#ClimateWalk: the onset of hope
MANILA, Philippines—Barely two weeks after the monumental People’s Climate March, the humble Climate Walk begins. A postscript, if you may, in the letter written by thousands of empowered individuals calling on the world’s leaders to make the 2015 climate treaty in Paris count.
But to the Filipinos behind this relatively smaller initiative, it’s more than just a permissive addition. It is a tribute to communities who are paying the price for an insurmountable problem they did not cause. This, and that it entails revisiting areas hit by what many claim to be the strongest typhoon in recorded history, tells us that #ClimateWalk has a deeper bearing. To us Filipinos, the climate crisis is not an afterthought because where we live is where its tragedy is most felt.
The last few years have been a cycle of surviving super typhoons, launching relief operations, rebuilding our homes, and preparing for the next impossible calamity. “The Filipino spirit is resilient,” is what we’ve come to tell ourselves through these disasters, if only to keep going. But all those lives lost, all those gashing images of devastation—we carry them everyday, as we do the constant fear of the next Washi, Bopha, or Haiyan.
This 40-day walk from Manila to Tacloban is a continuation of the global effort to call on the leaders of countries with the highest greenhouse gas emissions to make more ambitious commitments in the new international climate agreement slated to be finalized next year. It’s also intended to inspire people around the world to demand action from their leaders.
However, I think that its greatest success will be in restoring our morale; in the realization that a win in the global climate fight is more for us Filipinos than for anyone else. The Climate Walk is our cue to come forward and be part of the defining struggle of our time.
You can join the #ClimateWalk, wherever you are. Here’s how: http://climatewalknow.wordpress.com/jointhewalk/ –Rappler.com
Johanna Fernandez is a freelance writer and an in-house mobilization specialist for an environmental organization based in the Philippines. She is also a poet and an independent musician.