MANILA, May 18, 2014 — Despite alarming ecological changes, people can help mitigate global warming and climate change by shifting to a healthy, disciplined lifestlye, says Dr. Ponciano F. Aberin, an ecology consultant of University of the Philippines (UP) System.
He encouraged Filipinos ride bicyles or walk, instead of driving cars, to not smoke, do exercise at least three times a week, and to plant trees.
Choosing to walk instead of using a car when one’s destination is not too far is not only good for the environment, but a beneficial act for the health.
Walking, as a costless exercise, is good for the body, Dr. Aberin said. Not using the car and its air conditioning will help reduce carbon dioxide emission.
Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to global warming, studies say, exacerbating the greenhouse effect.
“The presence of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can be greatly reduced if Filipinos will use bikes as a means of urban transportation, instead of cars and motorcycles,” Dr. Aberin said.
One can drive the bike on weekends as an alternative and practical transportation, he said. Biking is not only eco-friendly, but also an efficient form of exercise.
In China, the customary and widespread use of bikes as a means of both urban and rural transportation is both a healthy lifestyle and an environment-friendly choice.
Dr. Aberin was in Beijing in the late 1990s and saw Chinese women, including the “social bobcats,” riding the bicycle.
Beijing, China’s capital has a cool temperature since trees dot the city, he said. Growing more trees in Metro Manila will greatly help the temperature to get cool.
Trees release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide, Dr. Aberin said. More trees means more carbon dioxide absorbed.
He expressed alarm over the increasing volume of smog over Metro Manila.
Air pollution causes cardiovascular disease, asthma, tuberculosis, and other illnesses, Dr. Aberin noted.
Everybody can do his share in stopping global warming and climate change from getting worse, he said. One should minimize his use of energy.
Planting more trees will replace trees lost to illegal logging, which contributes to global warming and causes floods and landslides.
“It is not the end,” Dr. Aberin said. “It’s a matter of people helping one another. Everyone can do something.”
The key to a clean environment and a healthy life is a matter of choice, he said. Everyone should demonstrate discipline and concern for the environment, otherwise things will get worse. (Oliver Samson)