits) as his favourite place on earth; although he lives in the United States.  I agree that New Zealand is a healthy place to live in but, unknown to many (perhaps even the Kiwis themselves), New Zealand uses coal as its preferred energy source.  Please read this researched material…

By Natasha Geiling
August 7, 2015

It appears that New Zealand is finally ready to throw their domestic coal habit into Mount Doom by 2018, the country will cease to use coal as a source of domestic energy production.  “Historically coal has played an important role in ensuring the security of New Zealand’s electricity supply, particularly in dry years where our hydro-lake levels are low,” Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s Energy and Resources Minister, said in a statement.  “But significant market investment in other forms of renewable energy in recent years, particularly geothermal, means that a coal backstop is becoming less of a requirement.”  Bridges’ statement comes on the heels of the country’s largest electricity and gas retailer, Genesis Energy, announcing its intentions to shut down the last of their two coal-fired boilers at the Huntly Power Station, located south of Auckland, by December of 2018.  “Its closure marks the end of coal-fired power generation in New Zealand,” Bridges said, noting that the closure of the plants would also help New Zealand significantly reduce its carbon emissions.  Energy is New Zealand’s second-largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (behind agriculture), accounting for 39 percent of the country’s emissions in 2013.  Of the 81 million tons of greenhouse gases emitted by New Zealand in 2013, the Huntly site released 2.3 million tons.  At its peak, the site accounted for five percent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to Radio News New Zealand.  New Zealand has more than 15 billion tons of known coal reserves in the ground, and says that more than half of those resources are probably recoverable.  In 2013, New Zealand extracted 4.6 million tons of coal, exporting a little less than half of it --- mostly to Asia, where it’s used to power steel manufacturing.  Nearly two-thirds of New Zealand’s coal comes from just two mines --- Rotowaro in the Waikato (about 63 miles from Auckland) and Stockton on the West Coast.  But coal use in New Zealand has been on the decline in recent years, accounting for just five percent of consumer energy demand in 2013 (oil made up the largest share, accounting for 46 percent of demand).  2013 also saw a six percent drop in coal production, largely due to Solid Energy --- the country’s leading coal producer --- scaling back its mining operations in two mines in the Walkato region of the country.  Increasingly, coal in that region is becoming mre difficult to locate and more expensive to mine, limiting the nation’s ability to rely on the resource for its energy supply.  Instead, New Zealand has turned to renewable energy in recent years, particularly geothermal energy, which has more than doubled in the past decade.  In 2014, for the first time in the country’s history, geothermal generation provided more electricity than gas --- 16.3 percent of New Zealand’s total electricity versus 15.8 percent.  According to a statement by Bridges in March of this year, electricity generated from renewable is at a 20-year high in New Zealand, accounting for 79.9 percent of all electricity generated.  Bridges told the New Zealand Herald that “New Zealand’s share or renewable electricity generation is the fourth largest in the world,” and that country aims to have 90 percent of its electricity produced by renewable resources in 2025.  In Thursday’s statement, Bridges painted Genesis Energy’s decision to shutter the coal-fired power plants as an opportunity, noting that with the advance notice, the country would have ample time to deploy more geothermal and renewable resources to avoid energy shortages.  “New Zealand’s abundant energy resources give us a renewable energy advantage that we need to make to the most of,” Bridges said.  “This decision crates opportunities to do that.”  The government has not said whether the shuttering of the coal-fired power plants will impact the amount of coal extracted and exported from the country, however.  Genesis Energy has announced that it intends to end its contract with Solid Energy, which supplied the coal for the Huntly power plants, in the middle of next year.  Half of Solid Energy’s annual coal production, historically, has been used for domestic energy, while the other half is exported.”

The Industrial Revolution was the transitory era to new manufacturing processes in the period from 1760 to sometime between 1820 to 1840.  Therefore, the coal-powered Industrial Revolution is now history although many countries (including New Zealand) persisted in using coal.  Coal’s contribution to environmental problems specifically carbon emissions into the atmosphere, however, led the world to seriously consider shifting to clean, green and renewable energy sources… all these is geared towards minimizing their carbon footprints and mitigating global warming/climate change.  I’m glad New Zealand has also decided to join the “no to coal” bandwagon.

Thoughts to promote positive action…

(Please visit, like and share Pro EARTH Crusaders on Facebook or follow me at and

REFERENCE: (2015). “New Zealand Pledges an End to Coal by 2018”.  Retrieved on September 16, 2015 from