Arts & Culture

On Thin Ice: Cracking Under Climate Change


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Photo c/o Thin Ice Climate

Muni on this:

On April 6th 2013, the highest recorded temperature was 40.1°C, in the Northern province of Luzon (Diffun, Quirino). Just 20 days after, the temperature was at 36°C, while extreme rain poured all over the Metro, flooding certain parts of Marikina and Antipolo. Do we have anything to do with this crazy weather?

Over the last 60 years, the country’s average annual temperature has risen by about 0.648°C. [1] As of this writing, Filipinos are experiencing hotter days and warmer nights, with the capital city having an average daily temperature of 36°C. And no amount of rigorous fanning or showering seems enough to ease the heat.

Now climate science predicts the global average temperature to be as much as 6°C higher. Can you imagine an even hotter weather for our country?

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The author with UK Embassy Deputy Ambassador Stephen Lysaght, Head of Political Section

In celebration of Earth Day 2013 last April 22, the Climate Change Commission, in partnership with the British Embassy and New Zealand Embassy, participated in the global screening of the documentary film, “Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Change”.

Connecting the Dots on Climate Change

In recent years, climate science has been termed “the junk science” that offers no scientific basis about the connection of man-made CO2, climate change, and global warming. So, geologist Simon Lamb took his camera and decided to see for himself whether the accusations of fraud prove to be true. His journey, lasting almost six years, took him to Scott Base and the Polar Plateau in Antarctica to Paraparaumu, New Zealand to Norwich, England to Potsdam, Germany and to the Southern Ocean.

Through the unglamorous and tedious monitoring, intensive research, and well-founded insights on the front line of climate change research, scientists were able to prove the correlation and dependence of global warming and CO2 emissions. What’s alarming is that at the end of the 21st century, if we continue with our CO2 emissions, the global average temperature could be as much as 6°C higher.

Thus, Thin Ice has set a challenge: Decrease CO2 to 0% atmospheric presence in 50 years. But how do we get this done?

Filipinos vs. Climate Change

In the past 20 years, the Philippines ranked fifth among more than 190 countries that had suffered the most extreme weather events.* That’s a list I don’t want the country to be at the top of, and I’m pretty sure you don’t, too.

While Thin Ice was theoretical and artistic in its presentation of climate science facts, I felt that it lacked a more practical call to action for regular citizens moved by the film to do something about climate change. And for that, executive producer Peter Barrett has this to say: “The key messages from this 73-minute film are that scientists can be trusted and that ultimately we have to quit using fossil fuels. We do not try to say how this should be done, but we hope that the film will lead audiences into some deeper thinking on the issue and perhaps even a shift toward solutions.” 

Climate science gives us the ability to look into our future and change it.
– Simon Lamb

Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Elisea “Bebet” Gozun believes that the issue, up to now, is that there are still people who question Climate Change when in fact, Climate Change is a reality for us Filipinos. “We have stronger typhoons, our sea levels are rising. We don’t wait for science. We need to start taking action, adapting practices to lessen the risk of Climate Change. It doesn’t have to be a grand event. Every little thing we can, the day-to-day caring of the environment, it counts.”

Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco of the Climate Change Commission calls out to everyone to take part in the commission’s efforts in mitigating Climate Change and helping the country be more resilient to its effects. She cites the ongoing Greeneration Summit series, which will be happening soon in Cagayan de Oro and Baguio City.

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The author with DENR Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Marcial Amoro, Jr., WWF-Philippines Climate Change and Energy Programme Director Angela Consuelo Ibay, Presidential Adviser on Climate Change Elisea “Bebet” Gozun, and Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco of the Climate Change Commission

So join in the effort. Help lessen the production of greenhouse gases. How? Reduce your meat intake. Practice conscious consumption. Produce less waste. Always remember that the little things do count.

What will you do to lessen your environmental impact today?

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