The warming of the planet
Fr. Shay Cullen
January 16, 2019
There is something strange and unusual happening to our world and every one of us will be impacted. The Indigenous people of the Philippines, the Aeta have survived for as many 30,000 years, they have survived by their unique survival skills in the rain forests as hunter and gatherers. Their love and respect of nature and its cycles and seasons and intimate, knowledge of the hundreds of medicinal plants helped them survive. Their lives are changing with the climate change at a pace they never experienced before.
Life is very different than it was about 70 years ago when there were still lush rain forests in the Philippines. But now the rain forests are almost all gone. Hundreds of thousands of trees cut and were shipped out to Japan, Korea, and Europe for reconstruction after WWII.The Aeta indigenous people retreated further up the mountains and became subsistence farmers.
The Aeta people of Luzon had all of their ancestral lands stripped bare and they being a peaceful people living in small remote villages became planters and harvesters on the bare hills and mountains left behind. They planted vegetables, root crops, and a variety of fruit trees. But the absence of the forest has changed the climate drastically. Their crops are failing. There is more drought when there should be rain, and powerful typhoons where there should by dry sunny weather.
The earth is warming, over heating and recent years were the hottest ever recorded. This causes disruptions all over the globe.Nothing like this has happened for millions of years and when it did the earth was inhabitable. Thousands of species became extinct.
Its happening again all because of us humans, the species with the big intelligent brains who should know better. We human are less human and more driven by our animal instincts and passion and not guided by reason, discipline and self control.
We as a species is the most destructive species after the dinosaur Tyrannous Rex. Our society is powered more by greed than by love of each other. Many of us humans know what is right but choose the wrong. So rain forests and destroyed, the air is polluted and poisoned and our life-style is causing the planet of overheat. It will have more devastating consequences than we have already experienced.
Many politicians and corporate bosses especially in the developed economies refuse to face and admit the truth of global warming and dangerous climate change simply because of corporate greed, the love of comfort and money, and to retain political power and economic growth. Some say it is a hoax.We need to elect politicians who have education, strong moral values, and a love of the environment and can see and respond positively to the needs of the poor people and the planet.
The absence of political will and the blindness of denial is allowing the planet’s temperature to creep upward to the maximum allowable temperature increase of 2 degrees before disaster strikes. Even this present level experts say is already a calamity. An increase in ocean temperature is causing the death of the coral reefs – they produce the life giving food of thousands of species of fish upon which millions of families depend for a daily meal. Damage the coral reefs and we damage the food chain.
The wanton destruction of the Philippine black corals of Mindanao is the result of corporate and local government corruption They take a long time to recover. Besides the oceans are absorbing all the CO2 they can and they are becoming more acidic. Global fish stocks are threatened too. The EU has a law making nets bigger so small fish can escape and live and reproduce.
There will be more massive crop failures, drought, floods and rising sea levels.There will be greater forest destruction in the Amazon and massive population migrations. The Aeta and farmers everywhere will have fewer harvests as a result of global warming. The prices of food commodities are increasing at an alarming rate and as production drops, famine could once again kill millions in some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.The tipping point of global temperature is approaching that could make the warming irreversible.
Besides the earth is already warmer and vast tracts of marshlands in Siberia and near the Arctic Circle is melting releasing billions of tons of methane into the atmosphere. This is adding to the blanket of gas that is insulating the planet and preventing the heat from escaping. Meanwhile the sun penetrates directly unreflected by the Ice cap that has melted. Severe winter storms will be harsher colder and more prolonged. As I write parts of Europe is buried under mountains of snow. The rising level of emissions of CO2 causes global warming. Before the industrial revolution Carbon dioxide levels were around 280 parts per million (p.p.m.) now the level is close to 400 p.p.m.
If we humans continue this destructive behaviour, like destroying forests and burning fossil fuels in coal plants to make electricity we are going to cook the planet and destroy our own ability to survive. We have to protect the environment, clean the oceans of plastic and reduce dependence on fossil fuels.