GE7- MODULE 5 Environmental Awareness

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  • Is an advocacy on how to preserve, restore, and improve our natural environment including the earth systems (e.g., biodiversity, forests, waters) and earth processes (e.g., climate, weather) (Merriam-Webster, 2010).

  • Also refer to activities that are aimed at protecting the environment from pollution or destruction (Lewis, 2019).

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Environmentally Aware

  • refers to how much we care about environmental issues, whether local or global (Aruga, 2020).

  • being conscious of the current condition of the environment (Lauwrens, 2020).

  • recognizes that her behavior and lifestyle affect the environment in a variety of ways (Anderson, 2019) and to lessen our negative impacts we might need to make beneficial lifestyle changes (Lauwrens, 2020).

  • closely associated with altruism or an unselfish concern for the welfare of other people (Aruga, 2020).

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  • is a type of philosophical doctrine (Lewis, 2019).

  • is more of a social movement does not require a degree in the environmental sciences and most

  • do not have a formal scientific training; A person who believes or engages in the philosophy of environmentalism is called an environmentalist

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  • is the coming together of different sciences to better understand the environment and solve environmental problems.

  • involves studying of natural environmental processes and how they affect society.

  • Environmental scientists, on the other hand, are usually holders of a bachelor's degree in natural sciences such biology, chemistry, botany, geosciences, and environmental science (Browne, n.d.)

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Importance of Environmental Science

  • Identifying Environmental Problems Problems

  • Developing Solutions and Promoting Sustainability Sustainability

  • Educating the Public Public

  • Understanding the Environment

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Understanding the Environment

environmentally aware is being able to recognize that our daily lives have varying impacts on the environment (Anderson, 2019) and when taken collectively they can have huge impacts.

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Identifying Environmental Problems Problems

Being environmentally aware is acknowledging that something is wrong and something must be done. “The first step to solving any problem is recognizing there is one” (The Newsroom Script Episode 1, 2020).

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Developing Solutions and Promoting Sustainability Sustainability

Environmentalists help the public in making more informed decisions about how to use our limited natural resources by doing research, producing reports, writing articles, lectures, issuing press releases, lobbying in congress, fundraising, and campaigns (The Princeton Review, n.d.). Understanding the problem necessitates solutions.

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Educating the Public Public

environmental problems can be traced to our lifestyles, then the key to lessening our negative impacts might need to change our lifestyles (Lauwrens, 2020)

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  • happens today -weather changes every day.

  • the temporary condition of the atmosphere, which changes from hour to hour or day to day (National Geographic Society, 2011)

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  • many weather events

  • an average of weather records over a period of 30 years (Shepherd et al., 2005) which happens in a specific region, as well as its variations and extremes over many years (National Geographic Society, 2011).

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Natural Causes of Climate Change

  1. volcanic eruptions

  2. ocean currents

  3. the Earth’s orbital changes

  4. solar variations and

  5. internal variability

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Volcanic eruptions

cool the climate, but only temporarily. The clouds of dust and ash block out the sun but they fall to the ground eventually, making the cooling effect very short-lived. Although volcanoes release carbon dioxide (CO2), the average volcanic CO2 are less than 1% of emissions from current human activities.

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Ocean currents

distribute heat around the globe. The waters from the oceans move horizontally and vertically. The ocean currents, also known as circulation systems, are powered by wind, tides, Earth’s rotation (Coriolis Effect), energy from the sun, and water density (saltiness). The ocean’s circulation system, which circulate the globe in a 1,000-year cycle, distributes heat energy and affects weather and climate.

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The Earth’s orbit is not fixed

it shifts and wobbles. But such changes are so gradual and only happens over thousands of years. Orbital changes affect the beginning and end of ice ages: the last ice age ended about 12,000 years ago while the next cooling cycle may begin in about 30,000 years.

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Solar energy

The Sun powers the Earth’s climate. But the Sun’s energy output can experience some changes over an extended period of time. Changes in the sun's energy output can cause the climate to change. It has been said that a decrease in solar activity triggered the Little Ice Age between 1650 and 1850.

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Climate Change Is Happening Now

• Earth’s climate system naturally fluctuates and changes over the course of the Earth’s history

• Expectations on temperature range and cycle based on ocean currents, solar variations, and orbital changes. The current global warming however cannot be explained by natural variations (NOAA- ESRL, n.d.).

• But the present accelerated increase in temperature and abrupt rise in carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented (IAGLR Fact Sheet, 2009).

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Anthropogenic Climate Change

  • The climate change we are experiencing now is anthropogenic, which implies man made or something that is caused by humans.

  • The massive amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) released into the atmosphere are the main cause of global warming or what we now know as climate change (Cunningham, 2013).

