The means of doing without the motivation of redemption or salvation is a concept not widely accepted in a country tied in traditional beliefs dating back to what seems like the cradle of when history came to be.
But through the years, human minds have gone past the stage of depending on a supreme being in doing good for others and for the earth. Why must there be a need to take care of this world we live in? Simply because this is our home and we will not be able to execute our goals for humanity without a home to embrace us in.
During the recently concluded climate strike organized by the Silliman University Student Government (SUSG) Environment Committee on September 27, 2019, named Bangon: Parada Para Sa Klima, Humanists Alliance Philippines International (HAPI) Dumaguete chapter participated during the 4 pm-6 pm activity, aside from being its major sponsor for the event.
Almost 500 individuals from the city, mostly students, environmental movements, school organizations, officials, and citizens, also joined the strike bringing in placards, signboards, and chants for the earth. Activists brought in a flaming desire to redefine society’s stereotype of climate crisis and apathy, gathering up at the city’s capitol after the long parade.
Why is climate justice a humanist action?
Jon Nichole Tinoy, HAPI Dgte Chapter member, said humanists care about climate justice because it is part of the welfare of humans.
“If that welfare is in danger or in peril, we have to do something about it and the knowledge that we know about climate injustices happening around us concerns us even more and we not only react on it but also take actions by condemning the malpractices that harm the environment,” Tinoy added.
Moreover, he mentioned that humanists make a difference in these issues by being responsible in everyday living and not only by joining these kinds of movements.
Christian Araula, also a Dgte chapter member said the earth should not be destroyed by humans. We are here to protect it, to protect all the living creatures. We are all guilty of what we had done.
He continued, “We humans are the reason why the earth is slowly dying. We are all responsible for what happens all around us, on global warming. We love our life. if we wish to give a clean and healthy environment for our children, to our grandchildren, let us be responsible.”
More so, why push in organizing events rarely observed in the city of gentle people? SUSG Environment Committee Co-Head Maria Jaya Ariola explained, “We organized this event because it aims to be a platform for people in Dumaguete to speak out about the climate and environmental demands, both in the local and national level, and to call for immediate and long-term solutions for the climate crisis. We are mobilizing in Dumaguete City because people here need to be more conscious about the climate crisis. As a University town, Dumaguete should be at the forefront of climate action in Negros Oriental.”
The Philippines contributes less than 1% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, but we are the country most vulnerable to the effects of the climate crisis. We only have 11 years left to act before the climate crisis becomes irreversible, and we need everyone before it’s too late.
Ariola also insisted that it is not enough to just wake up and know about these issues.
“We need to rise up and actually do something. Like the sun, the wind, and the waves, we are a source of limitless energy. Let us not let the big polluters destroy the planet, along with our dreams and our futures. There is strength in numbers, and we will be unstoppable if we all resist together.”
She continued, “We should go and participate because fighting for a just and sustainable world that works for all of us would need everyone. We need you. Taking it to the streets, discussing specific demands, engaging with stakeholders and governments, and offering proactive solutions have worked countless times. It has worked in Negros Occidental last year when our actions and protests led to a declaration of a Coal-Free Negros by two governors, fast-tracking our proposed Renewable Energy ordinance.„
The effects of the climate crisis are not in the faraway future. They have been happening in various parts of the world, and have been affecting the least and the lost among us. This is only going to get worse, especially if we just sit down and complain about it. We need to read more and understand what the issue of climate is, and then we should act.
HAPI’s Executive Director AJ Ballares also reiterated that humanists are concerned with human welfare and happiness and believe this is the one and only life and the world we have.
Further, Ballares said humanists also believe in living life responsibly and ethically.
And by living responsibly and ethically, let us be responsible for the earth and be ethical in thinking of what consequences and results we can attain. After all, humanists were and will always be for the earth.