This festive season, we all have the opportunity to make a difference. As we celebrate the merriest season of the year, let us not forget to offer prayers and assistance to the victims of Super Typhoon Odette.
Many of us in the Philippines often escape to an island somewhere to relax and seek refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. There is just something about the beach and the ocean that gives us that feeling of joy.
However, with a super typhoon, it is a total nightmare. We have seen the destruction brought about by the latest Super Typhoon that has hit the country this month.
It is these small islands, with their low adaptive capacities and fragile ecosystems that are very much affected by the climate crisis.
At the same time, it is often the poorest and most vulnerable who do not have the resources or capacity to leave their homes.
Last December 16, Typhoon Odette (Rai) made landfall in Surigao del Norte Province before crossing the central-southern Philippines, specifically the Visayas and Mindanao Islands, with maximum sustained winds of 195km/h and gustiness of 260km/h.
On average, the Philippines experiences roughly 20 powerful typhoons every year. Typhoon Odette is one of the worst typhoons to hit the country in December in the last five decades and is the most powerful storm to hit the Philippines this year.
Strong tropical cyclones have been on the rise in recent decades, particularly in Southeast Asian countries, according to studies. Furthermore, current study suggests that the destructive potential of tropical cyclones over Asian interior regions would nearly double in the future.
According to high-resolution climate model estimates, the climate crisis will likely continue the rising trend in landfalling typhoons and their repercussions on inland regions.
Well, whether you like it or not, when it comes to the climate, we are all in this together, wherever part of the planet you are. Climate change has terrible implications in every part of the world. Environmental degradation, natural disasters, weather extremes, food and water insecurity, economic instability, war, and terrorism are all exacerbated by rising temperatures.
We cannot anymore just wait for things like this to happen before we take action. If we truly want to create a change, here are 10 things you can do about climate change.
1. Make your voice heard by those in power
Tell your governor, local councilors, and city mayors that you think action on climate change is important.
Consumers, customers, and engaged citizens who speak up will have a significantly greater impact on the world around them than those who do not speak out.
2. Eat less meat and dairy
Avoiding meat and dairy products is one of the most effective ways to reduce your environmental impact. A high-fiber, plant-based diet may be better for your health as well, making it a win-win situation.
Buy fresh, seasonal veggies grown locally to help reduce carbon emissions from shipment, preservation, and prolonged refrigeration.
3. Cut back on flying
If you need to fly for work, consider using video conferencing instead. For trips in the same country or continent, take the train or explore options using an electric car.
4. Leave the car at home
5. Reduce your energy use
6. Respect and protect green spaces.
Green spaces, such as parks and gardens, are important. They absorb carbon dioxide and are associated with lower levels of air pollution. Plant trees or support organizations that plant trees.
7. Invest your money responsibly
ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investment is a type of investing that is guided by the environment and social good. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, ESG has been one of the most prominent sustainability movements to participate in. In such difficult circumstances, investors and organizations recognize the importance of non-financial concerns and are looking beyond profits.
Find out where your money goes. Voice your concerns about responsible investment by writing to your bank or pension provider, and ask if you can opt out of funds investing in fossil fuels.
8. Cut consumption and waste
Everything we use as consumers has a carbon footprint. Avoid single-use items and fast fashion, and try not to buy more than you need.Shop around for second-hand or quality items that last a long time. Put your purchasing power to good use by choosing brands that align with your new green aspirations. Reduce, reuse, repair & recycle
9. Talk about the changes you make
As you make these positive changes to reduce your environmental impact, share your experience with your family, friends, customers, and clients. Don’t be a bore or confrontational. Instead, talk positively, and be honest about the ups and downs.
10. Educate yourself and know what is happening.
Education is crucial to promote climate action. It helps people understand and address the impacts of the climate crisis, empowering them with the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed to act as agents of change.
Climate change is happening. The Arctic is melting, sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, the oceans are acidifying, and forests are burning. It is apparent that business as usual will not suffice. The time has arrived for strong collective action as the immeasurable cost of climate change approaches irreversible levels. We can make a major difference if we work together.
"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything."- Albert Einstein.