  • The presence of GHGs in the atmosphere is normal and they keep the planet warm and livable during nighttime the natural concentrations and cycles of GHGs have been disturbed by the growth of industries and domestic markets (Sharma, 2007).

  • The reason why they are called “greenhouse” is that they kind of act like the glass in a greenhouse trapping the sun's heat and not allowing it from escaping out. these gases occur naturally, but their concentrations have alarmingly increased in the atmosphere due to human activities (European Union, n.d.).

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which implies man made or something that is caused by humans.

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they are called “greenhouse” is that they kind of act like the glass in a greenhouse trapping the sun's heat and not allowing it from escaping out.

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GHGs in the atmosphere due to human activities

  1. Carbon dioxide

  2. Nitrous Oxide

  3. Methane

  4. Fluorinated Gases

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Carbon dioxide

is the GHG responsible for 64% of man made global warming and is the most commonly produced by human activities activities

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Current concentration of C02 in the atmosphere

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methane is responsible for 17% of man made global warming warming

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Nitrous Oxide

Is responsible for 6% of man-made global warming

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Sources of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs)

  1. Use of fossil

  2. Deforestation

  3. Land use change and land conversion

  4. Livestock farming

  5. Agriculture

  6. Fluorinated gases

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Use of fossils fuels

involves burning of coal, oil, and natural gas which produces CO2 and nitrous oxide in the process process.

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Human activities involves burning of fossil fuels

  1. Transportation

  2. Heating our homes

  3. Industrialization (industries and factories)

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Trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and store carbon in their biomass. When cut down, they release their stored carbon in the form of CO2. In some countries like Indonesia, peat swamps and mangroves are cleared and converted into oil palm plantations.

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Land use change and land conversion

involves conversion of forest uses into urban development, human settlements, and agriculture. It is mostly related to deforestation wherein forests, which are important carbon sinks, are being cleared.

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Livestock farming

Cows and sheep produce large amounts of methane through food digestion.

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Fertilizers contain nitrogen and they produce nitrous oxide emissions

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Fluorinated gases

produce a very strong warming effect, up to 23,000 times greater than CO2.

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Risks of Climate Change (Observations and Predictions) Sajise et al. (2012)

  1. Temperature Increase

  2. Rainfall Variations (Increase and Decrease).

  3. Extreme Weather Events

  4. Sea Level Rise

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Temperature Increase.

Due to climate change, hot days and warm nights have and will become more frequent while there has been a decrease in cold days and cool nights nights. This was based on observed values between 1961 to 1990 and 1951 to 2016.

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Rainfall Variations (Increase and Decrease)

The Philippines' rainfall patterns are becoming more variable, with decreased rainfall in Luz on and parts of Mindanao Mindanao, and increased rainfall in the Visayan Islands Islands. Some areas have also been experiencing more extreme rainfall events, while others have decreasing trends in rainfall.

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Extreme Weather Events

The Philippines has seen an increase in t he frequency of typhoons entering its area of responsibility from 1990 to 2003, with an average of 20 tropical cyclones and 9 landfalls annually. The Central Visayas region is particularly affected. In the past 15 years, the country has experienced historic extreme weather events, including the strongest and most destructive typhoons, the deadliest storm, and the typhoon with the highest recorded 24-hour rainfall.

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Sea Level Rise

Research on sea level rise in major coastal cities have shown a slight upward trend. Ocean waters will rise because warming leads to the thermal expansion of the water in combination with melting glaciers glaciers.

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Effects of sea level rise

a) Saltwater intrusion affecting the groundwater

b) Damage to mangroves

c) Inundation of coastal farms

d) Flooding risk to settlement areas

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Threats in terms of SURVIVAL

  • affected through food and water shortages

  • food scarcity and hunger and cause and inequitable access to food

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Threats in terms of PHYSICAL HEALTH

  • damaged like loss of home and other properties and, in turn, way of life.

  • vulnerable sectors like the children, the elderly, poor farmers, and the marginalized communities (Greenpeace International, 2018).

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Most vulnerable to climate change

the least developed countries and the developing countries

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Most disproportionately affected of climate change

  • Low- income communities

  • People of color

  • Women and children

  • Marginalized people

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Global warming

is expected to affect all societies around the world world, but the poorest countries and communities will bear the brunt of its effects effects, including sea level rise and burning lands (Gilmour, 2020).

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The urban poor

are particularly vulnerable to climate change due to living in temporary shelters that are easily damaged by coastal inundation and storm surges (USAID, 2017).

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Human rights

  • such as the right to life, health, food, and an adequate standard of living, are adversely affected by climate change.

  • refer to the entitlement of all people to be treated equally, to live their life in safety and freedom, and to be protected by their government” (Greenpeace International, 2018).

