I've seen firsthand the effects of climate change in the Philippines and am committed to being part of the solution.
Leonardo DiCaprio warned us about the 11th hour while Al Gore disclosed An Inconvenient Truth, but do we really feel the connection between us, the environment, global warming, and climate change? Do we feel responsible for what is happening in the world today, and do we really believe it in the first place? Is there real worry among ourselves that the globe is actually warming, the climate is changing, and our planet may really be dying? Or is it too distant a concept and, though it may be real, it is something we are not party to?
In the Philippines, however, the effects of climate change and global warming cannot be denied.
The Fading Away of Distinct Seasons
There used to be a clear delineation between the dry and wet weather, or summer and rainy months, as we call them. January to June have always been known as the dry months while the rest were the wet months. Summer, or dry, in the Philippines meant hot, sunny days, perfect for going to the beach or walking in the park or flying a kite in the fields. Temperatures are quite high, with the highest temperature in the Philippines registered at 39.3°C—and in metro Manila, it has been really hot at 37.3°C. Feverish, you might say, and in fact, it is. But this is also the season for beautiful flowers to bloom.
Wet months, on the other hand, were characterized by typhoons, windy days, and suspended classes. During wet months, sunny days are unusual and unexpected. Most rainy months are August to November, while December towards February are cool months with a few showers, a nice transition from the very wet to the very dry weathers.
Nowadays, however, the wet and dry days occur any time in the year. Some undeniable changes are seen during the Lenten Season, which is traditionally the hottest days of the year. In recent years, however, we have experienced rainy days during the Holy Week, a sure sign that the climate is indeed changing.
Similar changes are also felt during Christmastime. In the Philippines, where Christmastime begins at the onset of the “ber” months (yes, Christmas carols are played everywhere during September 1!), Christmas breeze is looked forward to and definitely savored by everyone. Recently, however, this breeze has become elusive, and summer-like days are experienced even just before Christmas. Moreover, it is not unusual to experience a scorching hot morning and a heavy downpour towards noon. This has no doubt presented some complications to travelers and to the fashion conscious.
What Can We Actually Do About Global Warming and Climate Change?
You might ask: What causes global warming, and what are the solutions to climate change? Millions of articles, both academic and otherwise, have been written about it. But the more important question is: What can we as individuals do to help fight climate change?
While you are waiting to trade your car to a Prius or change the heating system of your house, here are 10 tips on how to fight global warming and climate change.
1. Save Power by Unplugging Appliances That Are Not in Use
A plugged-in electrical appliance or equipment still uses 25% of its usual power consumption. This act not only helps save on electricity, it also gives you some financial savings.
2. Use Natural Lighting Whenever Possible and Turn Off All the Lights That Are Not in Use
There are many establishments that pay a lot to install blinds, tints, or shades, only to spend a lot again on lighting. Why not use natural light by installing clear windows instead? It saves on power, saves on costs, and allows you to get a feel of the outside world even when you are ensconced in your office.
3. Walk Whenever Possible
Walking (or biking) gives a multitude of benefits. It saves on fuel, does not give you stress from traffic, does not give you headache from trying to find the perfect parking slot (and remembering where it is!), and is good for your health.
4. Save Paper by Printing Only When Necessary
A ton of paper helps preserve approximately 17 full grown trees. How much paper have you used lately? See the flash floods in the news? It might be because of all the paper you have printed on!
5. Separate Your Waste
Studies show that a significant portion of solid waste is food waste that can be composted. Aside from this, there are also environmental groups who collect batteries, used cellphones, and the like for proper disposal.
6. Use Your Own Personal Cups and Tumblers Instead of Plastic Cups
Plastic cups take a loooong time to completely degrade (if they ever do). And while they are so convenient to use, they are really not helpful in preserving the Earth. Besides, a Starbucks mug or tumbler is much more fashionable to use.
7. Whenever Possible, Use Surface Water Instead of Deepwells
Deepwells are only used when there is no surface water available. There is a logic to this, and it is because exhausted aquifers will replenish only less than 1 meter per year—that is, if there was space for it to absorb runoffs. In a much urbanized city where every inch of earth has been covered by concrete, therefore blocking any possibility of absorption, this regeneration rate is close to nil.
