Throughout the world landscapes are rapidly changing. The carving of mountains and the shaping of beaches have become abrupt, overnight miracles – or nightmares. This change has been brought about by the global change in temperature which has caused the weather patterns to be erratic, and recently, severe.
The island of Mindanao had seen better days when most of its areas were considered typhoon-free, experiencing mild, amicable weather. The tragedy of Sendong jarred not only Northern Mindanao but the rest of the island as well with torrential floods swallowing up communities. Just recently, typhoonYolanda with international name Haiyan slammed into the Visayan islands, decimating trees, homes and people’s lives. It packed winds of 235 kph (147 mph), gusts of up to 275 kph (170 mph), and a storm surge of 6 meters (20 feet).
The people started to be aware of the environment, of the depleting natural resources that have protected the land from devastation for so long.
It is not enough that we try to prevent further loss of our resources by preserving what is left. First, it is not practical as these are the sources of many of our basic needs. Second, preserving is different from conserving – the former being static, the latter being more active, enhancing.
It is therefore necessary that our lifestyles be molded to the advantage of the environment. For example, our basic need for shelter need not be too resource-extractive. Globally, there is already a move of opting for houses with an eco-friendly design.
In Cagayan de Oro, for example, a ‘green’ building had been put up which utilizes renewable energy and is structured with careful details based on the characteristics of nature. It utilized solar panels for its roofing and took note of the shades created by the different positions of the sun throughout the day to help maintain coolness in its interiors.
Another lifestyle change could be avoiding plastic bags when doing groceries or having take-away meals in Styrofoam. It adds to the pile of garbage, which, when not disposed properly, clogs the drainage system and adds to the problem of flooding.
There are several other things we can do to adapt to the changes and even mitigate the damage brought on by climate change. We only have to look closely at our natural environment and align our activities to its characteristics and movements.
Do you know that Cagayan de Oro is a pioneer in designing lifestyle with climate change? Click here to find out more.