On September 26, 2017 the Science of Identity Foundation Community Assistance for Responsible Existence (SIFCare) was invited by the San Juan Senior High School to give a seminar on climate change, global warming and other environmental challenges facing us today. A total of 227 senior high school students and 17 faculty members of the said school attended the two (2)-hour seminar, held at San Juan Municipal Gym. The purpose of the seminar was to educate and motivate the participants to translate their care into actions to ensure a clean, safe and sustainable planet.
The participants heard from Toby Tamayo, SIFCare’s Programs Development Officer and an expert on environmental issues, impacts and solutions, who spoke about climate change as the most serious global environmental threat of our time as it touches on all spheres of our lives on a personal and global scale. He emphasized that climate change is not a far-off issue and must be dealt with strict measures or it will leave behind catastrophic effects. He cited the recent calamities that caused severe impacts on human life and properties, including Hurricane Harvey, Typhoon Irma, Maria and Haiyan—the strongest ever recorded typhoon to have made landfall in the Philippines in 2013. He warned that more troubling effects such as frequent and more powerful typhoons will be felt in the Philippines and in other parts of the world as an effect of climate change.
The second part of the program tackled good dietary choices and reducing green gas emissions discussed by Mila Celeste, President of SIFCare. In her talk, she said that eating more plant-based food and less meat not only boosts our health but also reduces our carbon footprint thus benefitting the planet. Today many Filipinos have become accustomed to eating burgers. And although these burgers are relatively inexpensive, their hidden costs add up. Mila says, “Aside from the fact that red meat consumption has been linked to many diseases, beef is also the most climate damaging food”. Livestock consume 30 percent of the Earth’s land area. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to make 1 pound of beef and 6 ½ pounds of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere during the production of one ¼ pound hamburger. She encouraged the participants to cut out even just one burger a week because this could make a big difference to our health and the environment.
At the end of their talk, SIFCare challenged the participants to take action now to address the challenges of climate change. “The future of the world is in the hands of the youth,” says Mila & Toby. “Young people have the power to be the driving force behind climate action. Everyone can help; even our smallest choices can have a dramatic effect on both our health and the enviroment. And by working together, we can make a better country and world.”