MANILA, March 30 — As the entire Christian nation prepares for the observance of Holy Week, former environment secretary, now commissioner of the Climate Change Commission, Heherson Alvarez Friday called for a different kind of penitence — that of fasting for the environment.
"During the Lenten Season, as we atone for our sins, it may be most relevant that we also fast for the environment," Alvarez said.
"We put a stress on our scarce resources, the more we consume, the more waste we generate which, as a community, we have been unable to manage systematically and sustainably," he said.
Alvarez said fast for Mother Earth is a different kind of penitence that highlights the need to address climate change. “We must cut back on our consumption, including the use of vehicle fuel, water and food, forest and all other dwindling resources,” he said.
Climate change is primarily caused by the warming of the earth due to extensive use or burning of fossil fuels, such as gasoline, coal and oil, and improper waste management that leads to the accumulation of methane, a bi-product of rotting garbage and a lethal greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
This, Alvarez said, is upsetting the global temperatures and the balance of the global climate, bringing about the unmanageable alternating drought and excessive rainfall of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena.
Alvarez, who also authored the Senate resolution urging for the declaration of April 22 of every year as Earth Day in the Philippines, said, “A withdrawal from our wasteful consumption habits, a cutback of a meal a day, could provide some relief to our beleaguered environment and drive home the point that the solution to our environmental degradation would be the disciplined use of energy like electricity and vehicle fuel, water and food, forest and all other resources."
“This selfless penitence drives home the point that climate change is a man-made disaster that will need our collective efforts to address. We must cut back on our individual and communal footprints as part of our struggle to fight global warming and climate change,” Alvarez said. (PNA) FFC/PR/mec