A few days ago, I read an article in the Philippine Star that really disturbed me.  Hundreds of dead penguins have been washing up in Brazil for the past two months.  Most of them are baby penguins.  Rescuers and experts are divided over the causes.  Some say that overfishing has led penguins farther out in the sea to look for food, making them more vulnerable to stronger currents.  On the other hand, some rescuers believe that pollution is to blame.  There is an oil field near the shores of Rio de Janeiro and some penguins that washed up were drenched in oil.  A biologist also suggested weather problems as another possible cause, with global warming creating more cyclones and rougher seas.

One or all of these explanations could be the true culprit/s, but the common thread is the human hand.  Even the weather-related theory can be attributed to human actions.  We are the ones taking care of our planet, after all.

I remember a public service TV ad many years ago, with the catchphrase “Ang basurang itinapon mo, babalik sa iyo.” (Roughly translated:  The trash you throw will come back to you) It showed people carelessly throwing trash everywhere.  Then it showed a rain scene, and when the boy opened the door of their house, it was flooded and all the trash entered their home.  It may have been a very literal interpretation, but it still struck a chord.

Some people say that you can’t change the world, but that’s not really true.  We all leave environmental footprints, and even the smallest or lightest footprint can change a landscape.  I hope everyone lets go of the mentality that doing little things for the environment will not mean anything in the face of much more and much bigger pollutants.  How does all change begin anyway?  Through action.

Again quoting one of my all-time favorite Apple ads: “…the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”  Probably merely a clever marketing line, but crazily enough, I wholeheartedly believe it.  It doesn’t have to happen in our generation, in our lifetime, but we CAN change the world.

You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one, I hope someday you’ll join us… – John Lennon

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