‘No excuse’ for unpreparedness: Dingdong Dantes highlights climate change woes after ‘Paeng’ onslaught

November 3, 2022 - 7:43 PM
Dingdong Dantes
Dingdong Dantes in this photo from his Instagram on Oct. 26, 2022. (Instagram/dongdantes)

“There should be no excuse for us not to be prepared anymore.”

Kapuso “Primetime King” Dingdong Dantes underscored the importance of addressing climate change following the onslaught of Tropical Storm Paeng (international: Nalgae) that affected three main islands of the country.

The “Family Feud Philippines” host retweeted a Twitter thread of science communicator Renee Karunungang Edwards of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change, who talked about the phenomenon’s impact in the Philippines, especially those concerning tropical cyclones.

Renee, citing a source, wrote that “stronger typhoons [are] the product of climate change” and shared that warmer oceans favor intense typhoons.

“‘A warmer sea surface generally provides more energy for storm development and thus favors more intense typhoons,'” she tweeted, quoting Wei Mei of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

“Mei et al. found that typhoons would even get stronger by 14% by 2100. Ibig sabihin, ‘yung mga bagyo na nararanasan ng Pilipinas ngayon ay mas lalong lalakas pa. Ito ang epekto ng climate change,” Renee added.

She also shared infographics illustrating the impact of climate change to accompany her thread.

“May magagawa ba ang gobyerno? Madami. The gov’t has to invest in proper disaster risk management and climate change adaptation,” Renee continued.

“What the Philippine national and local governments should realize is that climate change is here and now, it does not only require response when we experience disasters. It requires proper planning as the world continues to warm,” she added.

Dingdong retweeted Renee’s thread to his followers and thanked her for reminding the public—including him—about the impacts of climate change on weather patterns.

“I have [known] @rjkarunungan since 2015 when we did the Climate Change #NowPH campaign, and I know how deeply rooted her dedication to this is. Kaya salamat, Renee, sa reminder na ito,” he wrote.

“At this point, it should be clear to everyone that addressing climate change should also be a priority for the country. Dadaan at dadaan ang marami pang bagyo sa bansa. There should be no excuse for us not to be prepared anymore,” Dingdong added.

“While our government is strengthening its efforts and policies in making sure that the right systems are in place to help secure the safety of every Filipino family, we also need to streamline public participation [and] have a more sustainable mechanism already for volunteers,” the actor added.

The actor also responded to a Twitter user who questioned his endorsement of a gasoline company in his thread on climate change concern.

“I am proud to endorse Caltex. But I chose to partner with them after learning that they are committed to find alternatives to fossil fuel such as renewable fuels/ biodiesel and hydrogen, and to invest in carbon reduction projects,” Dingdong answered.

“Also, we are all still in an energy transition to low carbon. Our capacities and context as a developing nation prevent us from fully investing in renewable energy, which requires elaborate and expensive research and technology,” he added.

“I won’t be a hypocrite by saying that I do not rely on fossil-based fuels, which are unfortunately majority of PH’s energy mix, to support my daily activities. But — this is not an excuse for us to not do our share. We have ‘common but differentiated responsibilities,'” the actor continued.

The passage of Severe Tropical Storm Paeng in three main islands highlighted the country’s risk towards the impact of climate change anew, Bloomberg reported.

“Science and Technology Secretary Renato Solidum said the nation must brace itself for more intense tropical cyclones due to climate change, noting that their actual impact will depend partly on several factors including risk management,” the report said.

When Super Typhoon Karding (international: Noru) hit the country last September, wind dynamics expert Joshua Agar said it followed the growing trend of increasing wind strength among typhoons since 2011.

The wind engineer attributed this to climate change, which he said “increases the moisture on which typhoons feed upon.”

“Expect rin po ang mga bagyo na katulad ng Karding na maliit in size, pero super destructive ng winds malapit sa mata,” Agar said.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr also acknowledged the need to address climate change following the onslaught of “Paeng” after talking to Bangsamoro officials, whose jurisdiction suffered landslides and extreme flooding.

“In the recent years, iyong dating dinadaanan ng baha, hindi na doon. Iba na ang dinadaanan eh. That’s the problem. Talagang may climate change talaga. It’s undeniable. That’s the problem sa preparation natin,” he said on Tuesday.

Marcos added that “tree planting” should be part of the government’s flood control efforts since it would “save lives.”

The Ecologist described how trees could reduce climate change impact like flooding.

“Lots of raindrops that land on leaves evaporate straight into the air — so less water reaches the ground. And, leaves intercept rainfall, slowing the rate that water flows into rivers and reducing the risk it’ll burst its banks,” it said on its website.

“The roots of a tree are also important. They create little passages in the soil as they grow, so when it rains, water flows into those instead of flowing straight into the river. The roots also act as a net to hold the soil in place and stop it [from] washing into a river,” it added.