Lo­cal, na­tional and global ini­tia­tives

Sun Star Bacolod - - Opinion - bq­[email protected]­hoomail.com

OUR na­tional hero José Rizal once said that the “youth is the hope for our fu­ture.” Oh so true—on a lo­cal, na­tional, and the global scale.

Youth for Cli­mate Hope, a Ba­colod-based en­vi­ron­men­tal youth coali­tion, geared up for the hash­tag #Fri­daysfor­future, a fol­low-up for the in­ter­na­tional call to strike for the cli­mate with “Is­to­rya Klima.”

Then comes the four Ro­man Catholic bish­ops in Ne­gros who cited the appeal of Pope Francis to “every per­son liv­ing on this planet” to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment in op­pos­ing coal-fired power plants in the is­land.

In a col­le­gial pas­toral state­ment, Bish­ops Ger­ardo Almi­naza of the Dio­cese of San Car­los, Pa­tri­cio Bu­zon of the Dio­cese of Ba­colod, Louie Gal­bines of the

Dio­cese of Ka­bankalan, and Julito Cortes of the Dio­cese of Du­maguete called on Ne­grenses to stand firm to­gether—with each other and with civic lead­ers—to op­pose any coal-fired power plants and phase out those still in op­er­a­tion.

Then comes the Catholic charis­matic Light of Je­sus Fam­ily founded by Bro Bo Sánchez, who in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal has started a se­ries on cli­mate change/ the se­ries have high­lighted ex­cerpts from the work of Mar­garet Sala­mon, “The Trans­for­ma­tive Power of Cli­mate Truth.”

Mar­garet Klein Sala­mon, a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist be­fore found­ing a cli­mate-ad­vo­cacy or­ga­ni­za­tion, views fear as a nec­es­sary re­sponse that ac­ti­vates peo­ple to rec­og­nize dan­ger and take ac­tion. What’s more, given the state of the at­mos­phere, she ar­gues that acute fear is ra­tio­nal. “It’s im­por­tant to feel afraid of things that will kill us—that is healthy and good,” said Sala­mon.

Echo­ing Sala­mon, Bacólod Feast Builder Alan Bril­lantes, an ac­coun­tant, wrote in the weekly The Feast Bacólod Bul­letin, that we need to panic. Bro Alan wrote, “Our house is on fire. That is, planet earth is on fire. So we—you and I—need to panic. Cli­mate change is the cul­prit.”

Then comes Car­di­nal Peter Turk­son, head of the Di­cas­t­ery for Pro­mot­ing In­te­gral Hu­man Devel­op­ment, who said that young peo­ple’s in­ten­si­fied de­mand for cli­mate ac­tion is a sign of hope dur­ing the planet’s eco­log­i­cal cri­sis.

“There are so many signs of hope. God is raising up peo­ple around the world to come to­gether to care for our com­mon home. I am happy to note the role of young peo­ple in this jour­ney,” the Ghana­ian car­di­nal re­cently said at the con­fer­ence mark­ing the fifth an­niver­sary of the Catholic Youth Net­work on En­vi­ron­ment and Sus­tain­abil­ity in Africa and the fourth an­niver­sary of Pope Francis’ en­vi­ron­men­tal en­cycli­cal, “Laudato Si’.”

Car­di­nal Turk­son noted that youth mo­bi­liza­tion against cli­mate chal­lenges had gained strength since Au­gust 2018, when Greta Thun­berg, the 15-year-old Swedish stu­dent-activist, ig­nited cli­mate strikes. The protests have at­tracted millions of stu­dent world­wide.

Well that Gover­nor Bong Lac­son heed. Car­di­nal Turk­son de­scribed cli­mate chal­lenges as com­plex and mul­ti­fac­eted but said the pres­sure ex­erted by the stu­dents was be­ing no­ticed by politi­cians, whom he said needed to show courage and make the de­ci­sions needed to fully im­ple­ment the Paris Agree­ment, which seeks to limit the global tem­per­a­ture in­crease. Amen!

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