Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Environment is Not Important

By Anton Antonio
December 9, 2015

The elections are exactly six months away but the declared presidential candidates are already busy making the rounds to simply “announce” their candidacy since the period of campaign is three months away.  Media --- broadcast (television and radio), print and even social media --- are being swamped by information about the candidates and their platforms of government.  Some of the information is designed to promote candidates although some are unfortunately aimed at destroying other candidates.  This is quite normal and acceptable in a democracy where everyone is free to advertise and criticize.

The sound bite (meaning: a short extract from a recorded interview, chosen for its pungency or appropriateness) the candidates individually and collectively make almost daily are quite generic, mundane and just the usual stuff we all hear every campaign season.  They range from promises of economic progress, job and livelihood opportunities, political space and freedom, and improved social standing for all of the electorates both young and old.  Most of the time, however, they are mired in their personal hang-ups and idiosyncrasies (meaning: a mode of behaviour or way of thought peculiar to an individual): (a) one spending his daily lunch in boodle fights (meaning: a military style of eating where food is prepared on long tables) to convince he is not corrupt; (b) one is busy cursing everything and everyone… Pope Francis included; (c) one is trying so hard to convince everyone (including all the saints in heaven) that she is a Filipino citizen, had satisfied the residency requirement to run as president, and would like to continue the legacy of her father… (in the movies, perhaps); (d) one is holding on to the claim that “daang matuwid”  and righteousness is his birthright; and, (e) one is using legal language to justify the ills of a Martial Law regime.  It seems strange that some 200 leaders are talking about measures to mitigate the ill effects of climate change in the COP21 and climate talks in Paris, France while our candidates are busy talking about some not-too-important concerns.

Our presidential candidates are absolutely right to present governance platforms that would address socio-political and economic concerns.  They should, however, realize that all these plans and programs will go awry (meaning: amiss and away from the appropriate, planned, or expected course) if the environment and environmental issues and concerns are not factored into their platforms of government.  This is a shivering thought… are they all convinced that the environment is not important?

Thoughts to promote positive action…

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