Climate change is already here, warns Greenpece Southeast Asia Campaign Director Von Hernandez in an exclusive interview with FHM last year. He said we belong to the generation that “will bear the burden of the effects of climate change.” Already we have witnessed extreme weather occurrences that have killed countless people and caused damage to properties worth up to the billions.
We don’t want to be apocalyptic messengers now, but we’re sure all of us don’t need to see another Typhoon Ondoy to finally take the issue of climate change very seriously. Common, people, can’t you hear the alarm bells yet?
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Changes in the pattern of climate over periods of time are brought about by an increase in the Earth’s average temperature. That’s global warming to you. It is not as simple as a blistering five-minute exposure to the summer sun. It occurs when carbon dioxide and other air pollution build up in the atmosphere, trapping the sun’s heat and warming up the planet. Environmental mess happens because, says Mark Lynas, author of High Tide: News from a Warming World, “We’ve burned billions of tons of oil, coal, and gas, as well as chopped down most of the world’s forests.” Burning releases lethal greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane in an atmosphere already filled with them.
Wise of you to ask. What’s good about them is, they actually help our planet absorb heat energy, making earth warm enough to inhabit. Its evil side, though, is this: Once the atmosphere is bombarded with additional gases from man-made processes, the concentration of these gases rises beyond natural levels, weakening the planet’s heat-absorbing powers and causing temperatures to rise. Von Hernandez revealed that “manufacturers escape detection from the nature police by burning or incinerating waste or by burying the evidence in illegal dumpsites or landfills, which will compromise the integrity of your water system through leaking. Burning the evidence creates new problems because you’re merely transferring the pollution from land to the air.”
Photo from Deep Impact (1998, Paramount/Dreamworks)