Post for May 21-27 2017

TaN: In a video released by Mike Adams — titled “Why carbon dioxide is the ‘Miracle Molecule of Life’ for greening our planet“, URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6-Sk0FEGGQ — it implied that carbon dioxide concentration is highest in (highly) urbanized population centers or cities.  Granting this is true and I am very inclined to agree because its logic is sound — i.e., because of such high concentration of people and human activities.

Continuing with that argument and combining it with the push by climate change and global warming advocates — that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a principal factor that is causing the change, the warming — and further remembering and understanding that we want to bring down the high level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and plants need it to service, to produce its food, and manufacture our precious oxygen (O2), I therefore and hereby posit that we can hit two (I do not like to kill) birds with one stone.

To eliminate or arrest the rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce global warming — because CO2 is said to be a greenhouse gas that is significantly responsible for global warming — let us plant more trees in cities.  These will significantly and drastically absorb the escaping carbon dioxide from human respiration and activities and thereby mitigate the problem — providing that the trees are planted strategically so as to absorb the greatest amount of carbon dioxide as the gas is being released.

Moreover, with more greenery in our midst — as in urban areas and even in the provinces wherever cemented roads and concrete houses are aplenty — there will be less heat because the heat will be absorbed by the greenery instead of being bounced around and intensified off the hard flat smooth surfaces of concrete (in streets and the walls of buildings and high-rises), (most) asphalt roads, metal roofs, glass windows, cars, walls around the houses and posh exclusive villages, and all artificial man-made surfaces.  It is known in physics that heat, when bounced around, increases many times over — which is the principle behind lasers (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation).

Have you ever noticed that when you stand under any man-made structure for shade — such as waiting sheds — relief from the heat is not significantly reduced, especially when there is a hot breeze blowing?  But it is not the same when you stand under a tree — particularly a shady tree?  Under the tree, even with the heat of the sun bearing directly down, it still feels much cooler than if you were to stand under bare, concrete waiting sheds?

However, I beg to disagree with Mr Adams in his belief that carbon dioxide is the so-called “Miracle Molecule of Life“. It is just one small segment in the huge circle of life.  CO2 may be needed by plants to manufacture of our life-giving oxygen — actually it is a waste or by-product — but it is O2 that we use (and need) to produce the CO2 that plants need so badly.  So, in a way, CO2 is the “miracle molecule” for plant life, whereas O2 is for animal life.

TaN: It is so sad and pitiful that the only solution Mr Duterte knows to everything is to shoot (or destroy). In today’s front page news in The Philippine STAR (dated May 20) and basing solely on the title “Rody warns Kadamay on houses: You might get shot“, it is clear (and becoming ever clearer) that Mr Duterte intends to shoot anyone and everyone who steps out of (his) line.

Moreover, it is really amazing how Filipinos (in surveys) continue to be blind to the wrongdoings of Mr Duterte.  No matter what good intention he has, remember the adage, The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Although the original meaning of this adage is somewhat different, there is always more than one way to make an interpretation, depending on the situation it is being applied to.  In this case, what I have in mind is that the Machiavellian style of Mr Duterte applied to the adage — please refer to the headings of Meaning and Studies as elaborated in URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_road_to_hell_is_paved_with_good_intentions.

The good intentions of Mr Duterte — i.e., turning the Philippines around, from illegal drugs, to criminality, to corruption in government, and to whatever he can think of — is all well and good but it is turning the country into a hell for certain industries (such as tourism and especially for the Department of Tourism which is finding it increasingly difficult to sell the country to foreign tourists) and sectors of society (especially the poor and marginalized, because for them, justice is swift).

But I am not being totally truthful. Mr Duterte knows something else besides killing — to give his all out support for the armed services (via weapons and awards and speeches) and visit and comfort their fallen or wounded comrades.

Yet another thing he knows is to tell off-color and distasteful jokes and make promises (especially the deadlines, which keep on extending) he could not keep.  Oh yeah, and to declare states of emergency, lawlessness, and martial law.

In the end, without working to change the newest generations — i.e., the children and the youth — all his efforts and the sacrifices of the people (who died or have been significantly and detrimentally affected) will be for naught.  Illegal drugs will retiurn, and so will corruption, and so will criminality, and so will all the rest, because all Mr Duterte is doing is attack the symptoms or manifestations and not the cause or root of the country’s problems.  After everything, it will all go back to square one.

TaN: Last night (May 24 evening), in the news, the eminent Prof Christian Monsod brought up a very interesting and valid argument against the martial law declaration of Mr Duterte.  Being a former member in the crafting of the last (1986 Freedom) Constitution, he argues that Mr Duterte cannot declare martial law under the conditions or reasons the latter based it on.

According to Prof Monsod, under the present Constitution, the only (permissible) conditions for the declaration and imposition of martial law are: (1) in cases of invasions — i.e., another sovereign state (openly) enters and occupies portions of Philippine territory and (2) in cases of rebellion or armed insurrection — i.e., an attempt to take over the government and the country.  There is nothing in the provisions of the Constitution as grounds for martial law declaration that pertains to acts of terrorism.

Before Mr Duterte can implement martial law based on what transpired in Marawi City and/or elsewhere, the Constitution must first be amended.  Until then, the best Mr Duterte can do is maintain or intensify his efforts within the state of lawlessness that he has already in place, otherwise it would appear that he is incapable of running the country.

Moreover, the military or armed forces ought to consult their legal counsels and the courts before executing the orders of Mr Duterte otherwise they might find themselves in violation of the Constitution, among other things.

In conclusion, it is eerie and spine-chilling to remember that all the pronouncements of Mr Duterte in the past that come across as some kind of ominous threat has come to pass.  His repeated public pronouncements regarding (the threat of) martial law has likewise become a reality.  It is as if everything is going according to (a grand) plan.  I wonder…he must be a seer of some kind.  But I am neither insinuating nor alleging anything…just wondering (aloud).

TaN: In the news today (May 26), a pioneering groundbreaker and a good friend — although I met her only a few times in my youth during the martial law years — has finally bid farewell yesterday…Sen Eva Estrada Kalaw.  She was 96. I cannot say much about her except that during the few occasions I had met and spoke with her, she was really a powerhouse of energy, a dynamo, always on the move and thinking and analyzing.  The most memorable thing trivia I have of her was in the few times I was invited to her place in San Juan, she always has a bag of pumpkin or watermelon seeds.  It seems she just has to keep her mouth busy.

Fare thee well Ma’am Eva.  It has been quite a journey through (your) life and it has been more than an honor and a privilege to have met you.  Your rest is well-deserved.  Godspeed.

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