Is Mother Nature Out Of Control? JRM Youth Service March 5, 2010
What’s Happening to the World? • Very Strong Earthquakes • Movements Of Earth’s Crust (Tectonic Plates) • El Nino Phenomenon (Extremely Hot Weather) • Droughts (Result of El Nino Phenomenon) • La Nina (Unusually Strong and Prolonged Rainy Season) • Erratic Climate Changes • Increasing Consequences of Global Warming
Environmental Refugees • People who are forced to leave their countries/homes because their environment has become un-conducive to living. • Examples: Maldives, Carteret Islands, Canary Islands
Carteret Islands • Belong to a larger group of islands which we know as Papua New Guinea. • Formerly known as a paradise for summer tourists, but is now part of the endangered islands because sea water level rises consistently. • Elevation is only 1.2 meters above sea level. • Many citizens are already being planned for evacuation. The number of environmental refugees from these islands will dramatically rise in the coming months.
It's a cruel irony that the people with some of the lowest carbon footprints are already paying the price for the emissions of far richer countries, and are forced to leave their homes for an uncertain future.
"I wish that the people causing the melting of the icecaps would do something to help us stay in our homes," says John Sailik from Han Island, Carterets. "Because we love living on our little island."
Meanwhile (as the rich nations talk about curbing CO2 emissions), back on the Carteret Islanders time is running out and an entire cultural group needs relocating because of rising seas. – CNN (March 16, 2009)
Maldives • The president of Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed, proposed relocating his entire country and conducted an underwater Cabinet meeting October 17, 2009 to highlight the threat global warming and rising sea levels pose to his low-lying nation. • They (the President and 14 Cabinet ministers) donned scuba gear and descended to a table 20 feet (6 meters) underwater. • It's definitely intended to bring attention to how climate change will affect us and to call upon the entire world to come up with a concrete solution
Maldives • Maldives is grappling with a very likely possibility that it will go under water if the current pace of climate change keeps raising sea levels. • Most of the archipelago of almost 1,200 coral islands, located south-southwest of India, most of it lies just 4.9 feet (1.5 meters) above sea level. • The country's capital, Male, is already protected by sea walls. But creating a similar barrier around the rest of the country will be cost-prohibitive. • Soon after his election last November 2008, Nasheed raised the possibility of finding a new homeland for the country's 396,000 residents.
Maldives • The tourist nation -- whose white sandy beaches lure well-heeled Westerners -- wants to set aside part of its annual billion-dollar revenue into buying a new homeland, he said at the time. • "We will invest in land," he said. "We do not want to end up in refugee tents if the worst happens." • Nasheed's government said that it has broached the idea with several countries and found them to be "receptive." • Land owned by Sri Lanka and India were possibilities because the countries have similar cultures, cuisine and climate as the Maldives. Australia is also being considered because of the vast unoccupied land it owns.
Greenhouse Effect (Global Warming) Insert Notes From PAGASA.pdf
Is Mother Nature Out Of Control? Experts say what is happening to our climate (whether caused by CO2 emissions or some other things) is nature “balancing” itself into equilibrium.
Reminders from Ondoy • One of our fundamental planning problems is that most of what we now use as residential areas in Metro Manila were parts of floodplains and riverbeds. Subdivisions were built on former wetlands, rivers and creeks, which were “forced” to become straight, or cemented over to become roads or to create more space for sale. • People cement over open spaces and natural vegetation, destroying the earth’s capacity to drain storm water naturally. • Simply put, we are in the way of the natural landscape processes in our very fragile and geologically young archipelago. • Flooding is a natural process. Floods bring nutrients to ecosystems along waterways and make it possible for various forms of life to thrive.
Reminder from Ondoy • Problems start when settlements sprout on floodplains, or when people insist on tampering with the natural shape of rivers and tributaries. Builders insist on making water travel in a straight line instead of slowing it down by following the river’s natural curves. • When we cover the earth with concrete, it loses its ability to absorb rainwater. It is not only trees that help us prevent floods; water runoff is also absorbed by the various types of indigenous vegetation, like grasses and shrubs that grow along riverbanks. • Tropical storm “Ondoy” is a reminder that rivers have been here before us. It reminds us that we’ve been remiss in trying to find long-lasting solutions to the problems of urban settlements. We’ve simply allowed developers to cover too many wetlands.
Reminder from Ondoy • We’ve also allowed ourselves to buy into their concept of development and be seduced by the idea of the “house-and-lot” dream. • This dream made our cities sprawl out and obliterated natural waterways with the roads that had to lead to them. These very roads made us buy cars so that we could get to our homes. This increased pollution, carbon emissions and caused more roads to be built. Subdivisions near the hinterland and in former agricultural lands or wetlands even displaced rural people and increased land prices.
Reminder from Ondoy • * Do not build up to the edges of your property. Make sure you have soil and vegetation all around you so that the soil drains properly. Resist the temptation to pave everything on site with concrete. Consider using stepping stones or grass pavers instead. • * Do not assume that it is safe to build on the edges of any waterway. • * If you have empty lots in your vicinity, work with your neighborhood to plant them with appropriate vegetation, which prevents erosion, helps in water absorption on rainy days and lessen heat radiation in the dry season. • * We said it before and we’ll say it again. Reduce, reuse and recycle. Learn how to compost, so you’ll have a healthy garden. Do not be afraid of vegetation and the insects and creepy crawlies that come with them. They will be your early warning system for approaching calamities.
Is Mother Nature Out Of Control? This is nature’s way of “righting” itself because it has been abused by the “developments” made by man.
Earthquake at Concepcion, ChileMagnitude 8.8 February 17, 2010
Chileans moving through the rubbles hoping to find those who are still buried
Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth • The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday. • The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
11. Magnitude 8.5 Southern Sumatra, Indonesia September 12, 2007 52,522 buildings destroyed
10. Magnitude 8.6 Andreanof Islands, Alaska March 6, 1957 Extensive damage to property
9. Magnitude 8.6 India and Tibet August 15, 1950
8. Magnitude 8.6 Northern Sumatra March 28, 2005 1,400 people dead
7. Magnitude 8.7 Alaska February 4, 1965 No reported death or injuries.
6. Magnitude 8.8 Ecuador January 31, 1906 Unknown casualties
5. Magnitude 8.8 Chile February 27, 2010
4. Magnitude 9.0 Kamchatka Peninsula November 4, 1952 Extensive damage to property but no lives lost
3. Magnitude 9.1 Sumatra, Indonesia December 26, 2004 1.7 million people displaced by earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 14 countires in South Asia nd East Africa
2. Magnitude 9.2 Alaska March 28, 1964 15 killed in earthquake, 113 killed in the resulting tsunami
1. Magnitude 9.5 Chile May 22, 1960 1,655 killed, 3,000 injured, 2 million people homeless