Whilst the whole media is happily covering the election fever, the suffering that our countrymen in the north is experiencing is heart wrenching. This is why countries like the US and Japan have extensive agricultural insurance. The practice of agriculture is especially dependent on many factors that are beyon the control of the farmers. This is a humanitarian problem in the making. This may not end well. I pray my fear are just that fears.
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The current ENSO and its agricultural effects has environmental scientists worried. On the human health side, many Filipinos have no experience of prolonged hot and dry weather. This is revealed that for many of us, the experience of extremely hot weather is limited to “Holy Week” and that really only lasts for 4 days! Extended periods of having 38 C or more temps in Metro Manila may result in a higher death rate among the elderly and those with cardiovascular health problems similar to what was experienced in the European summer heat wave of 2005, when an estimated 10,000 people or more died. The Europeans were not used to having prolonged spells of temperatures above 33 C. While PAGASA may forecast Manila to have 34-35 C temps, our heat island research points out that the real temps due to the effects of a built -up environment can be 3-4 C more than the forecast temperature. So we can have extended periods of having 39-40 C temperature. People living in desert climates are used to this and have behavioral adaptations to cope with this, but I doubt if we Filipinos have these adaptations.
But as a wag told me, we Filipinos are particularly adapted to talking about politics. (FV posts are a supreme example!)
But seriously, the food security situation is beginning to look dire and it is just the end of February. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may turn over the presidential palace to her successor on June 30 with a famine on her train. Ask any of your grandparents who lived through World War II. They would tell you that the Filipino people experienced famine within the last century only during the Japanese occupation and that was not due to climate change but to colonial master change!
The next President of the Philippines should now be aware that even as a candidate poverty or corruption are not the immediate problems but food security. Surely these are problems but their solutions will take more than one presidential term. Food security can be immediately addressed at the start of the term.
See if the freshwater problem continues to worsen these space underwear may be what can be allowed to wear because freshwater must only be used for drinking and agriculture.
Remember the “long duration underwear” tested out by Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata on board the ISS last year? Now you can buy your very own. The specially designed undies and other clothing called “J-ware” are on sale now for 10,500 yen or about $115 USD. J-ware is treated with antibacterial and deodorizing materials, so they can be worn for long periods of and are resistant to odors. “For two months I was wearing these underwear and there was no smell and nobody complained,” said Wakata. “I think that new J-ware underwear is very good for myself and my colleagues.”Hurry, sizes and quantities are limited.