8. Always Turn Off the Faucet When Not in Use
Didn’t Mommy always tell you to turn off the faucet when brushing your teeth? Leaving the faucet running for one minute alone amounts to about 9 liters of wasted water. That is not only an utter waste of precious resources, it also jacks up your water bill.
9. Always Check Your Faucets for Leaks or Drips
Think of a water leak as an ever-running faucet. A small water leak could waste as much as 90 liters of water a week. If you can afford it and if your home’s design permits it, consider exposing all your water pipes for easy leak detection in the future.
10. At Least Once in Your Life, Plant a Tree
Many flash floods happen as a result of denudation. Just think about it. All the metropolis and central business districts used to be filled with trees in the past—then urbanization happened. Trees improve water quality because they slow and filter rainwater. They also protect aquifers and watersheds. Most of all, they provide shade, making the immediate effects of global warming tolerable.
You Can Be a Part of the Solution
Global warming and climate change are both real. And just like everything else that is happening in the world, we can all be parts of the solution. One tiny step can be very significant towards the ultimate goal. You matter!
Note: All photos by Ones Almario using a Canon DSLR camera and lens.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
Phytoramediant on November 11, 2013:
All useful stuff but a quick word about paper recycling:
Paper is 100% recyclable. Just leave it in a pile on the ground and, over the next few months, it turns to mulch and so feeds the soil. You don't need to use industrial processes to 'recycle ' it any more than you do household scraps.
Paper is replaced by growing and cutting down more trees. This is the logging industry.
So long as the logging industry is not hardwoods, then it's a harvest. The reason places like Denmark can make their forests economic
Rather than building over them or turning them to another cash crop) is because there's a market for paper. In the real world, if a natural resource doesn't make a profit, it gets destroyed for something that DOES.
Using paper means we're not using plastics. As a by-product of the oil industry, plastics spend a couple of months of their billion-year lifespan (They started in the pre-Cambrian and they simply don't biodegrade) as 'useful products' before returning to the environment as toxic waste that never EVR biodegrades... It just gets eroded into smaller and more dangerous toxic particles.
Industrial recycling of paper is a high-energy process in which plastic bags are used to collect the paper... and are then thrown into landfill. It's not efficient. Recycling metals (Both cans and tin foil) makes a LOT more sense.
Don't waste paper, but if you're using anything for packaging, consider using paper before anything else.
BekaS1974 on April 17, 2013:
izak on March 17, 2012:
.yes, climate change had been there since.,but what we are talking about is the frequency and tendency of occurrence of change in climate. areas that experience only small rain is now having flash floods.,there are many experiences & examples that we can site of.,so let us do our part, even though how small it is.,let us not wait for the time that we will have to blame our self for not doing anything..
tnx mommyfreelancer for this informative, environment hub..
Marquis from Ann Arbor, MI on February 20, 2012:
Actually, Al Gore has been proven a liar. The fraud made millions off quackery used to scare people. There have been thousands of scientists who have spoken out against the Al Gore fraud. Global warming? I thought it was climate change? Then again, the climate always changes.
It is more like global cooling.
natures47friend from Sunny Art Deco Napier, New Zealand. on November 23, 2011:
Hi..great environmental hub. The more northern parts of Asia will responsible for a lot of the climate changes for you. Deforestation...how do we teach the uneducated sustainability?
Dewey Cheatem on September 16, 2011:
Just some food for thought. I had never heard about these 40,000 year cycles (written about in the second link) until I started digging for information on my own. I have also read that Mars is experiencing planetary warming. Would it not make sense that if Mars is getting warmer then the Earth would be too?
Thanks for the informative Hub. I enjoyed reading your perspective.
I hope that just because the top link comes from Fox news the source isn't ridiculed. You may not like Fox News. Personally I don't like MSNBC... but I watch both so I get perspective on both networks agendas.
road2hell from Linden, AB on August 31, 2011:
To Joe: Just because the global temperature drops a little in 2009 is no sign of the end of global warming. Flunctations occur all the time. It is like the weather: some days are hotter than others. It is all relative. Where it really counts is the long-term average which is what climate is all about. The hottest years have been over the last decade and, if you look over a period of four decades, the last ten years (including 2009) were the warmest.
