Young scientists call on world leaders: address climate change
September 16, 2008
By Rhaydz B. Barcia
LEGAZPI CITY—As the world faces serious food and other environmental problems, young scientists from six countries called on world leaders to get their acts together to counter carbon dioxide emission and lessen the impact of climate change.
At least 24 high school students from the United States, Japan, Korea, Singapore, the Philippines and Taiwan, participated in the 2nd International Earth Science Olympiad held at People’s Hall at the Albay Capitol here with the theme: “Cooperation in Addressing Climate Change”.
During a round table discussion, they called on world leaders to take strong action in preserving Mother Earth for the future generation.
These young scientists arrived in this city last September 3 and stayed until September 8 to observe Mayon Volcano and its environs and other fields of interest related to geo-sciences. They also immersed with and learned from survivors of typhoon Reming survivors who have since been housed at Taysan Resettlement Site in this city.
Perhaps one of the strongest statements made by the youth participants came from 14-year old high school student Ramon Gian A. Bron of Barangay Buragwis, Legazpi City who is currently enrolled as a sophomore student at the Philippine Science High School-Bicol Campus based in Goa, Camarines Sur.
He said: “We hold the world in our hands, so we need to work hand-in-hand whatever our races will be to preserve our Mother Earth for our children’s children. I am asking the world leaders to help us save our environment before it is too late. I wish the world leaders could follow through the action of our our governor (Joey Salceda) who earnestly initiated the program on climate change adaptation,” Bron said.
Chan Jong Kim, Ph.D., chairman of the Advisory Committee of IESO and of the International Geo-Science Education Organization (IGEO) told Bicol Mail that the goal of the 2nd International Earth Science Olympiad (IESO) is to promote worldwide Earth Science education. The first IESO was held in South Korea last year.
“We want to promote geo-science education from primary to secondary and tertiary levels globally. We’re hoping that all areas of Earth Science will be able to relate with students and scientists from all over the world who will be willing to work towards a better understanding of earth systems and sustainable human development of the planet’s resources,” he said.
Chan-Jong Kim, also a professor of the Department of Earth Science Education, Seoul National University in Korea said their organization selected Albay province, specifically Legazpi City, as center of their research study because it could help them observe and investigate important aspects and areas of earth science here.
“Students could study thoroughly the contribution of volcanic eruption to climatic change including the operation of the geothermal plant which is situated in the province,” he said.
Tom Tailer, MEd mentor of the US team, told the young students that from 1860 to 1980 a rapid change on hemisphere had been observed which had accelerated dramatically between 1980 to 2000.
“This climatic change brings in more droughts and more powerful typhoons causing global food shortage and other catastrophic disasters,” he said.
When asked by Bicol Mail regarding the American government’s failure to sign the Kyoto Protocol, Tailer said that President W. Bush and his vice president were not committed to sign the Kyoto Protocol because of their own political interest and close connection with American petroleum industries.
“President Bush and his vice president are not so much concerned with the future of the next generation. The Americans are in great sorrow and are hoping that the next US President should come forward to address climate change,” Tailer said.
“We’re afraid that until the American government is not committed to address carbon dioxide emission, climate change will be getting worse and more catastrophic disasters will threaten the world. So that makes the future of our children at precarious state,” Tailer continued.
Tailer, who is also a professor of The University of Vermont, also encouraged the children to study earth science and to take care of Mother Earth. “We need more children to study earth science for the future,” he said. (BicolMail)
YOUTH ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Young scientists from six countries hold on the globe above their heads calling on world leaders to help mitigate the impact of climate change to address food crisis and the future of the generations to come. They were in Legazpi City early this month for an international forum on climate change.(RHAYDZ B. BARCIA)