Sunday, December 30, 2012

The end

We don't need the Mayan calendar to know that we are currently in transition, a rather radical one that our generation has never experienced before. We don't need media's over-dramatization of doomsday scenarios to know that we are entering the age of violent storms, more intense rainfall, prolonged droughts and more frequent earthquakes.

We have seen how powerless Japan, known to be among the most technologically advanced nations in the world, was against powerful waves. See how "Katrina" and "Sandy" brought entire states to their knees in America. Back here, the destruction that the twin typhoons "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" will linger in our memories for a long time when whole communities were almost completely wiped out in various areas of Benguet. A mountain of garbage came down and buried people and homes in Baguio.

Just before Christmas, "Pablo" claimed hundreds of lives down south.

The apocalypse is upon us, and not because the Mayans predicted it, but because we have stopped caring for our home for so long, and she's sick.

And for every death, home, livelihood destroyed, a dream shattered, apathy reared its ugly head. It hasn't happened to me, why should I care? That's the attitude of so many of us. And if we should care, when? Do we wait for an illegally-built 8-storey building to come crashing down on us before we uphold the law without fear nor favor? Do we wait to see a school under floodwater or at the receiving end of a landslide before we stand up to stop the removal of a whole forest on a hillside? Would more shopping arcades and a parking building be worth the risk?

Now is the time for all of us to do all we can to minimize our contribution to climate change and worsening the effects of natural calamities, and for all of us to protect, preserve and enhance our defenses against such. Do not for one moment believe that your individual actions do not matter in the bigger scheme of things for your every breath changes the composition of the whole universe.

Your carbon footprint matters, your attitude matters, your habits matter, your garbage output matters, your choices matter - not just to you but to the whole world. You matter and so does every member of your family, every person in your neighborhood - you form part of the half million residents of this city and the seven billion humans on this planet.

Care, and start caring now. Believe that your life depends on it because really, it does. You can either be one of the humans on this planet who caused the end of life, or one who made sure that your children and their children's children will continue to breath breathable air, climb towering trees, be surrounded by colorful flowers, drink unpolluted water, swim in rivers and oceans, see birds fly and fish swim... the one who recognized that the greatest gift of all can't be found inside concrete boxes nor your bank statement - it's all around you and it's called life.

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