Host1: Our country has been through a lot of problems both economically and environmentally. And sadly there hasn’t been any progress. Problems before are still problems today and what’s worse is that it just keeps on piling up.
Host2: As citizens of this country, what can we do? How do we contribute? Is there still hope? Is change still possible? Good day everyone and you’re watching,
Both: The Earth Hour.
Host1: Today we would be discussing three environmental issues. First, the improper waste disposal; second, pollution; and third is climate change.
Host2: And we will be having guests and professionals. They will explain the causes and as well as the effects these problems may bring. All of these when The Earth Hour returns.
Host1: And we’re back. One major problem that all of us, I’m sure, is well aware of is improper waste disposal. And right here, we’ve got Mr. Joseph San Juan, a professor of Environmental Psychology in UP Diliman and Ms. Therez Subebe, an environmentalist. Good day, sir and ma’am!
Both: Good day!
Host2: Let’s start this straight, Mr. San Juan, what exactly is improper waste disposal?
Joseph: Improper waste disposal is the failure of managing and monitoring of waste materials such as plastics and even biodegradable wastes like left-overs.
Host1: How did this problem start in our country?
Joseph: The alarming increase of improper disposal of solid and hazardous waste in our country is due to a number of reasons such as: increasing population, by this, we are consuming, we produce wastes, I mean, it is already given that when we were born we were bound to contribute waste. It’s unavoidable. That’s the sad fact. Other reasons are lack of integrated solid waste management system, lack of environmentally sound disposal system and lack of toxic waste treatment facilities. There is also the lack of public awareness & support. People today just throw candy wrappers, tin cans and plastic bottles on the streets. They toss still usable plastic bags anywhere not even realizing how much it contributes to our already enormous problem on Waste Disposal. They continue to improperly dispose garbage because they are not educated about what might be the effects of their wrong doing.
Host2: Given that it is getting worse what are the effects of this problem to the people, Ms. Subebe?
Therez: Well, obviously, there are no positive effects. Its effects are purely negative. The spread of infectious diseases due to improperly dumped chemical wastes from factories, soil contamination, and floods due to garbage-clogged drainage are only some of the many serious effects of improper Solid and Hazardous Waste Disposal.
Host1: Oh my, I really didn’t know that it is so bad. Anyway, we have a question from an audience. Okay, what’s your name?
Lari: Hi, I’m Lari. It is obvious that we should act regarding this issue, so what steps must be taken? Are there any laws and regulations for it? What programs must be launched?
Joseph: uhhhhm, thank you for that, our country has had laws about proper waste management. There is this law REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9003 which is “AN ACT PROVIDING FOR AN ECOLOGICAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, CREATING THE NECESSARY INSTITUTIONAL MECHANISMS AND INCENTIVES, DECLARING CERTAIN ACTS PROHIBITED AND PROVIDING PENALTIES, APPROPRIATING FUNDS THEREFOR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES”, only that this was not implemented well. Certain programs have been launched as well and two of the famous program are the triple R (reduce, reuse and recycle) and proper waste disposal.
Host2: Do you mind telling our viewers how these programs work?
Therez: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle is a program introduced in response to the increasing tons of wastes in our country. Reducing is simply to decrease the amount of plastics we use every day. Reusing, from the world itself, is using again trash that are still usable like plastic and paper bags and Recycle is the processing and upgrading of junk into something more for human use. Another program is Proper waste disposal which minimizes the spread of infectious diseases brought by hazardous odors of chemical wastes. In line with this program is Segregation where you separate biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage. Another is composting which is the process where biodegradable wastes such as leaves, saw dust, peel of the fruits/vegetables, are placed in a tank or a hole. It lessens the possibility of contamination not only in air, land, but as well as in ground water.
Host1: Thank you very much. Uhm, Lari, were you satisfied with their answers?
Lari: Yes. They’ve answered it beautifully. Thank you.
Host2: Thank you as well Lari. And thank you to our guests for lending us their precious time.
Both: You’re welcome.
Host1: We still got lots of issues to talk about when The Earth Hour returns.
Host2: And you’re still watching The Earth Hour. And for our second issue for the day, air pollution, we are with Ms. Fenee Monicado, a LIFE ambassadress and Ms. Athena Aungon, a pulmonologist, to talk about it. Good day Ms. Fenee and Ms. Athena.
Host1: Well, Ms. Fenee, you’re a LIFE ambassadress, would you tell us what LIFE stands for? What does your organization aim for?
Fenee: LIFE or the Lasallian Institute for the Environment, as part of the Lasallian Family, aims to provide environmental education and awareness not only to the Lasallian community but non-Lasallians as well. We aim to help them not only to love and appreciate the environment, but also to understand and take care of it as well. LIFE strives to provide education with values formation. The organization envisions a society of people who not only love their environment but understand and respect it as well.
Host2: Wow! Being a Lasallian is surely something to be proud of, right? Well, what does the organization have to say about pollution?