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Climate Change, Human Rights, and Social Justice

• According to United Nations, climate change is a human rights issue (UN-OHCHR, 2015). “Human rights refer to the entitlement of all people to be treated equally, to live their life in safety and freedom, and to be protected by their government” (Greenpeace International, 2018).

• Climate change threatens our survival and the things that sustain us, such as food, water, housing, and livelihoods.

• Human rights, such as the right to life, health, food, and an adequate standard of living, are adversely affected by climate change.

• Preventing disasters and calamities not only prevent economic damages, but it also prevents poor people from getting poorer (Pytel, 2019).

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Climate Change and Environmental Activism

• Environmentalism and justice are mutually supportive, and it is important to identify "hotspots of vulnerabilities" to address climate change

• People need to take action and speak out against climate change change, especially when government officials are uninterested.

• The longer governments wait to take meaningful action, the harder the problem becomes to solve, and the greater the risk that emissions will be reduced through means that increase inequality rather than reduce it (Amnesty, n.d.).

• Influential people like celebrities can help promote the fight against cli mate change change, as their statements and viewpoints can reach millions. Ex. Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014 addressed the United Nations to speak about climate change change. In the 2016 Oscar Awards, he took the chance to talk about climate change during his acceptance speech.

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Climate Change

risks pose threats to the livelihoods of Filipinos in various sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism, energy, and mining mining. Extreme and unpredictable weather events endanger lives and properties. Philippine ecosystems face risks such as erosion, landslides, flooding, and storm surges, which compromise soil stability, shoreline protection, flood control, and biodiversity habitats.

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Why the Philippines is at Risk to Climate Change

  1. Warmer Waters, Stronger Storms, Sea Level Rise

  2. Lack of Natural Barriers

  3. Disaster Response Needs Improvement

  4. Regularity of Natural Events

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Warmer Waters, Stronger Storms, Sea Level Rise:

The Philippines is surrounded by warm waters, and as the temperature increases, it leads to more evaporation and a more active water cycle, resulting in stronger and more frequent storms storms. The warm water also expands and takes up more volume, leading to rising sea levels.

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Lack of Natural Barriers:

The Philippines is composed of 7,000 plus islands and are exposed to the ocean waters. Studies have shown that the mangroves are the most effective barriers against typhoons, protecting the coast from storm surges and erosion erosion. But mangroves are still under threat by logging and conversion to other uses like fishponds.

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Disaster Response Needs Improvement:

the Philippines have so much to do to improve its disaster response, such as early warning systems, evacuation plans, and safety shelters before, during, and after disasters and calamities calamities. Even more challenging is the fact that the country’s 100 million population are distributed in 7,000 plus islands.

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Regularity of Natural Events:

The Philippines is located along the so called “typhoon belt” and the Ph ilippine Area of Responsibility is visited by 20 tropical cyclones every year on the average. Ten of these will become typhoons while five will be potentially destructive (de la Cruz, 2016).

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The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps Program)

was launched, with financial assistance from the World Food Program (WFP) and the UNICEFUNICEF. The 4Ps enabled the country to provide relief and basic needs of over 105,000 households (Alisjahbana et al., 2019).

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Environmental Education Act of 2008 (RA 9512)

  • The law seeks to promote environmental awareness through environmental education by mandating the integration of environmental education in school curricula at all levels, whether public or private, including in barangay daycare, preschool, non- formal, technical vocational, professional level, indigenous learning and out-of-school youth courses or programs.

  • environmental concepts and principles, environmental laws, the state of environment locally and globally, environmental best practices. It also includes the threats of environmental degradation and its impact on human well-being.

  • highlights the responsibi lity of the people to the environment and the value of conservation, protection, and rehabilitation of natural resources.

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Climate Change Act of 2009 (RA 9729)

Institutionalized the Climate Change Commission (CCC) which was aimed to coordinate government programs and policies related to climate change. The law also developed the National Climate Change Action Plan which provides some guidelines on how to integrate the said Plan into the local development process thereby ensuring that the climate change plans are properly translated into concrete actions at the ground level (World Bank, n.d.).

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Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 (RA 10121)

In 2010, the Philippine Congress legislated the________________________________ which transforms our disaster management towards reduction of disaster risk. This transforms the approach from being reactive to being proactive. The idea is that the impacts of disasters can be reduced when the root causes of the risks are addressed: from response to reduction reduction. The law also seeks to strengthen the people’s capacity to absorb stress and increase resilience after the disaster event.

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The salient features of RA 10121 are as follows (DRRNetPhils, n.d.):

1. It focuses on the most vulnerable sectors (i.e., the poor, the sick, people with disabilities, the elderly, women, and children).

2. It recognizes the important role of local communities.

3. It seeks to strengthen the capacities of local communities

4. It ensures greater participation from civil society

5. It addresses the root causes of disaster.

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