Carvajal: Taal heads-up

Orlando Carvajal

WE may never be able to establish the connection between our abuse of Mother Nature and Taal’s threatened eruption that has rendered lots of Filipinos homeless, jobless, and uncertain of their future. Nevertheless, whether a connection exists or not the message Taal is sending by special ashy, possibly fiery, delivery is clear: Mother Nature can easily blow us off the face of the earth and anytime.

According to volcanodiscovery.com, 53 active volcanoes are spread out in different regions of the country; all of them part of the Ring of Fire, 13 of them among the deadliest in the world. Although we think it hardly likely, they could all erupt simultaneously. When that happens it is not hard to imagine how we will revert to the dust we came from as Ash Wednesday regularly reminds heedless us.

One volcano is destructive enough. But all 53 erupting simultaneously is simply the end of the world for us. Of course, we refuse to believe this could happen. But, of course again, not knowing what Mother Nature is capable of when extremely provoked, we have to assume a simultaneous eruption is within the realm of possibility.

That should leave us pondering over the high probability and near certainty that our wasteful and destructive ways of relating to Mother Nature is compromising her balance, making her bursts of anger unpredictable.

Mother Nature venting her pent-up anger through massive flooding, high-intensity earthquakes and more frequent volcanic eruptions should leave us thinking seriously about changing our wasteful and destructive ways with her...just to be on the safe side. Among others, we need to:

*Invest in renewable sources of energy and phase out (not build new ones) coal-fired and oil-fueled energy-generating plants.

*Reforest and replace, at the rate of a hundred to one, every tree we cut for our use or for the danger it poses to people’s life and limb.

*Require local government units (LGUs) to have a sewerage system and waste water treatment facility.

*Require LGUs to impound excess rainwater and not let it run uselessly to the sea.

*Minimize the use of plastics and dispose of them properly.

*Dispose of toxic waste properly. Non-toxic waste should be recycled.

*Punish severely indiscriminate or improper waste disposal.

*Promote natural farming; reduce the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which are harmful to the soil, to man and beast alike.

Taal is giving us a heads-up, a clear warning of what could happen still. We cannot just be thanking heaven for sparing us the fate of evacuees but help them move on. We must believe our destructive ways with Mother Nature has somehow contributed to Taal’s outburst and the misery it is bringing.