Note well: even if the global temperature is hotter than normal, climate change is one of extremes. It can be unbearbly hot in one season and unbelievably cool and rainy in the next season. Or, the eastern seaboard can have record rainfall while the western part of the country be a hot fireball. This will happen more and more and reach unrealistic records of hot, cold, dry, wet, and wind,
andrebreynolds on July 27, 2011:
Very useful hub!Thanks for the post.
Joe on June 29, 2011:
Climate changes had been happening ever since (from ice age to date). Carbon dioxide (and other green house gases) is not only produced by burning fossils or its derivatives (petroleum, coal) but also by human discharges (as we breathe, perspire, and other wastes), rotten plants & animals, volcanoes, and the largest percentage - sea or ocean. Lately, the NASA's latest advisory of a getting hotter environment could be based on their latest finding (by far reaching UV telescope) of nuclear magnitude explosions in the sun's surface this June 7, 2011 in which the heat radiated away from the sun but travels not directly to earth's direction. Thus the relative effect our planet is recently experiencing. See http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/06/07/2224225... from the web. By the way sometime in 2009, earth's temperature was reported as lowering which also cause panic to global warming advocates, see http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2096167/e... Earth's warming could be mainly, at most rapid change, affected by the sun's surface activities, by which no mortal can control - it's Gods will. As such, many observers have argued that global warming advocates only mean business, as processes and equipment believed to counter global warming are not for free. None the less, we have to make our environment clean and apt for living, as this is the only planet we can live at least for our lifetime.
Jayford on March 13, 2011:
thanks for sharing your ideas here'' its a big oppurtionity to help some students to find there project ''''
htodd from United States on February 03, 2011:
Great read ..Thanks for sharing
msms on January 16, 2011:
Mommyfreelancer ... it is key to understand the ways of managing and facing the climate change phenomenon. Information becomes the basis of action for prevention You have done an excellent Hub to put the information with your perspective. What is true for Philippines is true for East Asia as whole.. Thanks for writing such an informative hub Mommyfreelancer
OpinionDuck on November 18, 2010:
The world runs on its own cycles, there are yearly cycles, five and ten year cycles, hundred year cycles and longer.
There was global warming before we were alive.
There is nothing to do that would change it and anything to change might be just as bad.
Watchville Smallville on October 30, 2010:
Each one of us has a personal responsibility and obligation to help conserve and protect our environment. Doing small/simple things such as avoiding littering can make a huge impact. We should be responsible because i we're not, we are the ones that will suffer.
ipur on October 11, 2010:
Just want to share you this from wattsupwiththat.com:
Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society – an important moment in science history
Posted on October 8, 2010 by Anthony Watts
We’ve previously covered the APS here, when I wrote:
While Copenhagen and its excesses rage, a quiet revolution is starting.
Indeed, not so quiet now. It looks like it is getting ugly inside with the public airing of the resignation of a very prominent member who writes:
I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.- Hal Lewis
Below is his resignation letter made public today, via the GWPF.
This is an important moment in science history. I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door. It is worthy of repeating this letter in entirety on every blog that discusses science.
What I would really like to see though, is this public resignation letter given the same editorial space as Michael Mann in today’s Washington Post.
Readers, we can do this. Here’s the place at WaPo to ask for it. For anyone writing to the WaPo, the [email]email@example.com[/email], is the national news editorial desk. The Post’s Ombudsman, Andrew Alexander, is the readers’ representative within the newspaper. E-mail him at [email]firstname.lastname@example.org[/email] or call 202-334-7582.
Spread the word on other blogs. Let’s see if they have enough integrity to provide a counterpoint. – Anthony
Sent: Friday, 08 October 2010 17:19 Hal Lewis
From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society
6 October 2010
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago).
Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?
How different it is now. The giants no longer walk the earth, and the money flood has become the raison d’être of much physics research, the vital sustenance of much more, and it provides the support for untold numbers of professional jobs. For reasons that will soon become clear my former pride at being an APS Fellow all these years has been turned into shame, and I am forced, with no pleasure at all, to offer you my resignation from the Society.
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.
