More than a week ago, a video of a tearful scientist from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducting a climate protest went viral on the internet. In the video, he was warning about the worsening climate crisis while being handcuffed by state forces. The said protest action was an expression of discontent and frustration among climate scientists on the apparent inaction of world leaders in addressing the climate crisis. Over the week, topics on climate change trended over social media, with people all over the world expressing their concerns on the issue.
AGHAM – Advocates of Science and Technology for the People expresses solidarity to all scientists, climate activists and communities vulnerable to climate change in their calls for climate justice and action. For years, Filipino scientists and climate activists have called on the Philippine government to act against environmentally destructive projects and implement climate mitigation programs, yet these have fallen to deaf ears. National and local officials have even resorted to vilification of renowned scientists who opposed reclamation in Manila Bay and Dumaguete. Worse, state forces have become agents of redtagging, harassment, and killings of environmental defenders who opposed mega dams, foreign mining, landgrabbing and other destructive projects.
The Filipino masses have grown tired of the culture of impunity under the Duterte regime. We have grown tired in the culture of corruption in various government projects that involve destruction of the environment and displacement of marginalized communities. We have grown tired of a government that does not listen to its constituents.
Together with various environmental and scientist organizations, AGHAM joins the Luntian de Avance on Pink Earth Day 2022 as a form of protest against government inaction against the worsening climate crisis. The Luntian de Avance is a locally driven, nationally coordinated Earth Day action across the Philippines by environmental advocates and concerned citizens pledging their vote and support for the pro-environment candidacy of Leni Robredo and Kiko Pangilinan. We believe that a Robredo-Pangilinan victory would be beneficial to our environment and the communities that depend on our natural resources. Based on her previous pronouncements, VP Robredo reiterated the importance of proper consultations with communities regarding development projects, which is a vital component of a thriving democratic country.
The past six years under the Duterte regime has been a dark period for the people and environment. We need a new kind of leadership that values the integrity of the environment and the rights of the people who depend on it. We need a new kind of leadership that actually listens to its constituents. This is a step towards establishing a government which will genuinely care and defend our people and environment. ###