Influences (or Why I Write the Way I Do)

Natalie Goldberg (free-flowing writing)
Clarissa Pinkola Estes (wild woman writing)
Jane Hutchison (direct-to-the-point writing)
Ernest Hemingway (simple words writing)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Living in the Age of Fear: My Say on Climate Change (In Respect of Blog Action Day for Climate Change)

the debate on climate change is, from my limited knowledge, being waged on two sides:

(1) that humans are responsible for it because of wanton disregard to the environment, from the way that we consume and our raising into a 'throwaway' or 'disposable' culture, our ignorance and silence to the deleterious effects of extractive industries such as mining and logging, and the developed countries' (yes, for once, the developing country is lesser to blame!) fossil fuel-hungry march to manufacturing-led industrialization (among others he he)

(2) no way are humans responsible, with some scientists saying that climate change is a 'natural' process caused by the heating up of the sun, a view to which my brother subscribes to.

either way, we are not guilt-free. we have so much to fear. because whether it's the fault of humans or the sun, we live in the age of tipping points --- the balance has tipped. gone are the days when typhoons used to hit bicol and all the way up to the south and north parts of the tagalog region. now even visayas and mindanao (remember cotabato and cagayan de oro) are no longer spared, and ravaged. gone are the days when rainy days are meant for lovers to do a little cuddling under the sheets (remember 'pumapatak na naman ang ulan?'...). now the rains, falling for just one day under storm signal no. 1 (that was ondoy) is a cause of much panic, material loss, and death. gone are the days when flash floods occur only in valleys high-up or some remote barrio. gone are the days when floods could just be associated with navotas and malabon. gone are the days when we are less vulnerable and never fearful. this is the age of fear.

an age of fear not just from rich yuppie Spanish mestizo convicts or zombies or UFOs or manananggals, or kidnappers, or rapists, or even the abu sayyaf. this is the age of fear, of Mother Nature, itself. and thus, while we can claim protection from humans by means of the law or even, vigilante forms of justice, from Mother Nature we cannot be guaranteed of such protection. we have no protection. we cannot demand protection from anyone outside of us, but from our selves. Mother Nature demands that we change in attitudes, in outlook, in will. and we are lost and helpless because Mother Nature forces us to confront another kind of fear - our values.

perhaps because it's hard to reverse lifestyles and habits. perhaps because our institutions would rather engage in mudslinging than be accountable. perhaps because we'd rather blame anyone but ourselves (e.g., squatters, dam managers, urban planners). or perhaps because we can no longer distinguish between fear, and apathy.

so are we ready then?

Danke to Keith Levit of www.123rf.com for the impressive pic.

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