Typhoon Maring has been dumping so much misery the past few days. And once again, we try to mobilize men and resources to help alleviate the plight of our flood victims. This is the ‘new normal’, as our climate change experts say. There is no escaping it, as more floods, as well as earthquakes, tsunamis, droughts and other natural calamities are expected to torment us in the years to come.
The Philippines is situated in an area that is considered the world’s worst hit area for typhoons in terms of frequency and damage extent. We are also in the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an area of frequent earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. You can bitch about it, you can whine to the high heavens about its great injustice. But it remains a cold hard fact. We live in an exciting corner of the world. And we just have to deal with it.
At the global level, there is now a growing concern over mankind’s excesses and mother earth’s response. Climate change activists point to human activity as the singular damaging cause behind the heating up of the earth’s atmosphere. It is this so-called global warming that is triggering the melting icecaps, the rising sea levels, the unforgiving hurricanes and typhoons, the sudden volcanic eruptions, the devastating tsunamis, the forest fires, the droughts and so on. Global warming and climate change have thus become the twin issues of concern for the world’s governing bodies and society in general.
In response, the United Nations came up with an Earth Summit to gain consensus on various strategies and protocols along these lines. Efforts are being made to limit greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. Various government and non-government organizations have started to get involved, providing initiatives and incentives to promote environment-friendly living. Environment-conscious groups such as Greenpeace are devising various plans to address the impending catastrophe.
With the enormity of the task at hand however, it seems that a ‘whole-of-society’ approach is really what we need. From a ‘whole-of-government’ to a ‘whole-of-nation’ approach which we employed to help address local insurgencies, we now have a problem that knows no boundaries, and thus requires the commitment of the whole of society. There is a growing consensus that the fight is now mankind’s to take. There is now a gnawing realization that the problem can no longer be solved by small, independent acts of selflessness, it can only be won when all of us are in this together.
Thus, there is a need for a massive paradigm shift. It is a shift that will redefine our priorities. It is a shift that will ensure that everyone wins, and nobody loses. Today’s progressive ‘Winning’ paradigm – one that I learned from a new breed of leaders – calls for “a world that works with no one left out.” This dynamic new thinking propagated by the Organizational Change Consultants Inc (OCCI) strives to inculcate a formula where everyone must benefit from each other’s endeavor.
As the epic challenges of global warming and climate change threaten us, we need to forge a shared future for everyone, with shared responsibilities. What matters now is that we do not survive and thrive at the expense of others. What matters now is no longer who wins the race, but how many of us are able to finish the race. We will finish, we will survive, but only if we work together; and thus win as humankind.
Today, it is necessary to cultivate a clear understanding, commitment and finally, ownership of a holistic approach to the threat posed by global warming and climate change. There is a need for a strong collective will – of the entire nation – to address the challenges ahead of us. A strong political will that will address the problems of indiscriminate deforestation, illegal mining, unauthorized construction along rivers and lakes, etc. A commitment to abide by universal standards to address climate change.
This political will must be cultivated, and replicated in the four corners of the world. This new paradigm, that which embodies our commitment to our fellowmen, is the only thing that will ensure our survival and that of the generations to come. Let us all work on this together. Before everything becomes too late.
(Pictures courtesy of philstar.com, dailygalaxy.com, piperbasenji.blogspot, berkeley.edu,wunderground.com, vietnamwarphotos.net, tribuneindia.com, sunshinecoastdaily.com, earthgreen9.com, edu.com, inspirationgreen.com, interaksyon.com, promdienvironmentblogspot.com, bigthink.com, windpowerengineering.com, pinterest.com)