Sunday, April 14, 2024

What Will Be Left?

by Nina Isabelle Alolod | March 11, 2023

If you’ve been on social media recently, you may have come across the dissent regarding the numerous government plans that would spell nothing but disaster for the environment. 

At the forefront of this is The Willow Project: a six billion dollar proposal from hydrocarbon exploration and production company ConocoPhillips to drill oil and gas in Alaska. Evidence has shown, however, that the project would produce more than 278 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses over the course of its thirty year life to the environment, which would not only contribute to global climate change but jeopardize Arctic wildlife as well. 

Towards the east is Japan’s plans on releasing 1.25 million tons of treated wastewater contaminated by the disabled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. In response, neighboring countries such as China, South Korea, and Pacific Island nations condemned the release. Like the Willow Project, with its potential contribution of greenhouse gasses as well as disrupting the Alaskan ecosystem, the wastewater would have a damaging effect on both the environment and humans. 

Dumaguete has also had its fair share of battling against projects endangering the city’s environment. Not too long ago was the rally against the 174-hectare reclamation project that would have buried marine protected areas. Most recently was the protest against the pyrolysis-gasification machine in Barangay Candau-ay that releases toxic gasses by incinerating the city’s trash.

These instances pose a threat to everyday people who have to deal with the consequences of such projects. When those in power see the environment as avenues for profit, it leaves us nothing left to live on. 

It is no wonder why some students are less inclined to focus on their academics, knowing how little sustainable spaces will remain in the future if these harmful plans were to ever carry on. This makes it all the more important to be more vocal with these concerns rather than simply brushing them away in the hopes others will be the ones to take a stand.

As students, it is understandable to prioritize academic requirements as they are wired to react to the immediate tasks they are given. Nonetheless, in the midst of assignments and reports, it should be acknowledged that time is ticking for the environment. Actions to assist Mother Earth need to be incorporated  in the daily lives of people. From simply taking the time to segregate trash, to signing petitions, or even banding together in peaceful rallies, there is a lot that students can do to take part in saving the planet.

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