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Friday, December 4, 2015

Who Among the 2016 Candidates will Prioritize Climate Issues?

December 3, 2015
by MidwayHaven
Clearly my most recent article hit a delicate nerve (or to put it colloquially, “aimed for the butthurt”), as revealed by the numerous replies left by visitors who took the time to skim through it. Most of the comments have only proven my point: instead of rebutting the various other points which I offered in my article, many Filipinos prefer to unleash their raw emotions by attacking the messenger instead of the message, and would rather be hitting me with ad hominems and non-sequiturs.
Take as an example this charming anecdote left at the comments section of that essay:
Observer says:
All this article shows is that filipinos can’t even be led to success. Based on all this it’s quite apparent you still have another hundred years of Gillian’s Island before you mature enough to even have a good leader take you out of corruption. The author is a stone cold idiot; should be writing romance novels instead.
In any case, I wrote flash fiction for him/her afterwards to satiate his/her desire to be screwed over by yet another dubious presidential candidate. It’s the least I can do to promote goodwill among this site’s readers; after all, ’tis the season.
Drought-tolerant rice: Initiatives to secure the Philippines against environmental disaster should be top of mind in its leaders. (Source: IRRI)
Drought-tolerant rice: Initiatives to secure the Philippines against environmental disaster should be top of mind in its leaders.
(Source: IRRI)
Most of what I write here at Get Real Philippines goes beyond politics; I focus my writing on social and environmental issues, because it’s my strong belief that many of the maladies of this country stem from aberrant beliefs and antiquated mindsets. The 2016 elections provide an opportunity for me to challenge the conventional ways by which presidential candidates see themselves as leaders, as well as how the most vocal of their respective followers almost always tend to take their candidate’s promises as gospel truth. To date, NONE of the five (or four) main candidates vying for the topmost position of the country’s government have spoken at length about the country’s vulnerability to the effects of rapid climate change.
With the Philippines ranked among the countries whose huge population would be most affected by the changing climate, it would be assumed that at the very least one of them would address the sorry environmental state the Philippines would inevitably be in. Yet, two years after Haiyan barreled through the Visayan Islands, and now halfway through one of history’s most powerful El Niño events, the major players have yet to comment on what needs to be done in the country in terms of climate.
Many would say that it’s still too early for candidates to talk about these issues in the Philippine electoral season. I disagree: the 2016 US elections are happening later than the 2016 Philippine elections, but this early in their election cycle the candidates of both US parties already have draft platforms laid out for their constituents to analyze. Furthermore, internet SJW’s would most likely point out that there are “more important issues” that need to be ironed out first before the environment. Again, this can be rebutted by science: though it’s the politicians who do most of the talking, there is growing consensus among scientists and sociologists who can directly point to climate change as a cause of other social problems such as terrorismcorruptionoligarchic institutionalisminfectious diseases and rampant crime. Turns out, these same problems are what the presidential candidates apparently want to solve – but without a comprehensive platform on climate, this coming election cycle is turning out to be just another primetime soap opera that’s full of hysterics and bereft of insight.
If I were faced with any of the five (or four) dipshits that thirst the throne of the Philippine presidency, I’d ask them the following questions:
  • What plans do you have that would deal with people living in low-lying coastal towns and major cities (including ManilaCebu and Davao) that would bear the brunt of rising sea levels?
  • What projects would you prioritize that would empower people to survive increasing storm magnitudes?
  • How would you secure the Philippines’ food production capabilities and minimize dependence on basic food imports, without compromising woodlands for farmland?
  • What legislation would you prioritize and/or or strictly enforce that would reduce fossil-fuel-based and cement-factory-based carbon emissions?
  • How would you deal with the fact that the Philippines is the world’s 3rd largest polluter when it comes to plastic waste products dumped into the ocean?
  • Would you eliminate the traditional government system of favoring kickback-laden projects in order for small-scale private groups to advance much-needed climate projects?
  • What are the specific actions you would be taking to prevent the mass extinction of plant and animal species endemic to the Philippines?
  • Are you willing to embrace the title of “Dipshit-in-Chief” if you win the presidency yet continue to run the Philippines down deeper into the glittery septic gutter where it already is?
Climate change caused by human activity is real and it’s happening right now, no matter how much the deniers vocally bellow out their views. This early in the election period, the candidates’ lackeys couldn’t even properly enunciate a specific ideological platform unless their candidate would say it out first (which, by the way, hasn’t also happened yet). Are Filipinos ready to ask the candidates the questions that really matter, or would they choose to maintain the tribal “my cock performs better than your cock” status quo?
Prove me wrong, Philippines. But make sure to proverbially use your coconut first.

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