Year 2, Month 1, Day 19: Wow. An Inspiring Politician. Who Knew?

The Manila Bulletin tells us about Philippines Senator Loren Legarda’s advice to the country and the legislature:

“As we continue to face weather in extremes, public health, energy, water security, our biodiversity, and economic growth are also under grave threat. Most at risk are lives that we cannot put a price on,” Legarda said.

“With all this in mind, we cannot afford to wait for the next screaming headline about death and destruction from typhoons, floods or drought before we take concrete actions. It is critical that the increased attention, interest, and sense of urgency in responding to the challenges posed by climate change and disaster risks are translated to local actions that effectively reduce disaster vulnerability,” she further explained.

The senator stressed the need to make communities safer, more resilient, and even more ready to act when disaster strikes.

“We must build homes for the homeless, but we need to make sure they are built in areas that will ensure safety and security to home owners even in times of disasters. We must construct roads and bridges to facilitate movements of goods and services; but in building them, we will make sure they do not facilitate the demise of lives. We must not train our sights merely on enhancing our capacities to re-build in times of disasters; but rather on reducing risks for our people and building lasting communities,” she said.

I didn’t know about her. I think I have a new hero:

Loren Legarda is a Filipino broadcast journalist, environmentalist, and politician of Visayan ancestry, notable as the only female to top two senatorial elections (1998 and 2007). During the 2004 Philippine general election, she ran for the position of Vice-President as an Independent with Fernando Poe, Jr. as running mate.

Legarda is a notable advocate of Climate Change Awareness and has numerous achievements in the fields of social development and human rights advocacy along with her work in journalism. As a journalist, she has received many awards. In 2008, she was chosen as “United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Asia Pacific Regional Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation”. She was a member of the Philippine delegation during the 2009 Copenhagen Summit.


Could we have a few like her in this country? Please?

Anyway, my letter to the Manila Bulletin:

At this point, there is no valid rationale for doubting the danger posed by anthropogenic global warming. Atmospheric heating triggered by the greenhouse effect was predicted decades ago, and climatologists have been refining their understanding of these phenomena since then. It is a cruel irony that through accidents of geography, the world’s wealthiest and most developed nations may the last to be severely affected. These countries are responsible for the vast majority of greenhouse emissions, while the nations with negligible carbon footprints stand to lose the most to rising sea levels, extreme weather, crippling drought and all the other predicted consequences of climate change. The Philippines’ initiative to plan ahead for likely outcomes in a world of climate chaos is an important example to the rest of the world. There are many good ways to prepare for the future — but avoiding the facts is not one of them.

Warren Senders