Fenee: You see, we have our programs launched. One is, 1 Million Trees & Beyond, serves to provide a venue for more pro-active responses to environmental issues through tree-planting activities and reforestation programs that promote the propagation and caring for indigenous species. The
goal is to plant and nurture one million trees by the year 2011. Another is Project Carbon Neutral which means removing as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as we put in. Both these programs are solutions for pollution particularly pollution in the air.
Host1: Speaking of air pollution, what causes it?
Fenee: Air pollution occurs when any chemicals or biological matter that can harm humans or other living things is introduced into the atmosphere. It is a problem that persists despite the passage of laws and the creation of agencies to fight it. Air pollution continues to cause negative effects on both people and the environment.
Host2: Somebody from the audience wanted to ask something. Hi there, what’s your name?
Karl: Hello, I’m Karl and I just wanted to ask what might be the effects of air pollution to our body and to our country?
Athena: To our body it would be respiratory damage just like the lungs, most of the respiratory system is made up of exposed membrane, which makes it sensitive to pollutants, and alveoli–air sacs–in the lungs can be permanently damaged by toxins in the air. Some conditions that can be traced to, or made considerably worse by, breathing polluted air are colds, coughs, asthma, lung infections and lung cancer. There is also the smog. Though “smog” is sometimes described as a combination of smoke and fog, it is actually a mixture of pollutants and ground-level ozone. The pollutants that help make smog come mostly from vehicle emissions, factories, power plants and consumer products like paint and solvents. Smog can cause problems such as respiratory ailments, reduced visibility, and damage to vegetation, colds, and eye irritation.
Fenee: Air pollution has effects also in our crops and property. Acid rain is rain that contains much higher than normal amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids. Some of this comes from natural sources, such as decaying vegetation and volcanoes, but most of it comes from emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide from the burning of fossil fuels. The effects of acid rain on the physical environment are drastic. Acid rain damages trees at high elevations, and erodes paints and building materials.
Acid rain also eats away automobile coatings, weakens trees by limiting their nutrients, and results in high levels of aluminum–a substance that is toxic to aquatic life–in lakes and streams. And besides health and environmental effects, air pollution can also adversely affect the economy. With rising health problems among the population, health care costs rise. With air pollution causing illnesses among people in the workforce, time and productivity are lost. Areas of the world with high air pollution, such as the Philippines, also often report a drop in tourism and a loss of foreign investments.
Host1: karl, what can you say?
Karl: Now I know how harmful air pollution can be. Thank you for explaining.
Host2: Very well, we’re really thankful that you’ve come to our show. Thank you.
Both: “You’re welcome” “No worries”
Host2: The last issue when we come back here on The Earth Hour.
Host1: And we’re back here on The Earth Hour. Climate change has been the biggest issue prior to Global Warming. And talk more about this; we have Ms. Jaylen Saluria, a climatologist and Ms. Febe Ray Antolo, a meteorologist. Welcome to The Earth Hour.
Jaylen: It’s good to be here.
Febe: It’s my pleasure.
Host2: So, climate change, what exactly is it?
Jaylen: Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average. Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole Earth.
Host2: How about our condition here in the Philippines? Are we affected?
Jaylen: Sad to say but we are affected, we are all affected, you see, it is a global phenomenon. It is evident on the abnormal change in weather. Hot days and hot nights have become more frequent. Extreme weather events have also occurred more frequently since 1980. These include deadly and damaging typhoons, floods, landslides, severe El Niño and La Niña events, drought, and forest fires. Adversely affected sectors include agriculture, fresh water, coastal and marine resources and health. Climate change, if left unchecked, will also affect biodiversity and ultimately the earth’s natural systems and processes.
Host1: Can you give us updates on how our country is doing regarding climate change?
Febe: The Philippines has experienced temperature spikes brought about by climate change. It has been observed that warming is experienced most in the northern and southern regions of the country, while Metro Manila has warmed less than most parts. In addition, the regions that have warmed the most (northern Luzon, Mindanao) have also dried the most. Largest precipitation trends are about 10 percent during the 20th century.
Host2: And uhhmmm, we have Jesse here, an audience, she has something to ask. Go on, Jesse.
Jesse: Hi, I’m just curious, is there anything we can do to eliminate climate change? I mean, to stop it.
Jaylen: Well, it might hurt everybody but there is nothing we can do to stop it. But what we can do is to leave it as it is, if not, slow it down and not add up to it. You know what I mean?
Jesse: I think so. That’s very unlucky though. So, what must we do?
Febe: Ultimately it is up to each of us, as individuals and families, to take action to slow down and eventually reverse global warming and climate change through everyday awareness of our energy use, and attention to ways we can conserve electricity and minimize fossil fuel usage.
Jesse: I’ll do that then. Thank you for answering.
Host1: Thank you Jesse and a big thank you as well to our special guests, Ms. Jaylen and Ms. Febe.
Both: “You’re welcome” “Anytime”
Host2: And that’s it our dear viewers. Surely, you have learned a lot. We now know what to do in order to contribute to the change of our country. Everything starts within each of us.
Host1: Thank you for watching until next time and this has been,
Both: “The Earth Hour”