22 April 2009
Today is Earth Day 2009. There will be many events and celebrations to mark the occasion around the world. It's a wonderful feeling to see that the fringe activism of the 60s and 70s have grown into a global movement that encircles the planet.
And yet, here in the Philippines, apparently all of a sudden, battle lines have been drawn between a government that is ready to resuscitate the aging, mothballed Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) and a citizenry that is now slowly organizing to meet the renewed threat.
You'll find on my sidebar the "Say 'NO' to the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP)! online petition. If you will look at the signatories to this petition, many of them are not Filipinos. (I hope more Filipinos will sign it). Proof I'm sure that the language of the mushroom cloud and radioactive fallout is readily understandable by any human mind. The bottom line here is for all of us Filipinos to commit to a nuclear-free, renewable-energy-powered planet. We need to make that commitment now before it's too late.
There is a plethora of environmental problems that we face worldwide. And the interconnection of these problems just dazzles the imagination with results that are simply devastating. Just a week ago, it was reported that 1,500 farmers in the Indian state of Chattisgarh committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure brought about by receding water levels. Even genetically-modified seeds that require more water is being blamed for this horrible disaster. All of these are environmentally-related and the tragedy we should not lose sight of is that it's taking such a severe human toll.
The thing to realize is that we need greater numbers if there is to be any sense to what we do about saving the planet. My own suggestion is to conscienticize people like Secretary Jesli Lapus of the Deped to take the lead in bringing about greater awareness and policy changes on environmental issues. Our policymakers and implementors spew tons of rhetoric about saving the planet but will do actually little to bring to reality what they're talking about.
Secretary Lapus is very-well placed to influence things positively. With about 400,000 public school teachers under him at the DepEd and literally tens millions of schoolchildren who would listen, a single DepEd Order issued by him, mandating serious emphasis on environmental issues in the curriculum and a concrete plan to sustain it will go a long way, very quickly, towards tilting the balance of power in favor of the green movement. I'm not talking here about cosmetic activities that just skim the surface but the advent of a paradigm shift that is not just announced but actually implemented.
You ask me how? You tell me how! Please leave your comments so we can discuss this very interesting topic further.