Yesterday, Manila spent its day in darkness.
Strong winds, relentless downpour and storm surges wreaked havoc eerily reminiscent of something that transpired two years ago, when Ondoy poured its wrath on an unsuspecting metropolis.
Looking back, now it also becomes apparent that this trend is but a foretaste of things yet to come if urgent and appropriate climate action is not done to curb the amount of carbon that we emit in our atmosphere.
Climate change is defined not simply by average temperature and precipitation, but also by the type, frequency and intensity of weather events. Human-induced climate change has the potential to alter the prevalence and severity of extremes such as heat waves, cold waves, storms, floods and droughts. No one knows how much warming is "safe". What we do know is that climate change is already harming people and ecosystems, and yesterday’s calamity is just a sneak preview of what’s to come if we do not get our acts together.
Tackling dangerous climate change is the biggest challenge facing us all. Thankfully, solutions are already available –all that we need is the seriousness and conviction of every single one of us to seize on a piece of the problem.
Perhaps yesterday’s storm is a rambling prompt for action: A call for a change in the landscape; for the trees to wail; for the rain to wash away the rubbish; and the deafening sound of urgency pounding on our roof tops.
Today is a new day and the storm has finally passed. And many will be glad that their homes are still in place, the strong trees still standing. The landscape changed, and we ourselves changed. We made it through a full-blown storm. We can start things all over again.
Climate action now.