Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lifestyle/Climate Change

Francis of Assisi is honored by the Catholic Church as the patron saint of animals and ecology. His Feast Day falls every 4th of October and that is today, folks while Typhoon Pepeng (codenamed Parma) is still in the Philippine area of responsibility specifically its northern tip provinces.

No mortal have ever fully understood the mysterious relationship between the world and the person seized by God's love than St. Francis. He considered animals as his friends. He is a man who considered the sun and the moon as members of his family. Francis dared to explore and discover the depths of the mystery of creation and taught us that everything was created for the glory of God. Everything should render God this glory. That’s Francis for you, the man who first practice absolute poverty.

Speaking of mining and climate change, here’s Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) coordinator Jaybee Garganera : “Mining, as a human activity of extracting naturally organic mineral resources for energy and industrial use to fuel the global economy has led to the disturbance of our climate system. The mining and metals industry is responsible for approximately 21% of the global greenhouse gases (GHGs) according to the World Resource Institute (WRI) and it is variously estimated that mining and mineral processing accounts for 10% to 20% of world energy consumption”.

In a mass action held last September 16, 2009 against the international confab on mining at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel, the ATM,- a national coalition of more than 80 organizations composed of mining affected-communities and CSO coalitions,- fenced the venue flaunting the message, “Large-Scale Mining Fuels Climate Disasters”.

It is an internationally-accepted view that the solutions to climate change are in the hands (and pockets) of those who wield wealth and power. The political and business giants of every country. Also, according to this view,- what the highly industrialized countries must do is to develop clean technologies and assist third-world or developing countries to pass the path towards clean industrialization, instead of using technologies that pollute our environment. The re-cycle of minerals such as nickel and developing of renewable source of energy and not fossil fuel extraction. The call for measures such as the promotion of increased use of renewable energy and energy-efficient processes in the industrial sector that would lead to green innovation must be sustained.

But let us not forget the solutions coming from the community leaders, like farmers and indigenous peoples around the globe who are united to defend their land against oil exploration. Not unlike the Service Contract 53 of the Department of Energy and the Pitkin Petroleum Ltd. here in Occidental Mindoro. Our solution to climate change also rests in the hands of the people in our poor communities and even in the urban centers. To all of us,- regardless of our social status, the ones with whom the hope of God’s kingdom rest.

We all need to make dramatic changes to our lifestyles. In addition, we often keep our hands akimbo amidst environmentally-destructive projects in our province like the Mindoro Nickel Project of the Intex Resources Inc. These lifestyle (and attitude) changes are important. Though the national government and the local government units (LGUs) cannot prevent destructive typhoons like Ondoy because it is an inevitable natural occurence, the government can prevent destructive foreign mining projects such as that of Intex Resources from destructing the environment and our people's lives.

Remember, Francis of Assisi and his companions,- including St. Clare, who underwent such lifestyle changes sought to imitate Christ in the way that they lived and in doing so, to commune with Him.

Because he changed his former lifestyle or direction like Typhoon Pepeng ...

(Photo Credit : St. Francis' picture from wikipedia)

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