Every day, as I walk my way to school, I have this habit of covering my nose with a handkerchief, fearing that the polluted air might kill me on the spot. This is me when I was in my junior high school years, and yes, that was a very naïve act of mine. Perhaps, someone might have been killed by the polluted smoke from a busy street: it could have been an old man with a serious case of tuberculosis or a young kid who, at that time, might be having an asthma attack. But I’m not that old man nor that young kid. I’m not someone who fights against the big corporates who poison our air nor have the Swedish blood of Greta Thunberg. But one thing is for sure: I am that very young man who is equipped with knowledge and critical understanding to alleviate the serious environmental conditions of our planet.
Three years ago, my Science subject teacher asked each of the 51 students (including me) in our class to give insights about the picture of a green mountain. Of course, you might have thought that I will realistically answer the question, just as what I have seen on the picture. As it was expected, my classmates would answer this question in a very grey manner: green mountains, beautiful scenery, work of a creator – which for me, does not satisfy the intellectual inquiry I have been cooking into my mind. Of course, I beg to differ.
Here is my insight of that picture: the photo that was being shown to us is the photo that we might never see again. It is the photo that our children might miss in the future. Why did I say that? With those answers from my classmates, I could think of nothing but hypocrisy clothed in euphemism. Here is the thing, technological advancement might have brought us into the milestone that the bronze-age tribesmen and their culture might have failed to do so. But have you ever thought that they were successful in establishing relation with the nature, and yet we, the more sophisticated, the more educated people from the future is neglecting the very means of our life here in Earth. One thing is funnier: people getting hyped on posts about burning forests, dying species, struggling bears with their cubs, so on and so forth; but there is no physical initiation to aid the ill condition of our environment. They say ‘actions speak louder than words’ but aren’t that actions and words better?
I have read an article that pollution from cars and air conditioning systems are exponentially damaging the ozone particles in our atmosphere. A layperson might have agreed that these destructions were brought largely by technology. However, I beg to differ. This is not always the case.
We can do things to alleviate the sick condition of our planet. Through sustainable developments and renewable sources of energy, advancement is possible without damaging our nature. Recently, a plastic-eating bacterium was discovered in Zambales. Imagine how beneficial it is for the current conditions of our water bodies here in Philippines. Bold steps shall be made in order to combat our conflicts with the rising environmental issues in our country. Universities may help the scientific research to further improve the capability of the said bacteria. Furthermore, alternative ways can be utilized to minimize our consumption of the very basic organic necessities.
As what it was said in a popular OPM song, ‘hindi na masama ang pag-unlad at malayu-layo na rin ang ating narating’ — it is not the technology that is the problem; it is those who utilize it. I say we can do better; I say we can have a greener Earth alongside the modern technology.
Better sense shall prevail.