MANILA, Philippines – It's not easy to pack the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City with people. But on Tuesday, almost all the expensive seats in this venue were sold out.
It was not for the latest rock band or motivational speaker.
The crowd turned up for the man who had made it his mission to inspire humanity to save the earth.
The moment former United States Vice President and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore stepped on stage, the audience loudly cheered.
Gore did not waste time in sharing his award-winning “An Inconvenient Truth” lecture. This time, his lecture hit more closely to home.
Gore used various slides, data and graphs, and actual photos to help him explain the causes and consequences of global warming.
He said that aside from the natural cycle of melting ice caps, statistics show that climate change does not move in a linear direction.
Gore cited as proof the sudden spikes in temperatures in the last few years. He even warned that the Philippines is not spared from the disasters made worse by climate change. Gore said storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” are some of the examples.
How people contribute to global warming
Gore cited 3 ways how civilization could contribute to freak weather patterns all over the world.
First is the population explosion, which continues to use a huge part of the world’s natural resources.
Second is the scientific and technological revolution that brings both many blessings and unintended side effects to humanity. He cited the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico as the latest example.
He said the last is the people's way of thinking.
Gore, however, stressed that there is still hope through renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and many other means.
Save the earth
At the end of his lecture, Gore called on the audience to save the planet.
Politicians and concerned citizens who listened to the lecture echoed Gore's appeals.
“We have the policies in place, nandyan na ang mga batas natin gaya ng Climate Change Bill, Clean Air Bill at Renewable Energy Bill. Ang kailangan lang ay tuparin at magbago ang pag-iisip natin,” said Sen. Loren Legarda.
Social entrepreneur and environment advocate Illac Diaz noted the importance of disaster preparedness.
“We have to prepare for the disasters as he said. We get the effects of the carbon footprints of first world countries. So will we spend billions after the calamities? Why not spend it before to prepare for sustainable living given the current climate,” said Diaz.
Heherson Alvarez, head of the Climate Change Commission, stated: “We have to think we are at war, gera na ito eh. Wag tayo mag-relax at mag-debate pa; Gore's parting wish is that people will understand, that he was not just here to give a lecture.”