Ex-Diplomat Datu Omar Pangarungan Lauds President Marcos’s Strong Stand on Climate Change

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. from the cover of the book ‘Climate Innovation’. In the background is Bangui Wind Farm which draws power from the wind and converting it into electricity.

By EDD K. USMAN | Twitter: @edd1819 | Instagram: @bluestar0910 | Facebook: SDN — Scitech and Digital News 

Short link: https://wp.me/paaccn-ne1

MANILA (SDN) — “Climate change” has been the buzz word in the global scientific community, but largely a divisive and contentious subject among politicians.

Well, even among scientists themselves!

Remember the legally binding Paris Agreement of 2021, which was forged at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in France’s capital city?

Entering into force on November 4, 2016, the accord to “substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius while pursuing efforts to limit the increase even further to 1.5 degrees” covers 193 States, with the European Union as 194th.

Obviously, politicians have very crucial role vis-a-vis the COP21’s goals of limiting the rise of global temperature, reviewing countries’ commitments at cutting emissions, and in providing climate finance to developing countries because they make and implement policies. At the outset not many political leaders bought into the COP21.

Credit and thanks to gov.uk.

Climate change is sometimes interchange with “global warming”, though scientists define the two terms differently.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States has provided a definition for each in an article titled “What’s in a Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change“:

NASA’s feature defines global warming as “the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases.” And climate change as “a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, or of a region on Earth.”

A David Suzuki Foundation’s (DSF) article, “What is climate change?” acknowledges the two terms “are often used interchangeably”.

The article added, though, that there are experts on the subject who differentiate climate change and global warming:

“Global warming is the overall phenomenon whereby global average temperatures are slowly increasing. Climate change is the result of global warming,” the DSF says.

And this warming leads to changing climatic conditions in many ways as global temperature rises.

Simple? To non-scientist, or non-expert on things science, those terms are a lot to digest.

Add to that another term, “greenhouse gas” which another NASA article “The Causes of Climate Change” says “is essential to life on Earth.”

So, what is “greenhouse gas” and what is “greenhouse effect”?

But while greenhouse gases are essential, too much of them trapped on the Earth’s atmosphere are making Planet Earth warm, and this warming is being blamed by scientists as the cause of extreme weather conditions, such as flooding, typhoons, monstrous rains, forest fires, etc.

Major gases adding to the greenhouse effect on Earth, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). And water vapor, too.

According to Climate Central, here’s are just some of the photograph-realistic scenarios in 2050 created by artist Nickolay Lamm if the global temperature rises to 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Three of the world’s iconic buildings or sites virtually swimming in flood waters.

United Kingdom’s Buckingham Palace. (Credit and thanks to: Climate Central)

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the world’s tallest building. (Credit and thanks to: Climate Central)

Capitol Hill at National Mall of the United States, the seat of the Legislative Branch. (Credit and thanks to: Climate Central)

Here’s another NASA article that defines the “greenhouse effect”: It explains that it “is the way in which heat is trapped close to Earth’s surface by greenhouse gases.”

It likens the “heat-trapping gases” to a humongous blanket wrapped around Earth that keeps the planet warmer than it would in the absence of the greenhouse gases.

Make no mistake about it, there are many scientists who do not believe that global warming is now ongoing. But there are incontrovertible proofs that something is wrong, or at least happening — the “Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by about 1.8°F (1.0°C) since 1880.”

Being blamed for this warming on Earth are humans with their activities, the used or burning of fossil fuels, among others. Global warmings’ effect includes melting of the Earth’s polar ice caps, which in turn contributes to warming.

“The melting of the polar ice caps (dome-shaped regions of ice) has a direct impact on the planet’s climate. This includes global temperature, greenhouse gases, sea level (read: floods), international trade, coastal communities, and wildlife,” an article on https://study.com points out.