So what has the APS, as an organization, done in the face of this challenge? It has accepted the corruption as the norm, and gone along with it. For example:
1. About a year ago a few of us sent an e-mail on the subject to a fraction of the membership. APS ignored the issues, but the then President immediately launched a hostile investigation of where we got the e-mail addresses. In its better days, APS used to encourage discussion of important issues, and indeed the Constitution cites that as its principal purpose. No more. Everything that has been done in the last year has been designed to silence debate
2. The appallingly tendentious APS statement on Climate Change was apparently written in a hurry by a few people over lunch, and is certainly not representative of the talents of APS members as I have long known them. So a few of us petitioned the Council to reconsider it. One of the outstanding marks of (in)distinction in the Statement was the poison word incontrovertible, which describes few items in physics, certainly not this one. In response APS appointed a secret committee that never met, never troubled to speak to any skeptics, yet endorsed the Statement in its entirety. (They did admit that the tone was a bit strong, but amazingly kept the poison word incontrovertible to describe the evidence, a position supported by no one.) In the end, the Council kept the original statement, word for word, but approved a far longer “explanatory” screed, admitting that there were uncertainties, but brushing them aside to give blanket approval to the original. The original Statement, which still stands as the APS position, also contains what I consider pompous and asinine advice to all world governments, as if the APS were master of the universe. It is not, and I am embarrassed that our leaders seem to think it is. This is not fun and games, these are serious matters involving vast fractions of our national substance, and the reputation of the Society as a scientific society is at stake.
3. In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news, and the machinations of the principal alarmists were revealed to the world. It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work.
4. So a few of us tried to bring science into the act (that is, after all, the alleged and historic purpose of APS), and collected the necessary 200+ signatures to bring to the Council a proposal for a Topical Group on Climate Science, thinking that open discussion of the scientific issues, in the best tradition of physics, would be beneficial to all, and also a contribution to the nation. I might note that it was not easy to collect the signatures, since you denied us the use of the APS membership list. We conformed in every way with the requirements of the APS Constitution, and described in great detail what we had in mind—simply to bring the subject into the open.
5. To our amazement, Constitution be damned, you declined to accept our petition, but instead used your own control of the mailing list to run a poll on the members’ interest in a TG on Climate and the Environment. You did ask the members if they would sign a petition to form a TG on your yet-to-be-defined subject, but provided no petition, and got lots of affirmative responses. (If you had asked about sex you would have gotten more expressions of interest.) There was of course no such petition or proposal, and you have now dropped the Environment part, so the whole matter is moot. (Any lawyer will tell y
Alvin Marks The Spot on October 09, 2010:
Planting more trees, I think, is the best thing to do. Let's start doing simple things to help our environment.
ipur on October 08, 2010:
Just want to share something regarding climate change. This is not actually to scare everyone but rather to give an idea, be vigilant and precautious of what possible scenario are we heading for. This is actually the opposite of Global Warming or I may should say the Global Cooling.
I have read an article that states that the warming phase of the earth have already ended last 1998. I am not sure if that information is true. However, if we are to observed over the past years, maybe people from the north can attest the early entry of winter. The prolonged and number of winter storms. It was also observed in the south that numerous lamb that died due to unexpected winter storms in New Zealand and Southern Australia. The now increasing ice caps in the north and south. And with all this that is happening, can we still say that the earth is warming?
In one article I have read that one factor that may contribute to global cooling is the number of sun spots observed per day. In one study, the earth is heating when numerous sun spots is observed or should we say that the heating of the earth is directly proportional to the number of sunspots observed. It was also observed that sunspots has around 11-year cycle from min to max to min. And from 1986 solar minimum, the next solar minimum happened last 1996. But from 2007 to until today, we are still experiencing solar minimum when it is supposed that we are already nearing solar maximum by 2011. Sounds alarming... There were two similar scenarios that happened before, and both resulted to what they called as the little ice age. And if this is happening now, are we heading into that direction? I hope not. But it is better to be prepared.
