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Bacolod City, Philippines Friday, November 10, 2017
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Sol Y Sombra
with Rex Remetio

Warning from a wheelchair

I would have entitled this column “Nothing More Than Killings” after being inundated by the recent news of 26 killed in a Texas church massacre and coming after that N.Y.C. killings by a deranged Islamist, and coming after that massacre in Las Vegas, commentators are beginning to sound like broken records.

For some who ask why killings should happen in an obscure town with only 400 residents, could be answered, hey, killings can now happen anywhere, everywhere, for various reasons – religious, insane rage, racism, (ethnic cleansing) as in Myanmar, the lists goes on.

Even the Philippines is awash with killings here, and killings there, mostly drug related. The fatalities have numbered in the thousands. Many have stopped counting. The Catholic Church has raised its voice. Hopefully it can have an impact on the rate of EJKs which has raised the hackles of human rights activists even beyond our shores.

But all of these fatal events pale before this morning's news that Stephen Hawking, the great astro-physicist whose towering intellect has made clearer for us the mysteries of black-holes in the universe. Hawking has warned that human-kind faces extinction in or before 600 years (that's 6 centuries) if things like global warming is allowed to worsen by our inaction or indifference. (The title of this column is explained by the fact that Hawking suffer from Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological disorder that makes him unable to talk or to walk. He talks thru a sophisticated gadget and navigates distance in a wheel chair. He has a wife and if I remember right, a daughter.

Note that global warming is tied up with the number of people on earth. The more people, the more human activity and consumption, the more production and all that. That is the basic principle of the attempt to modify, adjust, minimize the increase of population. Note that Singapore has practically banned increase of number of cars on the streets. Then there has been some shift to green production of electricity like solar and wind. (I was in Eastern of Guimaras lately and was surprised to see a big number of wind-mills that produce power. More Power).

(I read in today's issue of this paper, November 9, that P16B of European money has been set for the production of electricity from the burning of sugarcane waste. The output of 3 plants located at San Carlos, La Carlota and Manapla totals 70 Mega-watt. This is a boon for the province. But does it produce clean energy? Burning bagasse is clean?

There is no need to described what's happening to the earth's weather. More hurricanes with more deadly sting. Don't ask a Puerto Rican about Donald Trump (who doesn't believe in global warming) because you will probably hear curses about continued lack of electricity, potable water, etc.

The world's global temperature is at its historic high. And its acceleration is startling. If not enough is done to remedy it, worse climatic events will ensue.

Of course, the world has agreed on certain quotas to pollution. Pollution cannot be avoided as long as people exist on this planet --- but rationality, use of reason and intelligent zeal can mitigate, if not eliminate, the threat of climatic disaster.

Talking of disasters, one cannot omit the mention of the conflict between the world (mainly, the U.S.) and North Korea with its apparently paranoid dictator working hard to acquire a deliverable nuclear bomb: Kin Jung Un may be paranoid, but not enough to not know that attacking the U.S. with nuclear weapons first, will result in the extinction of North Korea as a nation. I think he's trying to make nuclear weapons to scare the U.S. from attacking (first) North Korea. The danger also lurks in the uninhibited tongue or twits of Trump. What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?

But then mistakes can happen. Suppose Kin Jung Un releases again another experimental missile over Japan as had happened before – what would Trump (or the U.S. military do?) Attack North Korea?

We read of mistaken signals of U.S. atomic attack on Russia. Had it been immediately transmitted to Russian Defense Authorities, a counter-attack on the U.S. main-land could had been ordered.

Fortunately, the Russian defense personnel who was in charge of the transmission of an attack report waited for a few minutes. He found out that the signals of an attack were not caused by any U.S. forces. It was caused by a peculiar slanting of sunlight.

The guy saved the world. Had he acted immediately as he is supposed to do, the world now would be totally destroyed. What's his name? What's the name of the Russian who saved the world?

I read the name before. But I forgot. So I don't know.

Do you?*


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