Understanding Climate Emergency


Climate Emergency is a declaration of the principle of climate justice, securing a sustainable future for the coming generations. It is a declaration that requires immediate action, not just words on paper or document. When a town or city declares ‘climate emergency’, the next day all business related to mining, logging, or reclamation project must end; continue transforming our lives for a greener future- stop contributing waste recycle and re-use instead, participate in growing more trees not cutting them, care more for people and the planet. It is environmental action truly lived as a result of declaration.

Institutions are now declaring ‘climate emergency’, but are failing to defend nature, declaration only in words. Declaration means to be bold and not afraid to denounce environmental criminals, not be paralyzed to take the words to heart that we need to defend the planet.

We have seen the climate actions inspired by Greta Thunberg, campaigning on her own and rippled into a global and phenomenal mobilizations. And yet, let this mobilization not be fizzled-out just like the many emerging social movements that almost toppled oppressive state-structures but run-dry and ended-up un-sustained. Let her inspiration embolden more our declaration.

But how can we make this ‘climate emergency declaration’ be understood in the communities, and be fully embraced by an ordinary person?

Causes why we have the Climate Emergency:

Lack of the sense for the common good. Nature or the environment is a common good, so are the natural resources. Common good, does not mean ownership nor having the right/s to abuse the natural resources, but rather, having a  responsibility to nurture and ensure sustainability. We have allowed the limitless ownership and destruction of our natural resources—for political, business and development reasons. Sacrificing in the end, our common ownership. Persons, communities and nature incorporate the global society, the need to ensure climate and universal justice for them constitute a common concern. Care for our common home, as Pope Francis rightly calls.

Lack of the sense of social justice. Any government systems fail, if social justice is not prioritized. Social justice takes the form of governance and the grounded vision it provides, and also it can take form of economy and the cycle it can bring, especially the poor. With the assurance of social justice, the level

Lack of the sense of the future. Sustainable future is a right of every human being. The immensity of the damages done to our environment creates a clear sign of ‘no future’ for our people and planet. The amount of waste we are producing and dumping daily; the destruction and loss of our forests; the pollution of our atmosphere (including the oceans and rivers); and the elimination of plant and animal species—all these reflect a bleak future for all of us. Sadly, governments allow companies and businesses to destroy our environment—in the form of development aggression.

Lack of the sense of accountability. Imposing accountability structures thru policies will caution and ultimately discourage  greed-driven enterprises. The effects of extractive industries are already measurable, and yet we still allow them to destroy our ridges and reefs. We have read news and stories of deaths and destruction in mining sites, areas affected by development aggression, the massive fires in the Amazon region and Indonesia and yet our governments still allow corporation to operate and continue destroying our forests.

We can address Climate Emergency by:

Sourcing and Eating healthy food products.

Encouraging and supporting local agriculture enterprise (healthy food security).

Developing a sustainable food-future, by limiting the development or conversion of agricultural areas  from business enterprises.

Supporting local organic farmers and cooperatives. Not-patronizing commercially-driven enterprises using fertilizers and GMOs on food products.

Providing clean water to communities.

Claiming the Rights of Nature to secure a sustainable planet.

Ending destructive development aggression in both local and national areas (Mining, Reclamation Projects, Quarrying, Logging).

Living a fossil-free future towards a consistent transition to renewable energy (Break-free from Fossil fuel).

Imposing consistently the ban on plastic use (homes, offices and communities).

Managing an integrated pro-nature waste segregation (pollution-free).

Creating a local-based biodiversity plan from ridge to reef (inventory, protection and criminalization).

Imposing strict pollution-control compliance (transport, institutions, business and industries).

Demanding climate justice; as well as extracting just compensation from environmental violators causing deaths on persons and damages on nature.

Investing in ethical business enterprises and banks.

Divesting from non-ethical corporate business investments.

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Bro. Tagoy Jakosalem, OAR

Bro. Tagoy Jakosalem, OAR

General Councillor of the Order of Augustinian Recollects and President of ARCORES International from the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno