Intolerable heat

By Joshua Corcuera

We are now in the last week of March; April is fast approaching. Unsurprisingly, the weather has shifted from warm to hot these past few days in Manila. Despite this, however, the heat is intolerable already in my personal opinion.

Although there is nothing abnormal with hot weather per se, especially during the dry season, there is a trend in recent years that temperatures are rising to unprecedented levels. More importantly, warmer temperatures are a consequence of climate change which is exacerbated by human activities that are deleterious to the environment.

For instance, carbon emissions have rapidly increased in the past several years thanks to industrialization and urbanization. Basically, more cars and more factories mean more carbon emissions. As a consequence, carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere which results in the greenhouse effect trapping heat within the atmosphere causing warmer temperatures on the planet.

Much worse, human activities are actually causing several untoward consequences to the environment, not just contributing to increased carbon emissions which create a warmer planet.

According to Harvey (2018), “previous studies also suggested that carbon emissions may directly affect the climate beyond just raising average global temperatures.” Other serious concerns arising from an increase in carbon dioxide is ocean acidification which has an adverse impact on marine ecosystems.

Although what we are personally feeling right now is the intolerable heat in the Philippines, there is scientific consensus that the negative impacts of climate change are broad and wide-ranging.

The point, dear reader, is that human activities have an impact on rising temperatures which we are feeling right now and other environmental issues which we may still be unaware of. As ordinary people, there is nothing much we can do but demand those in positions of power, particularly governments and corporations, to adopt environmentally-friendly practices, reduce carbon emissions, and protect nature.

In doing so, we are able to mitigate or reduce the impact of climate change to tolerable levels. Furthermore, we prevent the negative impacts of extreme weather, including very hot weather, from occurring regularly.

It is important to note as well that there are various organizations dedicated to protecting the environment and preventing serious or abnormal changes to the global climate.

Moreover, the World Wildlife Fund, in its website, has mentioned that they are working to “advance policies to fight climate change, engage with businesses to reduce carbon emissions, and help people and nature adapt to a changing climate” to address the consequences of global warming.

Even if the Philippines is a tropical country, the heat is becoming too much to tolerate especially among those who are of advanced age or those dealing with health problems.

Hence, let us be reminded that it is similarly essential to look at ourselves and take good care of our bodies. Specifically, let us stay hydrated, drink plenty of water, avoid going outside when it is hot, and stay in a cooler or shady area.