In line with the celebration of the Ocean’s month, the U.S. Embassy Manila, together with the National Geographic channel, recently launched a campaign stressing the importance of the increasing effects of climate change not just to the country, but also to the rest of the world.
Last June 8, a group of high school students from various coastal cities in Metro Manila were invited to watch a documentary of Dr. Robert Ballard entitled “Alien Deep: Ocean’s Fury.” Ballard is currently a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence expert; his credentials include the discovery of the sunken ship of Titanic and the battleship Bismarck, among others.
Ballard’s documentary tries to find answers on why the ocean seems to be getting bigger, angrier, and more deadly, focusing particularly on the phenomenon of rogue waves* which is happening even here in the Philippines.
After the screening, a talk was held to further give enlightenment to the youth.
One of the guest speakers were Lory Tan, Vice Chairman for World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Philippines. He said that global change is happening, the world is changing everyday, and to prepare for it, we must first learn how to understand it.
“The Philippines is 100% prone to rogue waves. We are located in ground zero, one of the hottest spot in the globe,” Tan said.
According to Tan, we humans started climate change and because we started it, we can also stop it.
Tan also discussed the two options left for the worsening impacts of global warming: to move to higher grounds or face the fact and stop adding heat to our planet Earth.
“But how can we help?” one student asked.
“Through lessening carbon footprint, by turning off the lights when not in use, by using less water, conserving energy, recycling your own trash, using less plastic. Basically every little thing that you do, counts,” said Tan.
“Remember, 30% of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos. If there are people first to experience the fury of the ocean, it would be them,” Tan added.
Take part in the initiative! Write down your pledges and upload it on various social media accounts with hashtags #ISeeBlue and #1Earth.
*A rogue wave (freak waves / extreme waves / killer waves) is usually defined as a wave that is two times the significant wave height of the area. The significant wave height is the average of the highest one-third of waves that occur over a given period. Rogue waves can disable and sink even the largest ships and oil rigs. –NatGeo