The Fight Against Climate Change

by: Gabriel Segura || Photo Credit: Louise Mikayla Lelina

On April 6, 2022, Peter Kalmus, a climate scientist working at NASA, chained himself, along with four others, to the entrance of Chase Bank. In a voice both defiant and fraught with trepidation, he decried the corporations and governments who have ignored the 50 years’ worth of research pointing toward a simple, irrefutable fact: human activity has accelerated the process of environmental change that will inevitably render the planet inhospitable to the human race. Disappointingly, he was met by 100 LAPD officers in riot gear and arrested, an approach inherent to those in power unwilling to heed the warnings of experts and concerned citizens because it means shaving a few percentage points off the profit margins. 

Spurred by the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Kalmus, alongside a collective of over 1,000 scientists named the Scientist Rebellion, took to the streets bearing banners designed to shock passers-by to their core (“1.5oC is death!”, “Climate Revolution Now!”), which warned that “rapid and deep cuts” to greenhouse gas emissions are necessary by 2025 in order not to exceed 1.5oC of global warming. Indeed, in light of this impending deadline, one finds it difficult and pointless to operate as normal. However, in the face of potential auto-genocide by inaction, Kalmus says, “Never give up!”. Living amid a climate crisis may make nihilists of us all, he says, but while there is still time, one must take a rebellious stance and advocate for environmental reform. 

This begs the question: “What can we do?” The vast majority of the population seems to think that climate reform is a matter of personal responsibility, no doubt inculcated through the educational curriculum. Look through any elementary science textbook, and you will find that measures combating climate change amount to cursory soundbites such as “Don’t leave the faucet running while brushing your teeth,” “Turn off the lights when not in use”, et cetera. While these measures must, of course, be done, one must never fail to look at the bigger picture: the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions are produced by the industrial processes of corporations and the energy generation of post-industrial nations. The bulk of the burden lies not upon the ordinary citizen but upon these bad actors, like JP Morgan, of which Chase Bank is a subsidiary, and the UN, both of which have recently unveiled to the public their “greener initiatives”, whereupon close inspection turn out to be all bark and no bite.

Therefore, the apt course of action would be to indict those holding the reins. The only language that corporations understand is statistics, so when their profits are slashed and in the red, only then will they listen to the consumers. Boycott and divest your spending money from industries that practice unsustainable production methods. Likewise, the populace must elect leaders committed to the fight against climate change and support policies that will cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, especially in the energy generation sector. We as Filipinos should be vocal, as due to our geographic position in the Pacific, we bear the brunt of most of the effects of climate change, having suffered through 8 typhoons, one of which was a super typhoon, and incurring above 60 billion pesos in damages. We must demand climate justice from developed nations and push them toward true sustainability. This problem goes beyond sectors and classes; we must unite against this rising threat.

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