Monday, November 06, 2006

Trap your Carbon

I am not an alarmist.

It seems that weather and climate changes used to be discussed in different time scales as we used to know it, i.e. evolutionary time scales or geological time scales which means in thousands or millions of years; but recently, the news papers all over the world have been talking climate changes occuring in just decades, and changes expected to occur in millenias occuring only in a few years. It seemed we have cut time favor of environmental, human and world destruction. Not in any time in world history have there been changes as drastic as climate change. And it is unsettling because

(1) it will be the first time in human history,
(2) our generation is mostly responsible of these changes, and
(3) the world impact is unmeasurable, and unthinkable.

In my life time of 30+ years, thus far. I have observed first hand the following changes which probably confirms scientists claims of drastic climate changes occuring faster than we thought:

a. I have been swimming around the coral reefs in the central Philippines for years, and one day sometime in June 1998, I was aghast and angry when the corals reefs that used to be alive and vibrant just died. Since then, I have been swimming colonies and colonies of dead coral reefs. The reefs slightly recovered, but then again in 2002 a mass killing happened again. These killings and deccimation of reefs did not happen just in the Philippines, it occurred all over the world. The culprit of these killings pointed to higher than normal sea temperatures or to climate change.

b. Typhoons. Every time there is a typhoon coming to the Philippines, the likelihood that it will pass Samar and Leyte is 90%. Nowadays, it seems that these islands have become typhoon free. My guess is that the normal typhoon pathway has been changed, dramatically, due to higher temperatures. Ask any person in PAGASA.

So what can we do?

Let us be responsible human beings. How? by calculating our individual production of carbon dioxide, and trapping the same amount. How? by planting a tree. The weight of the tree is equivalent, more or less, to the carbon dioxide in weight that we have trapped. So, if you have cars, and you are using 1000 liters of crude a year, you are contributing carbon to the atmosphere of around, shall we say, 50 carbon unit per year. Therefore, you must plant around 5 trees to trapped the 50 carbon unit you spewed to the atmosphere (assuming each tree would gain 5 carbon unit in weight per year). (Carbon unit is arbitrary, it could be kg of carbon or gram of carbon). This way, you avoid contributing carbon to the atmosphere, and thus helped save mother earth.

On the news (PDI):

* Sir Nicholas Stern, former World Bank chief economist, last Tuesday urged global leaders to act urgently to avert a looming environmental catastrophe.
* The meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent of the Kyoto Protocol, is taking place against a backdrop of distressing data confirming the rise in the Earth’s temperature caused by oil, gas and coal whose invisible carbon pollution traps the sun’s heat, in effect creating a global greenhouse.
* Scientists report melting sea ice around the North Pole, shriveling glaciers in Greenland and Europe, retreating permafrost in Siberia and the progressive acidification of the sea from atmospheric carbon dioxide.

So what can we do? Maybe we should start a world wide campaign :

Trap your Carbon, Save the Climate, and Save Mother Earth.

O , diba?