My Turn| The Philippines and Global Warming

THE WORLD’S industrial revolution began in Europe in the 1870s. It was powered by 90% of the electricity in the West (Europe and USA) since 1870 that have been produced by power plants using coal as fuel. Beginning 1900 until early 1960s electricity in Asia, the British French, Dutch, US Colonies were produced by diesel-powered plants which created less pollution compared to coal.

The title as world’s biggest air polluter caused by coal was held by Europe from 1870s to the 1950s. It was grabbed by America in 1960s until 2010s and at present, China has been the world’s biggest air polluter through coal.

In the 1990s the world’s environment summit in Brazil proposed a rule that would limit the use of coal as source of electric power.

However, during the Kyoto Environment Summit, when nations were asked to sign the Kyoto Protocol where they would start reducing coal as source of electricity, America and China did not sign. The 2014 to 2016 upsurge of unpredictable weather changes, El Nino, La Nina caused by global warming created through coal produced air pollution made highly industrialized nations like the European Union, USA, China realize that the future looks darker and hotter.

At the height of the industrial economic boom from 1950s to 2000s the third world like the former colonies in Africa, Middle East and Asia were struggling just to stay alive. Yet these third world nations from 1870 up to the present were also victims of the same environment pollution/Global warming caused by the West from 1870 to 2019.

Now, just when the wobbly legs of the third world nations getting stronger because they are beginning to industrialize through coal powered electricity the highly industrialized nations which caused these environment problems since 1870 want the third world countries to stop using coal as fuel for their electricity.

What hyprocrisy. Those at fault (industrialized states) want those who are barely starting to improve their economics (third world nations) not to use coal. At the same breath highly industrialized states like Canada, Australia, South Africa, are the world’s biggest exporters of coal. Except for Japan, all the industrialized nations like USA, China, E.U. (except France) use coal to create electricity.

Imagine a marathon where well-fed, strong, well-conditioned and highly-trained runners (industrialized nations) are 3000 meters ahead of undernourished, hungry weak, sickly ill trained competitors (the third world states). Then they change the rules.

In the finals, runners cannot drink energy drink or even water. The third world runners will die before reaching the finish line. In the race for the world’s control of economy, trade and business the third world nations clearly have no chance to compete or to survive. Without coal powered electricity, the Philippines glowing, glittering luminous enlightened dreams of a better tomorrow will flicker flutter dim and die. President Duterte is right.

Posted in Opinion