In one of my major subjects back in college, I had the opportunity to learn about some of the works of one of Romantic Age’s major poet, William Wordsworth, who was also known as a Poet of Nature and in these sonnets the drastic changes in nature are truly evident. His Composed Upon Westminster Bridge was written before the full effects of the industrial revolution. That time London was not yet subject to the smoke of the chimney stacks or the smog of industry. Just reading the sonnet one can imagine the unsullied London morning– the city skyline, which he interpreted, as a natural landscape, lovely and quiet, the fields and the sky all glittering in the smokeless air. But these enthralling sceneries, sadly, will be missed by the coming generations.
As the industrial revolution forcefully introduced its full effects, the dream-like quality of the city became bleak. The World Is Too Much With Us is about the loss of nature caused by man. It expressly enunciated that human beings are too preoccupied with the material and forgot about the effects of our material cynicism to nature. Our powers to help the preservation of nature lay waste. It is sardonic in its depiction of humans in relation to nature. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, the environment has been at risk because the world is becoming a growing and heaving place as what we can observe now in the present time. As time passes, everything also progresses. We became dynamic– from skyscraper buildings to different massive power plants, technologies, the inventions of man and every material thing that man wanted. All of these help us in almost everything in our daily life and they make things much easier for us but with these advancements come with it destructive effects to the environment and as we can experience now, to us, too.
We pump all kinds of gases and chemicals into the atmosphere; we do deforestation for building of new cities, overfishing, and killing huge numbers of animals. We spread our waste around indiscriminately and we poison our own water supplies. Out of many environmental problems, I think climate change is the most well-known. It is the heating of the Earth due to the green houses that we manufacture from human industry, transport, etc. The rapid upsurge of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere results to the rising of temperature, which causes the ice caps to melt which in turn results in intense rainfall, floods and landslides among others. Climate change is the most pressing issue now that in other countries it even took the first spot among other issues such as immigration, income inequality, gender inequality, the refugee crisis, and terrorism which is why international accords to combat climate change such as the Paris Agreement was made. This Agreement brings all nations to a common cause of embarking efforts to contest climate change and its threat and because of the seriousness of the issue many countries now became a signatory to the aforesaid Agreement including the Philippines.
For other countries who are not yet signatories of the said agreement, the various calamities other countries experienced due to climate change such as the powerful Hurricane Irma that destroyed homes and crops and caused widespread and catastrophic damage in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and across other several Caribbean islands in September 2017; the East Africa Drought that lasted for 18 months and the droughts in Syria to Storm Desmond, which battered the UK in 2015; the extreme heat wave that hit India and Pakistan in 2015 and 2017 which even soared to 53. 5C. The same heat wave also hit the Middle East and Southern Europe. These are just some of the examples of the disasters that brought devastated damage in various part of the world and I hope these should be a wakeup call for them to cooperate to this climate action. Internationally, I think the way to address climate change is to introduce and promote agreements such as mentioned above because if not solve, these disasters will surely escalate in the future and it will not choose a country to strike—first world country or third world country—these disasters just don’t care.
However, if these agreements will be successful, the signatory countries can use their resources to design technologies that will help with this problem. With the advancements today, I am sure it will not be impossible. If we want the environmental sustainability to cease to be only an elusive dream then we need to help each other. Put aside all our differences and selfishness and try to work and think as one. I know it is somewhat improbable but it is not impossible. As a law student, we are not only here to study the law. We must remember that we are still the stewards of our nature and what destroys our nature also destroys us.
However, as much as we wanted to help in preventing this issue fast, it is a fact that we cannot just directly go to the United Nation and blurt out every idea we had but what we can do is to start little by little. Recycling programs and promoting the development of modern transportation using electric or solar transport are some of the good examples to help the environment. It may not be enough but if done on a large enough scale, it will help in eliminating the problem. Earth can survive without us but we cannot survive without it. It is our home and we must do everything that we can to preserve and protect it. No one will do it for us but us. Remember all the generations that are yet to come. I know they long the experience of what earth is like and let us not take that longing from them by destroying our nature. Let us not be selfish but let us work together for the preservation of the earth, our home. “The spirit of the wild must pass to all of you now. Remake the wild, a little at a time, each in your own corner of the world. You cannot wait for anyone else, even a god, to do that for you. ”Rick Riordan
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