Who Among the 2016 Candidates will Prioritize Climate Issues?

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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 terrorism, corruption, oligarchic institutionalism, infectious 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 Manila, Cebu 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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15 Comments on “Who Among the 2016 Candidates will Prioritize Climate Issues?”

  1. Perhaps each candidate should be asked about his/her energy policy. Both the environment and the Filipino people should come out winners when trying to balance the ever-increasing amounts of electrical power the Philippines needs. Candidates should be able to defend his/her choice of DoE secretary, explain how would they increase power generation without prejudicing environmental sustainability, and harness the Filipino scientist mindset in the service of adaptation to climate change.

  2. Those set of questions are also good questions to ask Mr. Aquino for his ‘exit interview.’ I mean, how well will he leave the office of the president so the next one will have lesser problems. Or will that exit interview just be a waste of time?

  3. Global warming is a scam and a hoax. There is no significant sea rise and the typhoons have happened regularly over the ages. You really are clueless on the limitations of man to affect climate let alone the ability of the Pinoy to address it. Heck, go take a good smell of Manila Bay if you are so concerned about the environment. That is one be polluted bay and the air over Metro Manila is disgusting too. That actually has more impact than any climate change you are imagining.

      1. The IPCC conclusions are garbage based on manipulated data. The fact is there has been no significant temperature increase in over 20 years despite the models they use.

      2. Link

        By Joseph Bast

        This week, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is releasing its latest report, the “Working Group II Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report.” Like its past reports, this one predicts apocalyptic consequences if mankind fails to give the UN the power to tax and regulate fossil fuels and subsidize and mandate the use of alternative fuels. But happily, an international group of scientists I have been privileged to work with has conducted an independent review of IPCC’s past and new reports, along with the climate science they deliberately exclude or misrepresent.

        Our group, called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), was founded in 2003 by a distinguished atmospheric physicist, S. Fred Singer, and has produced five hefty reports to date, the latest being released today (March 31).

        So how do the IPCC and NIPCC reports differ? The final draft of the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers identifies eight “reasons for concern” which media reports say will remain the focus of the final report. The NIPCC reports address each point too, also summarizing their authors’ positions in Summaries for Policymakers. This provides a convenient way to compare and contrast the reports’ findings.

        Here’s what the reports say:

        IPCC: “Risk of death, injury, and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones and small island developing states, due to sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and storm surges.”

        NIPCC: “Flood frequency and severity in many areas of the world were higher historically during the Little Ice Age and other cool eras than during the twentieth century. Climate change ranks well below other contributors, such as dikes and levee construction, to increased flooding.”

        1. http://www.drroyspencer.com/my-global-warming-skepticism-for-dummies/

          My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies
          I receive many e-mails, and a recurring complaint is that many of my posts are too technical to understand. This morning’s installment arrived with the subject line, “Please Talk to Us”, and suggested I provide short, concise, easily understood summaries and explanations “for dummies”.

          So, here’s a list of basic climate change questions, and brief answers based upon what I know today. I might update them as I receive suggestions and comments. I will also be adding links to other sources, and some visual aids, as appropriate.

          Deja vu tells me I might have done this once before, but I’m too lazy to go back and see. So, I’ll start over from scratch. (Insert smiley)

          It is important to understand at the outset that those of us who are skeptical of mankind’s influence on climate have a wide variety of views on the subject, and we can’t all be right. In fact, in this business, it is really easy to be wrong. It seems like everyone has a theory of what causes climate change. But it only takes one of us to be right for the IPCC’s anthropogenic global warming (AGW) house of cards to collapse.

          As I like to say, taking measurements of the climate system is much easier than figuring out what those measurements mean in terms of cause and effect. Generally speaking, it’s not the warming that is in dispute…it’s the cause of the warming.

          If you disagree with my views on something, please don’t flame me. Chances are, I’ve already heard your point of view; very seldom am I provided with new evidence I haven’t already taken into account.

          1) Are Global Temperatures Rising Now? There is no way to know, because natural year-to-year variability in global temperature is so large, with warming and cooling occurring all the time. What we can say is that surface and lower atmospheric temperature have risen in the last 3

        2. That was only one question, and it was incomplete (the lesson here is to never cut and paste entire articles onto a blog), but it can easily be answered:

          1 – Global surface temperatures, by which Dr. Ron Spencer gauges his measurements, have warmed a quarter of a degree Centigrade in the past 15 years using the best scientific measurements available. This is shown here:
          http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

  4. It sure isn’t a scam for me (at least climate change isn’t), since many reputable scientific agencies have recorded many significant changes in the environment related to it. And, it stands as one of the elephants in the room along with the overbooming world population.

    But that’s the problem with Filipinos. They are such starstruck ignoramuses that they are so enamored with personalities and don’t like to discuss isusues. They’re too dumb to focus on issues.

  5. Sorry midway but I’m not in the mood to use what’s between my ears now (just kidding).

    Well Pinoys have to thank Mother Nature for getting a free cyclone vacuum cleaner to do the job of regularly blowing off Manila’s smog to mainland China. That’s basically the PH version of the “clean air act” which implies – just sit back and relax and let nature do the acting for you.

    Politicians actually need stronger typhoons to wreck havoc on these islands and turn it into the worst shithole possible coz the goal is to get people scrambling out of this country as OFWs programmed to send money back to this shark infested consumer-driven economy.

    So the answer – none of these candidates really give a damn. How can we expect clowns whose primary concern is to get their ass into Malacanang to think of climate issues? That’s the last thing on their mind before sleeping at night. Small minded Pinoy and global/environmental concerns are two things you do not typically see together in the same sentence.

    But hey, you got the ball rolling. Maybe Mar Roxas will pick the cue from this article and come up with an Environmentally friendly platform to rival Duterte’s Fedaraliam centric campaign. I kind of pity the guy already this early in the race – nobody’s talking about Mr. palenke that much anymore now that the bulldog of the South is getting all the limelight.

    Brain’s shutting down now ….. Zzzzzzzzzzz

  6. The Solar Shields in the South and North Poles have already deteriorated. There are no more shields, for the Planet Earth, from Solar storms.

    Carbon dioxide emissions, pollutions, deforrestations; pollutions on rivers, seas and oceans, etc…make this climate change. Population in the Philippines is rapidly growing. You can see it, in the squatters shanties, being built everyday in major cities.

    I believe, we will soon see more drastic changes in the climate. People will die and will suffer much.

  7. The answer to the question is: NONE OF THEM, not a single one. The person that comes to power next will do what the last one did, enrich himself and his A)FAMILY B)FRIENDS and throw a bone to the group that squeals the loudest. You can bet on it.

  8. I wish there will be a candidate who has political will to convert the landfills into biomass electricity power plant. In that way people will be encourage to do their part in waste management because the electricity will decrease due to biomass power plant.

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