Davao City, Philippines, June 02, 2016 –(PR.com)– The recent 2nd Regional Youth Leaders Congress 2016 opened the topic of climate reality. It was held at the University of Southeastern Philippines last May 20-22, 2016. 800 attendees gathered, all from different industries. It had several key speakers, one of which was Jessica Madrazo. She is operations director for Coffeebot and managing director of human rights group, Dakila.
The event was primary focused on the topic of peace-building. But she aimed to promote climate reality and its relation to peace. In her speech, Madrazo mentioned the effects of climate change to the society. She also discussed the efforts taken to fight it as well as its relation to the economy. Madrazo explained that climate change could also be a hurdle in peace-building. But she stressed that it isn’t too late to unite and fight together.
Peace-building and climate change are different issues, but they could mix. In her speech, Madrazo cited the recent Kidapawan massacre as evidence. Hungry farmers in Kidapawan, Philippines protested asking for food to eat. They complained that the drought severed their crops. As a result, they were no longer able to bring food to the table for their families. Skirmish ensued between the farmer protesters and the police. The conflict left two farmers dead, while it also wounded 116 others.
According to Madrazo, even the “flood-free Davao City” did not escape climate change. A major flood ravaged the city in 2011 that affected 5 barangays and killed 25 people. “I’m here because I have no choice. I was forced to come here because my city needed it,” she said when asked why she got into the advocacy.
Climate change is currently one of the biggest issues the world is facing today, and Madrazo said that everyone should be alarmed. “I have not gone into every single effect of climate change, but at one time or another, we can now see that the concern isn’t just the melting of ice and sea level rise. It includes political instability, floods and mudlides, wildfires, drought, storm damage, ocean acidification, infrastructure loss, climate refugees, species extinction, famine, water scarcity, ecosystem loss and increase in infectious diseases,” she stated.
Greenhouse effect occurs when carbon dioxide is emitted to the atmosphere carrying infrared energy. It causes the planet’s surface to be warm. And its effects are worldwide. According to NASA, the earth has become warmer since 1880. In fact, 20 of the planet’s warmest years occurred since 1981.
The ocean is also absorbing its heat making its top 700 meters warmer. The ocean has become 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit warmer since 1969. But its effects does not stop there. The World Health Organization reported that between 2030 and 2050, 250,000 more deaths could occur per year.
Climate change has many different causes. In fact a lot of its contributors have been prevalent in the recent years. Madrazo noted that emission of greenhouse gasses has become rampant. Coal plants, industrial agriculture, and expanding urbanization became common practices to boost the economy. Yet it also became some of the biggest hurdles in achieving a greener society.
But there is hope. Madrazo noted that it is important for people to stay informed. Information inspires action. And action is needed in the pressing issue of climate change.
She stressed that economic progress does not have to mean degradation of the environment. Citizens could start projects that would benefit the environment and the economy.
Fortunately, several organizations have initiated eco-friendly projects. Madrazo mentioned that Ateneo de Davao promoted the use and installation of solar panels. Sitio Bansil, Barangay Malabog, Paquibato District, Davao City has also learned about the use of renewable energy. Twelve (12) solar panels and two (2) 12-V deep cycle batteries were also donated in the area. Aside from that, investments in renewable energy are also increasing every year.
The fight against climate change seems like an uphill battle. But Madrazo asserted that citizens could work together and aspire to become an eco-city. It only takes more people who are willing to offer their money, talents, time, or skills. More people could promote renewable energy and environmental laws and its implementation. People could work to make a better version of their cities and make it a cleaner one for the next generation.
(This article was originally posted in PR.com)