Showmanship, not science, a forte of climate activists

By: Engr. Edgar Mana-ay

REGARDLESS whether one is a climate change fanatic or skeptic, majority of us will agree that there is a need to change our lifestyle in order to improve/clean our environment and make it more livable approximating what it was a hundred years ago. But this cause is not helped at all by the demeanor of these climate change or global warming fanatics whose style is more of showmanship rather than using more brains in addressing various environmental degradation.

A classic example is when the Greenpeace climate activists from Manila invaded Shell Oil Refinery in Tabangao, Batangas and blocked the main gate access to the refinery. They then climbed one of the giant fuel storage tanks to unfurl a banner saying:  “Shell Stop Burning Our Future”. The protest was live-streamed on Facebook by Greenpeace, showing them with arms linked together sitting across the main access road with large flashing lights. They claim it’s almost too late to save the planet from the climate crisis and that Shell is a major polluter and holds the most responsibility.

Since Greenpeace believes that the petroleum refining industry as the number one polluter of the environment causing global warming, did they just walk from Manila up to Batangas so as not to use petroleum fuel and not be a party to pollution? I am even sure they did not take public transport but rode in cars, which is “aksaya” in fuel to reach Batangas.

Such is the highest form of hypocrisy: do what I tell you but do not do what I do! Their banner of “stop burning our future” is a classic example of emotional but witless and meaningless rhetoric that these activists are famous for. It would have been better if they conducted seminars on how to lessen fuel consumption or come up with some very, very genius ALTERNATIVE like using water to replace gasoline! It is the consumers, whose wasteful and excessive use of fuel rather than Shell, that pollutes the environment. Greenpeace is barking at the wrong tree.

Devoid of any analytical brain, they rely more on props and showmanship to appeal to emotion rather than use reason to deliver their skin deep message on global warming. It’s still vivid in my memory 12 years ago during the public hearing on the proposed Global Business Power’s coal-fired power plant at the club house of Puerto Real. Climate activists (I will not name names because it will just expose his brain bankruptcy) brought with him to the stage his 6-year-old girl telling the audience what will happen to his little one when ash fall containing mercury from the coal-fired plant reaches Puerto Real.

Well that was 12 years ago, I’m sure his girl is now a bouncing and healthy teenager, as coal ash from the coal power plant, which doesn’t contain any mercury,  never reached Puerto Real.

After 10 years of operation, neither a single death nor illness due to the coal plant operation was recorded. At that time, Andy Moncada, then Manager of Global Business Power; Lemuel Fernandez, publisher of the Daily Guardian; and this writer were subject to a vicious vilification campaign by the activist for defending the proposed coal power plant, calling us the Three Stooges!

After 10 years of power plant operation, the three of us were finally vindicated. There was no epidemic due to the coal plant and the City of Iloilo prospered tremendously as compared to Bacolod City who until now abhors power from coal yet 30% of their power comes from coal plants in Iloilo and Cebu. So after all, it was not us but they who were used as stooges or puppets by the Greenpeace organization.

Manipulation by Greenpeace has gone to the extreme by using and supporting 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, a Swedish girl who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome, a mild form of autism.

Thunberg has gotten so popular in her campaign to prevent global warming, that she has even addressed (and scolded) with motherhood statements and empty rhetoric the United Nations Assembly participants on Climate Summit. She even glowered at President Trump as the President passes by with of course full TV coverage and is now a candidate for a Nobel Prize. Of course, climate-skeptic Trump in his usual sarcastic style tweeted a few hours later saying: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see.”

Thunberg’s two-week crossing of the Atlantic just to attend the UN Summit in a very expensive and state of the art sailboat to avoid carbon emission was given full and daily publicity all over the world.  She was met by a flotilla of ships upon arrival in New York Harbor and this was the pinnacle of showmanship orchestrated by Greenpeace Sweden.

They will not publish it but during the two weeks ocean crossing, she was provided food support and safety surveillance both from the air and the sea which made her trip 100 times more energy consuming had she just took the commercial plane!

Let us set aside hallow and shallow rhetoric and showmanship and take the bull of climate change by the horn using science in addressing the issue. What scientific plans and steps can we do for example to limit (NOT ELIMINATE) the use of fossil fuels so we can reduce our carbon footprint. Dedicated and intense education and research seems to be the order of the day.

We quote England School Minister Nick Gibbs when he DISAPPROVED a holiday request of elementary pupils to join a climate change protest march: “Your voices are being heard, we don’t think (protesting) should be at the expense of a child’s education because what we want is for the next generation to be as well educated as possible to tackle problems like Climate Change and you don’t do that by missing out on an education.”

Need I say more?