100 days and counting

“What I often say to my audiences is that now is the time to play the Save the World Symphony. It is a vast orchestral piece, and you are but one musician. Yet you are not required to play a solo, but you are required to figure out what your instrument is and play it as well as you can. Because in the end – the environment is not just something else to worry about. It is connected to all things we already worry about – our children, our health, our homeland and love with all our hearts.”

Sandra Steingraber The Obligation to Endure...Again...

I believe that the quote above is timely in the sense as far as it goes when it comes down to the issue of climate change especially now as we countdown the 100 days that would make or break our future as a people. There are 100 days remaining until the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen, where urgent action is needed by world leaders in order to save our climate.

100 school children aged between 12 to 14, wave umbrellas in a colorful parade to form a human clock

It's time to stop talking and start taking action.

All over the world – activists from different organizations of varied, causes, ideologies and political persuasions staged public events to highlight the number of days left for our leaders to take action, in what I like to believe is a global symphony of urgency to make known the seriousness of climate change’s impending threat.

By now you may have read a number of stories on the events that unfolded to countdown the 100 days before the climate meetings in Copenhagen. It is in line with this that I hope to share the contributions of the Southeast Asian people to Steingraber’s  global Save the World Symphony.

Bankok: The final countdown

The familiar riff of Europe’s The Final Countdown came into my mind at the sight of the 100 school children aged between 12 to 14, waved umbrellas in a colorful parade to form a human clock and the messages “Tck Tck Tck and “ACT NOW!” as the called on world leaders to protect the planet’s future, outside United Nations Building in Bangkok which will host a crucial UN climate conference in about one month.

The activity is a part of the launch of “Tcktcktck” campaign which aims to warn the world leader that they have only 100 days to go before governments must agree on a new global climate treaty that will protect millions of lives and the planet’s ecosystem from devastating climate change impact.

TckTckTck is an unprecedented global alliance of civil society organizations, trade unions, faith groups and people like you—all calling for an fair, ambitious, and binding climate change agreement. If enough of us stand up, world leaders with listen.
Pasig City: The revolution is just a t-shirt away

“So join the struggle while you may The Revolution is just a t-shirt away” Billy Bragg

Billy Bragg might have something else in mind when he originally wrote this song, but I think he’ll forgive me for using this last verse of Waiting for the Great Leap Forward to describe the monthly Philippine Greenpeace supporter activity at Tiendesitas, where they did a make your own Greenpeace campaign t-shirt activity, that had messages for climate protection. Perhaps the Energy [R]evolution is just a t-shirt away indeed…

Quezon City: Solidarity

“Start your own revolution, cut out the middleman” Billy Bragg

350 Minutes of Climate Action: A Climate Action Festival

As Filipino Greenpeace Supporters made t-shirts I along with a handful of Greenpeace volunteers in the Philippine office joined in solidarity with groups, grass root activists, individuals, local community folks, punks and whatnots at 350.org’s climate action festival at the Quezon City Memorial Circle’s Picnic Pavilion to further underscore the clamour for a strong and equitable climate deal in Copenhagen..

350.org is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.
Standing in front of the crowd made me both encouraged me as I find it really good and at the same time alarmed at the fact that the issue of climate change or global warming is no longer in the language of a handful of eco-warriors like Greenpeace, mainly because the it also means that the broadening of people’s awareness on climate change also means that it has now evolved into a far greater problem that is no longer confined to environmentalists but also to that of regular folks.

The highlight of the event is on the emphasis of taking collective personal action on environmental issues that include climate change and climate justice

Iloilo: U-Turn the Earth

More than a hundred bikers toured Iloilo today to launch the yoU-Turn the Earth campaign, marking the 100-day countdown to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen
More than a hundred bikers toured Iloilo today to launch the "yoU-Turn the Earth" campaign, marking the 100-day countdown to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen

“Slam on the breaks and make a u-turn from the brink!” Robert Hoyt

I’ve forgotten the title of the song that I quoted above from a longtime Earth First! activist and singer-songwriter Robert Hoyt. But I believe it is very relevant to what Greenpeace did in Iloilo to launch of “yoU turn the Earth”—a series of high profile public activities to raise awareness on climate change and its solutions.  The event in Iloilo’s capital highlights the province’s vulnerability to the worst onslaught of climate change, particularly massive floods caused by extreme weather such as Iloilo’s devastating experience with Typhoon Frank last year.

Jakarta: 11th hour

"Do you know where the power lies? and who pulls the strings Do you know where the power lies it starts and ends with you"

- Rancid

Activists from Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam
Activists from Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam

This is a very apt description of the message that was conveyed by activists from Greenpeace, WWF, Oxfam warned world leaders that "delays kill". The leaders of the countries who have yet to make a right stand on climate change are warned by the activists of the possibility that they will sink along with climate change if they do not immediately take action on global warming.

Moving on... Climate change is a reality. All of us can attest to the sudden unpredictability of the weather.  Today, our world is hotter than it has been in two thousand years. Scientists have predicted that by the end of the century, if current trends continue, the global temperature will likely climb higher than at any time in the past two million years.

One of the things that I am proud about Greenpeace is the fact that Greenpeace is not a protest organization. We are an action oriented organization in the sense that we take action in defense of nature. It is in this vision that allows us to take on the big powers responsible for environmental destruction and demand change, thus leading to positive change for both people and nature.

I hope that in the unfolding of the 100 days to Copenhagen our collective actions along with that of the global ‘save the world symphony’ will end in a harmonious crescendo of a future free from the spectre of climate change.

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Chuck Baclagon