Archive for the ‘pollution’ Category

RP’s awesome underground river and Bicol’s pollution

January 28, 2009

The search for “the new seven wonders of the world” is on and the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is attracting more attention. The underground waterway in Palawan is among the leading nominees in the category of forest, national parks, and nature reserves. In fact, it has taken the top lead ahead of the great Amazon Rainforest of South America and the astounding Subdarbans Delta in Bangladesh and India.

The unique Philippine underground river grabbed the top spot after a successful campaign to gain points on the first round of voting. The contest which drew 261 nominees in 7 categories had been the brainchild of the New 7 Wonders Foundation, a group established by the Swiss-Canadian aviator Bernard Weber. From January 1 to July 7, 2009, the contest’s second voting will select 77 nominees and 21 finalists They will be announced on July 21, 2007 by a panel of jurors to be led by Federico Mayor, a former UNESCO director-general.—- Inquirer (01/27/09, Anda, R)

Obviously, the stunning below-the-ground river system located southwest of the archipelago is a cause of happiness for Filipinos who take pride in their homeland’s beauty—-a cluster of 7,100 emerald isles in Asia. The popularity of the tropical underground attraction highlights the need for kababayans to be part of the conservation campaign in order to protect the country’s natural treasures.

Nature preservation is most timely for the Filipino people. In Bicol, because of improper waste disposal, the effects of pollution have reached the coastal towns of Masbate. Shown in Bicol Mail (01/22/09,) are graphic photos of filthy garbage washed to shore. The damage on the towns makes a good argument in favor of environmental protection. Discarded plastics, papers, and human wastes floating at sea have certainly fouled the environment. Garbage poses a huge health hazard to humans and all living things which thrive in the area. =0=

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Beijing Olympics & China’s Human Rights Record

August 8, 2008

A nation of 1.3 billion people welcomes the world as it hosts the Beijing Olympics which started on 08/08/08. (Photo Credit: AP) Beaming with national pride, China pulls out a rousing 3 ½ -hour program of pageantry and fireworks to usher in the onset of competitions. It’s an occasion to show its best, after its modern transformation since the communists came to power in 1949.

In regions ravaged by the earthquake in May which killed 70,000 people and rendered close to 5 million people homeless, the people in the countryside and city took time to revel on the glitter of the moment, congregating in villages to watch the spectacular event in TV. About 70 world leaders which include Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Nicholas Sakorzy and Philippines’ Gloria M. Arroyo came to greet Chinese President Hu Jintao. More than 100,000 security personnel were deployed to assure the orderly conduct of the spectacle which was viewed by the largest audience ever: 2.3 billion people worldwide.

Costing about $70 billion, the sporting event has been hounded by political and environmental concerns in spite of government officials’ diplomatic maneuvers and efforts to curb air pollution. Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes.

The city is moderately polluted (air pollution index of 94 vs. WHO’s recommended level of <52.) Participants raise environmental concerns and fret over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games.

The world seems not ready to forget China’s poor human rights records. From various places worldwide protests have erupted against China’s domestic repressive policies. Critics and political activists condemn China’s supply of arms to the genocidal regime of Darfur. The Chinese government hasn’t opened a meaningful dialogue with the Dalai Lama to resolve Tibet’s autonomy and desire for self-rule. In a speech which irks Chinese officials, US Pres. George W. Bush said the people of China deserve to enjoy basic liberty, the natural right of very human being.

In spite of government measures to curb pollution, Beijing still has the smoggy haze that concerns athletes. The city is moderately polluted prompting participants to complain over the heat and humidity which may affect their performance in the games. The Olympic organizers are closely monitoring the air safety and weather to determine if competitions need to be rescheduled.

As Beijing Olympics play on, we can’t ignore the positive forces of peace, friendship, understanding and goodwill that propel the holding of the games. Yet, behind the sublime intentions of nations, there are political, social, economic, and environmental concerns which stick out as urgent challenges for the people of the world to tackle.=0=

Air Pollution Worries Athletes in Beijing Olympics

August 6, 2008

In spite of efforts to curb pollution in the August Beijing Games, concern lingers among athletes who are arriving to compete in the olympics. Some American track cycling athletes recently planed wearing masks in spite of China shutting down factories and preventing half of 3.3 million vehicles to ply on the road to decrease pollution. Photo Credit: AFP/Getty/Brown,F.

“You got to take every chance you have just to protect the airways,”. “It’s really just taking every precaution necessary. Who knows how bad it’s going to be in a few days so if you can resist any air pollution, any contaminants, then you know it’s better performance hopefully,” Michael Friedman, an US Olympic cyclist said

Masks are of doubtful use if chemical pollutants that affect the athletes’ health and performance are suspended on the air.

Arne Ljungqvist, chairman of the IOC medical commission, said the committee is evaluating the city’s air quality based on standards set by the World Health Organization. She said the air monitoring results from 27 sites since July 27, 2008 had been encouraging. AP(08/05/08)