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Philippines: Extreme weather events alarm the public

Most Philippine bloggers are worried over the changing weather patterns in the country. If global warming was an esoteric term a few years ago, it is now a familiar term which can be understood by almost everybody. Situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippine archipelago is usually ravaged by strong typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Yet, despite being no strangers to natural calamities, many Filipinos are alarmed over the freak weather events these past months. Climate change fueled a certain level of panic among the public and initiated a community discussion on what should be the best adaptation measure to implement today.

One Alternative Energy Blog writes about the dry spell which affected the northern part of the country:

“The Philippines is welcoming typhoons with open arms. Not because of the death and destruction that they usually bring, but rather for the strong rain that accompany it. Rains are very much needed now in the northern island of Luzon where the capital, Metro Manila, is located. This is necessary so that the rains can fill up the reservoirs of the hydroelectric dams. The water levels of the dams are running very low due to the prolonged dry season that preceded the rainy season. This could be the Philippines’ own proof that global warming exists.”

The Keyboard Confessional identifies the ten reasons why there is drought in the country. The dry spell is not only affecting water supply; it also has a negative impact on agriculture. A-Force links to a news report that the drought will cost the economy by about P1 billion.

Manila Times says the country faces a great risk from global warming. Thoughtstreams mentions the hailstorm in a highland city. A hurricane was also reported in a province. Wow Zamboanga cites the erratic weather in southern Philippines.

The government resorted to cloud seeding to raise water level in dams. The Catholic Church enjoined the faithful to pray for rains. The heavens answered the prayers. Chuvaness is delighted:

“This rain comes with thunder and lightning, which tells me its real rain from heaven. Yesterday we started praying for rain in all Catholic masses in the Philippines. This is a true sign that prayers deliver miracles, what more if a whole nation prays.”

Aiza Bautista, Typing Free cautions the media not to frighten the public:

“I’ve already refused listening to radio and watching TV about the rants of how the dry spells are affecting everything from the rise of electricity to cloud seeding to global warming. It’s just pathetic how they’re making everybody panic over these while it is the perfect time to inform people of what they should be doing instead.”

In many instances, people are blaming the inaccurate weather reporting in the country. Akomismo explains:

“So far we just have 12 weather forecasters, and half of them are applying for jobs abroad. The University of the Philippines — which offers the sole meteorology course in the country — is struggling to find five applicants to keep the course in the curriculum. This is how urgent the need is.”

Kalikasan is doubtful whether the government is ready to confront the impact of global warming:

“Whether the dry season will progress into drought or whether it will be followed by an extremely wet season with typhoons and heavy rains, the question is whether the government is prepared to handle the possible effects of these weather conditions on the people, among these the vulnerability to more environmental tragedies, diseases, and economic dislocation.”

Cool the Planet recommends doable measures which everybody can follow:

“A little goes a long way. Even a small cut on your power consumption will limit carbon emissions. Turn off the aircon and just use an electric fan especially since its getting cold [due to the rainy season]. Or for college students, when you pass by an empty classroom, make sure the lights and the fans are turned off. Don't forget to tell your friends and family to practice the same energy-saving habits. We all have a stake in this world after all.”

Batanghamog advises the government to learn from the environmental practices of other countries. The composed gentleman lauds the government decision to include global warming in the school curriculum. Planeta Azul reports that climate change is included in the President’s legislative agenda. Allen’s Site warns that the environment crisis can be used to promote presidential ambitions of certain politicians. Gerry Albert Corpuz presents wants the ‘emergency funding assistance’ for farmers to be closely monitored by anti-corruption groups. Greenpeace in Southeast Asia has a page devoted to raise awareness on climate change.

Blogged uploads a news article on the need for an “integrated plan to manage the danger presented by rising global temperature that will consider coastal, forestry, agricultural and health solutions, just to name a few.”

A review of Philippine blog posts on global warming also reveals that a great number of young Filipinos learned about the disastrous consequences of climate change through the documentary, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, produced by former US Vice President Al Gore.

Related articles: The perfect storm, Worst marine disaster

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  • Anthony Pittarelli

    people are usually just to afraid to join in the conversation, but congrats on getting quoted!

  • Cliff Carlson

    I live In Dumaguete City On Negros Island. While Luzon north of Manila experianced dry or “drought” conditions, the south of the archapeligo had what could only be called ideal weather patterns. There have been no floods or mudslides here. No weather disasters. It is amusing how Manila and environs think of themselves as “The Philippines”. Or as a few wags put it, IMPERIAL MANILA. Seems Manilans are pretty much indifferant to what is happening in “The Provences” and most in the provences wouldn’t care if Manila burned to the ground

  • http://www.yahoo.com MILTHAIZA

    we have to save the ozone layer im scared of the effects of it…

  • Jon Jimenez

    Due to the sudden change of our climate, my kids had pneumonia. Is there any explanation for the rising and falling of temerature?

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