Chris on October 02, 2010:
Start composting your house waste instead of throwing them away. It will help limit the landfills.
andrea on August 20, 2010:
sana nga tayong mga pilipino kahit isang beses lang sa buhay natin mag plant tayo ng tree. i wish na sana 1 day tayong mga taong nakatira dito sa mundo makaiwas na sana sa global warming at sa lahat environmental problems.
jspellbound0304 on July 11, 2010:
Mommyfreelancer: Hi. Mabuhay. You present a very nice example of an answer to your first question. Examples from personal experience are always a great way to illustrate a major point in your article/hub. You do that very well.
A few suggestions might be:
*Answer some of your other leading questions more directly;
*Offer some scientific evidence in support of your premise that Philippine weather patterns, including temperatures, seem to be changing (one I found - Jose, A., Francisco, R., & Cruz, N. (1996). A study on impact of climate variability/change on water resources in the Philippines. Chemosphere, 33(9), 1687-1704 - states that between 1920 and 1990, temperature changes at three monitoring stations had an "average increase of about 0.18C per decade."
Despite the lack of scientific evidence in your hub, personal experience is still evidence. It is evidence that most of us can relate to perhaps even better than scientific evidence. Thus, in the personal experience category, you get an A plus.
climate change on May 12, 2010:
I live part of the year in the Philippines and get to experience not having some things we take for granted in the U.S. Believe you are grateful if you don’t have everything all the time.
TAFFY on May 03, 2010:
GOOD IDEAS ,
William A. Smith on May 03, 2010:
We don't have any chance to create a rocket science plan of saving the Earth. All I can do and will do is doing my part the environmental friendly way. I believe by gathering everybody effort will boost up the rescue of the Earth as we are part of it.
Chris on May 01, 2010:
Please add using tabo instead of taking showers.
fr. angel on March 17, 2010:
It is very inspiring to know many people care for our planet earth. Your simple ways of caring for the earth hopefully will inspire more young people to live simply so that others may simply live
shadow of red lightning on March 11, 2010:
it is very important to take care our country protect the whole nation so that we all can prevent the natural natures especially government must do it in action rather than talk to much this can't really help?global warming is very danger in the whole world, tsunami can come anytime without people knowing it. i actually used to see future every night and day that the whole world will end up anytime some people will gone...not to many of us will alive....that's why people in philippines do some changes give your effort to change the world by making it safe!!!
Lita C. Malicdem from Philippines on January 12, 2010:
We share the same thoughts regarding climate change and global warming. Our country, the Philippines, must have learned a lesson from recent disasters. We are all part of the challenge to help out. Count me in!
ninjacraze from Pakistan on January 07, 2010:
I like yours ideas
scheng1 on December 13, 2009:
If only the government in Philippines can stop corruption, then they can become a world power. Philippines have so many unutilized resources and educated people.
Fighting global warming is possible when the whole world is united.
R J on October 21, 2009:
Roderick Awingan on October 05, 2009:
Nice info. This would certainly help our students a lot about climate change and global warning. Anyone who would like to donate books, magazines and other information materials please to send it at;
Advocates Academic College
U2 Bldg., Km. 4, La Trinidad, Benguet
Advocates Academic College Nueva Vizcaya
Buenavista Bldg., Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya
Doc Snow from Camden, South Carolina on September 25, 2009:
Thanks for a solid Hub on an important topic. I like these sorts of observations, so much more concrete than the numbers & graphs of science--important though they are. I like your photos, too!
My latest hub is:
Check it out if you get a chance!
Tony McGregor from South Africa on September 07, 2009:
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject.
Love and peace
mommyfreelancer (author) from Philippines on August 20, 2009:
Thank you, EverythingMouse, my point exactly! :)
EverythingMouse on August 20, 2009:
This is an excellent hub about such an important subject. There are so many small things which we can do which will make a difference.
mommyfreelancer (author) from Philippines on August 20, 2009:
Thank you, Dohn, for always taking the time out to read my hubs :)
This is my 10th on the HubChallenge. Hope to do more over the weekend. Good luck to you, bet you're down on your last 3 or 4. :)
dohn121 from Hudson Valley, New York on August 20, 2009:
I liked how you pointed out all the different things we can do to save the both money and the environment. Great job.
mommyfreelancer (author) from Philippines on August 20, 2009:
Thank you, Jerilee. Thanks for dropping by! :)
Jerilee Wei from United States on August 20, 2009:
Some very excellent and doable suggestions. Great hub!