OK, let’s get a little controversial today and spice up the site! Any discussion about Climate Change can blow up into a flame war, right? Well, I wanted to write about this topic, but I would first like to ask that anybody leaving comments, please be civil. We can disagree in an agreeable way, right?
OK, so the “hot” topic (pun intended) all around the world these days is “Global Warming,” or “Climate Change,” right? Well, before I look at how that might affect the Philippines, let me first lay down my views on the topic in general. At this point, I believe that there is enough evidence in front of us that almost all of us can agree that our world climate is changing. Now, personally, I believe that this change is natural, and not man-made. All of the experts agree that over the course of history we have seen swings in the world’s climate. We have gone through ice ages, and we have gone through heat waves. None of these have ever been caused by man, they have simply been the way that nature works. I personally believe that we are in such a swing of nature right now.
Back in the 1970’s Newsweek Magazine (a US publication) actually did an article called “The coming ice age,” in which they speculated that we were on the verge of another ice age where the earth’s climate would cool dramatically! Here we are just a short 20 to 30 years later and everybody is running around saying the opposite. What proof is there that man’s actions caused the current weather changes? To me, there is really no proof, just a lot of speculation.
Anyway, now you know where I stand, but how will it affect the Philippines? Nobody can say for sure, but I will look at a few things. Firstly, I think that the name “Global Warming” is really a misnomer, because some places are actually cooling! Yes, some places are warming, but how often do we hear about “the coldest winter on record” or something along those lines? Did you know that there is a lot of talk currently going on in the Philippines about our climate getting cooler lately? It’s true! A few weeks ago, when I saw the weather report on TV they were even talking about a “Cold Front” coming through that would drop temperatures considerably. This morning, when I got up, I went into the bathroom, in which the window is always open, and it was quite cool in there! So, is it possible that as climate change progresses, the Philippines could actually encounter a drop in temperature? I think that is a possibility. A small drop in temperature would indeed make it more comfortable here, but I hope it would not drop too much! I hope that it also wil not become an environment of many rainy days and such. I enjoy the sunshine and a bit of heat!
Another thing that, under the gloom and doom forecast, could drastically affect the Philippines is the whole scenario of the icebergs melting and raising the ocean level. You’ve heard all the talk about this, right? They say that when the icebergs melt, the level of the ocean will be dramatically higher, and any coastal areas will be hit hard by this. Well, as a nation of islands, the Philippines could be hit terribly if such a forecast was true. However, I do not buy this theory. Why? Think about the things that we have learned in the past. Firstly, I think we all know that if water freezes, it becomes a larger mass. For example, if you fill an ice cube tray to the brim, when it freezes the ice will actually overflow the tray. So, a block of solid ice is larger than the size that the liquid water would fill. Also, we have heard that the part of icebergs that we can actually see is only the “tip” of the iceberg. The tip is only a tiny percentage of the iceberg as a whole. Now, think about it… if the iceberg melts and becomes water, that entire mass of ice (including the part under the water, which is huge) will become smaller! So, the small amount of ice that is above the water, will simply blend into the water and be smaller. Thus, I believe, the level of the ocean would not go higher, but might actually go lower instead! I find it strange that I have never heard anybody look at this possibility.
Whatever may happen in the future with our climate, I believe that the Philippines will survive, and that those of us who live here will be safe. Perhaps if some areas of the world keep getting a bit warmer, our friends back in our old homes will come to enjoy the type of weather that we have had since moving to the Philippines. The coming years and decades will indeed be interesting to watch, though. My belief is that in 20 years we will look back at the past decade and realize how wrong the forecasts were. One thing is certain, though, in 20 years from now we will know more about what is going on with the weather!