What do you think when most of the Arctic ice melts and warming continues? One dire scenario is a global flooding sinking cities across the world. Communities, then, have to re-settle in some higher areas to survive.
Not only that, as BuzzFeed noted in an article by Zahra Hirji, there would be, as “scientists agree … deadly heat waves, massive wildfires, and damaging downpours will come far more often and hit much harder than they do today. The ocean will be hotter too and more acidic, causing fish declines and likely the end of coral reefs. In fact, a quarter or so of the Earth’s species may go extinct in such conditions or be headed that way. Our coastlines would be reshaped, a consequence of sea levels rising foot after foot, century after century.”
What creates greenhouse effect that traps the sun’s energy is the presence of (CO2), (CH4), and (N2O) in the atmosphere which continues to increase because of activities of human beings through burning of fossil fuels, thus, causing the temperatures of the Earth to elevate. Add to that the destruction of forests, leading to deforestation.
Climate Change Commissioner Albert de la Cruz. (Photo via Datu Omar Pangarungan)
Is it a pigment of the imagination, or a stark reality that may visit Planet Earth in catastrophic impact not very far in the future if global warming continues?
Whether you are a global warming believer, or you belong to the group of deniers who reject the proposition that climate change because of human activity is happening, whatever happens on Earth affects all humans, from the mightiest to the weakest.
In this connection, global warming and climate change and moves to stop or at least lessen to the barest minimum the rising of global temperatures, political leaders are major players because they hold the key in putting up solutions to mitigate the impact of these twin environmental phenomena.
Thus, it is not surprising the stand of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. over the issue of climate change is highly welcomed by a seasoned former diplomat of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

Datu Omar “Mark” Pangarungan, one of the saviors many times of distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) from Malaysia to the Middle East, yesterday lauded the strong stand of the President about climate change.

Datu Pangarungan noted that the Marcos, who won in the presidential race of May 9, 2022, riding a plurality of 31 million votes, had cited the country’s need to intensify the use of renewable energy sources, which is one of the major aspects of his climate change agenda.

Sixth Ranao Sultan Mastura Manabilang.

The former diplomat also recalled that even when he was at the Senate Marcos filed several measures embracing his advocacy for the environment, among them, Senate Bill No. 2885, or the Climate Change Education Act of 2011.

Philippines minor contributor to gas emissions

And as governor of Ilocos Norte from 1998 to 2007, Marcos backed the establishment of the Bangui Wind Farm with several windmills facing the West Philippine Sea (WPS), South China Sea (SCS) to Beijing, harnessing wind to generate electricity. It is said to be the first large-scale commercial wind power in Southeast Asia.

Recall that in his first State of the Nation Address on July 25, 2022, the President called for shifting to renewable energy to lessen climate change’s impacts on the Philippines.

“We will increase our use of renewable energy sources such as hydropower, geothermal, solar, and wind,” he emphasized.

In the hierarchy of countries contributing to climate change, Pangarungan cited the President’s noting the Philippines is only a minor contributor.

Unquestionably, the developed worlds, to name a few, United States, England, France, Germany, China, Canada, among others, are the biggest contributors in the global increase of greenhouse gases. They are industrialized nations mostly burning fossil fuels for their various industries, spewing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

“Although the Philippines is a minor contributor to climate change globally, we have the unfortunate distinction of being one of the most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change. And for the welfare of our people, it is incumbent upon us to alleviate the effects of that vulnerability with the use of renewable energy which is at the top of our climate agenda,” Marcos said.

Princess Diamond Ali Pacasum-Pangarungan.

Even amid the new administration addressing recovery efforts from the impact of the pandemic, Datu Pangarungan said the President emphasized that all this impetus for development and growth is being done within the context of accelerating responses against climate change and extreme weather conditions.

In the Philippines the government agency leading the fight against the effects of global warming is the Commission on Climate Change (CCC) headed by Commissioner Albert de la Cruz, Sr., who represented in June this year the Philippines at the World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland, with 143 countries represented in the UN Human Habitat-organized event.

