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Editorial | Running out of time

We enjoyed a nice weather yesterday. The day started with a drizzle, soft rain that cooled our temperature and temper. Commenting on this respite from the heat the past days, some older people said this was the kind of weather they grew up with – cool, low humidity, and a drizzle in the late afternoon. So much has changed, it seems, because what was normal before has turned to be out of the ordinary, in fact peculiar as some would say, now.

We cannot stress enough how the weather has changed over the last decades. Our country is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change manifested in increased frequency and gravity of typhoons, the extreme weather changes and the sea level rise.

Last Wednesday, communication and media professor Crispin Maslog, in his talk about science reporting, said that we have to open our eyes to the fact that we may be submerged in water soon with the unabated melting of the polar ice caps due to global warming. Needless to say, glaciers are melting so fast, opening the land or ocean beneath, to the effect that it absorbs more sunlight and therefore, more heating. This endangers the flora and fauna that thrive in these cold regions, ultimately submerging island atolls in the South Pacific Ocean such as Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji and the rest of the islands. If this happens, we will not be far behind.

A study conducted by the New Jersey-based science organization Climate Central showed that in a short span of only three decades, there will be regions affected by the sea level rise and by the end of the century, land currently occupied by 8.6 million Filipinos could be lower than the height of average annual coastal flood.

Peter Girard, director of communications at Climate Central, in an interview with journalists last year, said that an optimistic scenario would still have 5.2 million Filipinos will occupy land that will be underwater at high tide by 2050 increasing to 6.9 million at the end of the century.

Time is running out. In these critical times, protecting our remaining natural resources in the mountains and the coast should be everyone’s top of our priority.

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