Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is the Philippines a Victim of Climate Change?

According to the Philippine Star, President Arroyo called on rich countries yesterday to provide funds for rehabilitating areas affected by tropical storm “Ondoy” and typhoon “Pepeng,” saying the country had been a victim of climate change. She said that in seeking foreign help, the country will stress that it is “not a culprit of climate change” and added “We are a victim. We are not a climate maker but we certainly are a climate taker.”

GMA's cry for help to other countries was commendable and I hope many will respond to her call. But I question her for pointing a finger at climate change. How can she back up her claim with scientific facts when the hysteria over global warming has been discredited by many in the scientific community (read related article here)?

Wish GMA could have been more real. Beside the naturally strong winds and rain, there's also deforestation and garbage pollution has that has been causing severe floods and tragic landslides in the Philippines almost every year, but who's pointing a finger at these possible man-made culprits?


  1. As a high school student in Scotland in the 1980s, .. the talk was not of Global Warming, but in fact the Scientific sooth- and doomsayers were predicting global COOLING, and a new Ice just around the corner. I read your linked article, and found it interesting, despite not being a scientist myself I grasped many of the points BOTH sides were making... maybe they are BOTH right ?... whatever the reasons it should be remembered that our planet is a living, breathing planet and not a machine with a regulator switch. it is EASY for anyone to jump on a (popular) bandwagon and use it as the cause of their woes and to justify making silly demands. I lived in the philippines for over a year. I was personally shocked at peoples attitudes towards trash, in general. Despite being fastidious about their personal hygiene, they were reckless with that of other people and their public spaces. It seemed that the prevailing attitude was "someone else will clean that up". Chino Roces Ave. to Don Bosco was disgusting. trash at the mercy of dogs; scattered all over the (unwalkable) sidewalk. it stinks of urine, discarded food scraps from sidewalk eateries. In the villages of people I visited, their houses were clean, .. yet residents are oblivious to piles of uncollected crap just outside on the streets. Everyone, from mahirap rag-clothed people to business men (and women) in suits dropped fast food trash, hawked and spat on the sidewalks... Disgusting behaviour. and it is not only confined to Metro Manila / Makati. it is endemic. Shanty towns in Malate.. Quirino Ave, SS.Hiway... Commonwealth / Tandang Sora .. even just next door to Trinoma. everywhere. I dont want to sound like a foreigner preaching, but things... and not just politicians, NEED to change in order for the country to progress properly. a "paradigm shift" and total countrywide attitude adjustment, in my opinion, is necessary and overdue :). Thanks for this article.

  2. You make excellent points my friend. It reminded me of Hardin's "tragedy of the commons" where many are guilty of acting indepedently for their self-interest that results in destroying a shared resource. You nailed it well on the "paradigm shift" comment - a country wide worldview or attitude change on the environment, our responsibility and why and who created it.

  3. I just hope if our government gets anymore additional help from another country, that it'll go to the people...