The global forum discussed climate change and urban development in a world after the coronavirus pandemic. De la Cruz presented his book “Climate Innovation” to UN Undersecretary Maimonah Mohammad Shariff and Katowice Mayor Marcin Krupa.

Recognizing the President’s initiatives as governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998, on climate change mitigation, the UN body hailed the Filipino leader for his programs on using solar, hydroelectric, and wind as sources of power.

Datu Pangarungan is very glad witnessing the overwhelming support this national policy is getting from all sectors of the society under the stewardship of de la Cruz backed by all BBM national and regional executive officers in collaboration with local government officials as a show of love and appreciation for Lord Almighty God’s precious gift — the Earth!

Other other hand, traditional leaders such as the sultans and religious leaders as well as women can draw support from their respective constituencies.

He cited the sixth Sultan of Ranao Mastura Manabilang and Princess Diamond Ali Pacasum-Pangarungan, both of them carry influence few can match in Muslim Mindanao.

The Sultan also appreciated the President’s national policies, including the paramount importance of climate change that affects the whole Planet Earth.

Manabilang is former mayor and incumbent administrator of the Amai Manabilang municipality. He urged all government officials and employees, his constituents and agribusiness partners to join forces to respond to the President’s policy caring for the environment and should stop exploiting the Earth. “Containing the harm is a priority,” the Sultan stressed.

Datu Pangarungan, the former diplomat, pointed out that the Sultan and his wife are known to be educating their constituents that healthy, safe and green environment with clean air and water can enhance people’s quality of life.

“It’s, therefore, high time that we from BARMM should unite and seriously react to the challenges of global warming before we all perish,” Datu Pangarungan quoted the Sultan as saying. (BARMM is the Bangsamoro region comprised of thr provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi, and the cities of Cotabato, Lamitan, and Marawi, as well as the Special Geographic Area (SGA) made up of 63 barangays or villages in North Cotabato but under the BARMM government jurisdiction.)

Datu Omar Pangarungan.

The Princess noted how women everywhere are using their voices to take a leadership role as they called for a concerted action climate change.

People need to be conscious in helping protect and preserve the environment

Pacasum-Pangarungan shared her observation that there are countries where women have big representation in policy making and they pass more relevant climate change policies in response to call of the people for action.

“Women in the front line of the battle against climate change can effectively help find ways to mitigate the causes of global warming,” the Princess noted.

Pangarungan, the ex-DFA official, sees the Princess as an enabler and a catalyst in tapping women power and participation of marginalized groups, including the Indigenous People (IP) in the BARMM, to initiate climate action plans nationwide if given opportunity under the Marcos administration.

The Princess believes that lack of active participation of various women organizations in climate action reduces great chances to explore effective mechanisms to improve the efficacy of climate change adaptation and mitigation programs of the government.

To this effect, some quarters have suggested to empower women to partner with the lead office on climate change and discuss with experts how climate change poses unique threats to women, and the ways in which women are uniquely positioned to find and deliver solutions to this critical challenge.

On the religious aspect of climate change, Datu Pangarungan says:

“Humans should be climate-conscious to preserve God’s Beautiful Earth.”

At the same time, he reminded all that “we humans should act as guardians, or khalifah (guardian) of the planet or we will be held accountable by God for our actions. Be mindful: The Earth is green and beautiful, and Allah has appointed you His stewards over it and inheritors on Earth!”

In support of the President’s policy on climate change, Datu Pangarungan calls on all loving citizens of our country to faithfully respond to our responsibility of guardianship over our natural environment to protect God’s most precious creation: the Earth! (✓)


Thank you to girlart39 for the featured image, Image by <a href=”https://pixabay.com/users/girlart39-497315/?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=482689″>Angie Agostino</a> from <a href=”https://pixabay.com//?utm_source=link-attribution&amp;utm_medium=referral&amp;utm_campaign=image&amp;utm_content=482689″>Pixabay</a&gt;

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