Youth talk climate change in local weblog initiated by Greenpeace

Feature story - November 10, 2006
As politicians gather for the UN climate meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, people across the globe can send a clear message to: Cool the Planet, by blogging.

Screenshot of Cool the Planet!

A new weblog initiated by Greenpeace brings together youth and Filipinos in different parts of the world in unconventional discussions on the issue of climate change. Called 'Cool the Planet' (http://coolmyplanet.blogspot.com), the weblog, which started last month as a project to create awareness on the ongoing climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya, features 14 bloggers, mostly Filipinos, from different parts of the world. The bloggers talk about their day to day experiences-that is, aside from climate change and the urgent need for renewable energy solutions.

"Climate change discussions have always been held in formal conferences and meetings so that we tend to think that this is the concern primarily of scientific experts and governments. But this isn't true at all," said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Climate and Energy Campaigner Abigail Jabines, one of the blog's initiators. "This discussion involves everyone around the globe, but most particularly the youth whose future depends on the wellbeing of planet Earth."

The blog aims to start a vibrant conversation around the world about climate change, to spark interest in the negotiations surrounding the global climate treaty, and to increase public participation in the many development pathways-both good and bad-facing the Philippines and the world today. The blog encourages all perspectives (only spam comments are regulated).

Bloggers include Australia-based Filipino model Ala Paredes, model and architect Wan Reyes, political and environmental activist Red Constantino (currently attending the climate talks in Nairobi, Kenya), and volunteers including a fashion entrepreneur, and members of renewable energy youth organization SolarGeneration. Two other Filipinos, one based in San Francisco, USA, and the other based in Khartoum, Sudan have joined the discussion together with the only two-non Filipino bloggers on the list, a Kiwi and an Indian. Also soon to be blogging will be Parokya ni Edgar vocalist Chito Miranda and model-TV host and Greenpeace volunteer Amanda Griffin.

Entries have been anything but predictable-from Titanic to Bollywood movies, to the Nairobi climate talks to sex and climate change. The discussions have been lively and comments have poured in from different corners of the world such as Iran, Nepal, Korea, NZ, US, Brazil, and of course the Philippines.

"This November, the talks in Nairobi will be all about the future of our planet. But until now, our voices have not been heard," said Jabines, "This blog is one small way for all of us to get involved-a small window to Africa and Asia and the climate negotiations."

Log on to http://coolmyplanet.blogspot.com to be part of the world's climate discussions.

The blog's launch is part of Greenpeace's 'Pilipinas, Go Renewable!' campaign this 2006 whose activities this week include an ongoing climate change exhibit in the Philippine Senate. The campaign seeks to promote a massive shift to clean, renewable energy to stop climate change. Greenpeace is pushing for a stronger Renewable Energy Bill with clear targets to make a difference in the fight against climate change, and is calling for at least 10% of the Philippines' energy needs to come from clean energy (wind, solar, and modern biomass) by the year 2010.

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